As we slip into the new normal, there are skin woes that are constantly cropping up with us moving around, albeit incognito, in masks that are shielding the better part of our faces. Cue into the skincare guide to guard against inflammation and breakouts, and unmask your skin woes brought in by the pandemic.

Acne agony

The constant wearing of masks leads to irritation and makes way for inflammation on the areas around the mouth and nose. While you must choose a comfortable, double-layered fit in cotton, and wash the mask after use, ensure your face is clean and bereft of makeup. Says Dr Madhuri Agarwal, founder of an aesthetics clinic, “Prolonged wearing of face masks brings in mask acne, rashes and allergies for all skin types. Your hot breath, along with your makeup, dead skin cells, and pollutants is held within by the mask. This can clog pores, causing bacteria-infected blackheads and whiteheads, that eventually become acne. Though all eruptions or rashes are not mask acne, contact dermatitis, urticaria (hives) and seborrheic dermatitis can be triggered by frequent mask-wearing. Use a cleanser with azelaic or tea tree oil, a broad-spectrum sunscreen (preferably light lotion or silicone gel) and moisturiser (look for ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and dimethicone) to hydrate your skin and protect against mask induced chafing. A lip balm addresses dry lips.”

Masks bring in skin issues. Cue into the skincare guide to guard against inflammation and breakouts. Here's how to ban rashes

Save your skin

Wearing only eye makeup works beautifully if you must apply makeup at a public outing. It is the only section of your face visible anyway! “Skip creamy products, opting for lightweight options,” advises Dr Agarwal. “Minimal product layering and a subsequent blotting out of the excess is good. Remove your makeup at the end of the day with the double cleanse technique and apply the moisturiser and serums according to your skincare routine.”

Shilpi Madan for Sunday Herald

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