No one likes to wear a mask.
But we do it... to protect ourselves and those around us.
And while they do a decent job of keeping us safe, wearing them has had some unfortunate consequences for our skin.
Folks who haven't dealt with acne since their teen years are suddenly covered in it, a condition known as "maskne."
Others are experiencing dry skin, rashes and itchiness with mask use.
If yours is causing skin issues, here are some things to consider...
Rashes and other face bumps are symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Could you be allergic to your mask?
Some commercial face masks are pre-treated with the chemical formaldehyde to disinfect them.
If you're allergic to formaldehyde, wearing those masks could trigger a breakout.
Also, some are made from synthetic fabrics, like nylon, polyester, and rayon, can cause skin reactions.
To minimize irritation, choose soft, breathable masks made from natural fibers, like cotton.
Some skin problems are caused by ill-fitting masks.
Your mask should comfortably cover your nose and mouth.
But if there are large gaps on the side, chafing can occur.
Be sure your mask fits snugly around the face, but not too tight to cause discomfort.
Are you washing your mask regularly?
Oil, saliva, sweat, and even mucus can get on your mask with each use.
Keep it clean to avoid buildup that can cause skin irritation.
Now, even if your mask is the right material, fitted correctly, and washed regularly, you may still experience skin issues.
Which is why taking proper care of your skin is essential.
Wash your face daily with a gentle cleanser or mild soap to eliminate dirt, sweat and grime that can cause irritation.
Dry skin is a big issue with mask use, so don't forget to moisturize after cleansing to keep your skin hydrated.
And don't forget your lips. They have a tendency to dry out quickly.
Petroleum jelly is a great lip moisturizer.
Just be sure to keep it on your lips, as it can cause skin breakouts when applied to the face.
If you're a makeup wearer, consider skipping it.
Our faces are half-covered anyway, so there's really no need to wear it.
Plus, the makeup can clog your pores and result in breakouts.
If you're tempted to try new skincare products right now, don't.
It's just not worth the risk to expose your skin to new substances that may cause a reaction.
Wearing a mask even for short periods of time can make your skin more sensitive to breakouts and other irritations.
And as the temperature drops, our skin will be under even more stress due to the dry, cold air.
Give your skin some TLC to keep it healthy and happy under those masks.