Taking Care of Your Skin While Wearing a Mask

NBC Universal, Inc.

With the scorching heat, humidity and sweat, how should we be taking care of our skin with face masks? NBC 6 anchor Sheli Muñiz spoke to Coral Gables dermatologist Dr. Janelle Vega, who offered some tips.

SHELI: Dr. Vega, what are the most common complaints you're seeing in your office?

VEGA: One of the main things that people are complaining about is developing acne from wearing the masks. Wearing the mask creates this humid, warm environment where you build up sweat and anything you have on underneath the mask. One of the recommendations I give to my patients is to definitely avoid wearing any makeup under this area. The mask is acting to physically block your pores, so anything in addition is going to make that worse.

SHELI: How often should we be changing our masks?

VEGA: Every single day. So, anything that builds up inside the mask, if you wear the same mask the next day and put it on again, then you’re possibly creating an even more clogged environment full of debris.

SHELI: You just gave people a whole lot of work to do. What should you do if your skin does get irritated?

VEGA: You know the mask itself if it’s made of fabric it can contain formaldehyde which often is something that people impregnate into the fabric to keep it free of bugs and different infections ... When you look at what you’re putting on your skin make sure it's fragrance-free, make sure it doesn’t have any alcohol, you want to avoid toners like witch hazel can be drying so anything that’s drying is going to make the irritation worse.

SHELI: Expand on that formaldehyde, what masks have that? And that wouldn’t be good, right?

VEGA: Formaldehyde is an irritant, but it’s also a preservative and it often comes in a fabric when it's brand new. So, just how you want to wash your clothes before you wear it you’ll want to wash your mask before you wear it. Even if you’re making it at home because that fabric can contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers.

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