Are Masks Bad for Your Skin?


Wearing Masks

It was a little weird until it wasn’t. We are all used to them now and are happy to follow the advice of our public health experts to help manage the situation we are dealing with at present. So, how do we deal with the skin issues behind the mask? Have you noticed more acne, blackheads, and whiteheads? Have you experienced more aggravation of existing skin issues? If so, you are not alone. Troubled skin under the mask is one of the most frequent issues I have been seeing in the last few months during my consultations. So, what to do?

Exfoliation is Key

I don’t mean harsh physical scrubs as those can be damaging to your skin and cause inflammation. Chemical exfoliation with alpha-hydroxy acids and retinol is the kind of exfoliation that can be very helpful. Adding either lactic, glycolic, or salicylic acid to your daytime regime or retinol to your nighttime routine can help keep those pores breathing.

The Right Product for You

Choosing the right product for your specific skin type is important. Here are some guidelines:

Rosacea and Sensitive Skin

Lactic and glycolic products will be the most important for this skin type. Gentle chemical peels using lactic acid can be very helpful and are also cost-effective. In addition, they are a nice, relaxing treat.

Normal Skin

Retinol is great for this skin type. Save this treatment for your nighttime routine because it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun (even low winter levels). Retinol not only chemically exfoliates but also gives a glow to your skin. Treatments such as HydraFacial MD will both physically and chemically exfoliate your skin to help with the congestion of pores. Chemical peels are also very helpful in maintaining healthy skin. If you do one a month through these winter months, you will notice how your skin appreciates you.


This is a tough one since acne thrives in the conditions caused by masks. Luckily, we have strong tools in our medical toolbox. Alpha hydroxy acids and retinol can be helpful, but sometimes a prescription topical cream may be necessary. You will need a physician consultation for this. HydraFacial MD and chemical peels can be added to the acne skincare regime as well.

There is Always Hope

Our masks will come off at some point and you can be ready with healthy, glowing skin by using the above suggestions which are specific to your skin type.




Dr. Lyn Pascoe

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Posted in: Chemical Peels, Skin Care, Skin Conditions

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