Face Masks, helping to keep us safe but undoing all the good work were doing with our skincare routines. There’s no beating around the bush, they’re rubbish and my heart goes out to you all that have to wear hardcore surgical masks for work on a daily basis. I feel lucky I get to even have a choice and be able to navigate this the best way I know how. I feel your pain. I wanted to share with you a few rules I follow with Mask wearing.
Fabric & Shape
I have a range of fabrics, silk, organic cotton, surgical. Moulded to my face, concertina, smaller, larger, with a nose clip, without a nose clip, tie back and over the ears. I see my face mask like a new pair of shoes, you wouldn’t wear the same style of new shoes day in day out would you, they would rub in the same place and you’d have plasters all over the place. So for that reason I have a nice selection, so I can mix it up if the bridge of my nose gets sore or the type of elastic is irritating my ears. Some fabrics make you sweat more than others, some rub and irritate more than others. My favourites are my form fitting silk mask, I sleep on a silk pillowcase for my hair and skin so I thought well this is an obvious choice. It feels lovely, no rubbing but the downside it can get sweaty and hot in there quite quickly. Organic Cotton face form fitting, doesn’t get as hot but slightly more abrasion on the skin. These are my two go to fabrics at the moment and I alternate between concertina and face form fitting.
What’s Happening Underneath?
I don’t have any makeup on. not a SCRAP! I know I’m going to be in this little guy all day, if I wear to put any on moe of it would end up on my mask than on my face. You may have heard of the gut microbiome and how important it is to keep you gut balanced and healthy. As a human we are made up of a large percentage of bacteria/microbes, some good and some not so good. Its all about keeping the ratio in perfect balance, that goes for our skin too. In normal life our faces are exposed to air above to freely circulate around, we have our routines and our skin is where it is, it may be A ok, it may be in need of a little love. Through in a mask and you’ve changed the environment for half of your face in an instant, what was a breezy calm environment, is now a humid bacteria (not the good kind) loving environment. So how do we tackle this, use natural anti microbial balancing products, this is very different to the scary alcohol gel you are using to clean your hands with, don’t do that to your face please.
Essential oils are with anti microbial properties (anti viral, anti bacterial, anti fungal) : German Chamomile, helichrysum, lavender, Cederwood, theres also oregano, tea tree and eucalyptus, these last three are really strong I would recommend steaming those rather than applying topically. You can pop a few drops in the shower, hang some Eucalyptus in the shower.
Use non comedogenic products, now is not the time for heavy moisturisers or pore blocking foundations, keep those pores free to do their job don’t give that bad bacteria an inch.
A company that really focuses on helping to rebalance is mother dirt.
My Under Mask Routine is as Follows:
Cleanse. Spritz with Mother dirt AO, then I switch it up I use Chamomile & Helichrysum face oil one day and Jasmine Lavender Face oil the next. This is the balancing act, feeding the good bacteria and helping to balance the bad. Sometimes mid way through the day I go on again with a spritz and an oil, its important not to get into the routine of constantly scrubbing and stripping your face.
Keep Your Mask Clean,
You change your underwear every day, (I hope) so treat your face mask the same. I would even recommend changing your mask half way through the day if you’re wearing it all day.
Some handy tools, a UV cleaner, some of the more delicate fabrics don’t allow any hot washing so UV is a great tool. We ozone our masks before we wear them to make sure there aren’t any VOCs coming out of the fabric from any treatments it may have had. Thats the funny chemical smell you smell when you put them on. Alternatively you can wash them and air them outside, I wouldn’t recommend getting your mask out the packet and putting it straight on.
Its simple, change it regularly, clean it daily however works best for you.
So you’ve got your mask on, your breathing into this space constantly all day. The bacteria going on in your mouth and coming up from your digestive system will be having an impact on the bacteria on your skin. Its all about keeping that eco system in line and your body is super happy. A few things to think about, if you struggle with digestion and stomach issues in general look into rebalancing a great pre and probiotic is a wonderful place to start. If you notice you get bad breath this is a sign of disbiosis in the mouth and down into the digestive tract. Begin your day before you even drink any water with tongue scraping, its an Ayurvedic technique which removes any built up bacteria thats made its way into the mouth at night time. I then follow this with a natural mouth rinse, gargle and brush my teeth. Then drink lots of water.
be mindful of the foods your consuming, especially if you’re prone to spots, keep processed, sugary foods to a minimum and up your leafy greens, vegetables and good fats for some great skin love. If you feel safe to do so its worth booking a regular appointment with a dental hygienist, think of it like a facial for your teeth that way you’ve not got any bacteria lurking that you don’t know about and cant get with your flossing, brushing and swilling.
Those are my top tips for now, I’m sure more will come out as we find ourself in this new normal. But for now, good luck, be kind to your skin its working really hard for you to find some balance in this new tropical climate its finding itself in. If you’re on struggle street reach out I’m more than happy to help.