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4 Tips to dealing with PPE mask irritation

Ah, the new normal. Not only has it ruined countless weddings, summer vacations, and for some weird reason made toilet paper the currency of the moment, it's also creating some very angry skin.

Skin is your largest organ. It is full of live cells that are growing, existing, just doing their thing. Skin cells need oxygen, just like lung cells and muscle cells and.....well, all of your cells. The top two layers of your skin get most of their oxygen from absorption. Wearing a mask continuously throughout the day creates a whole host of problems for a lot of skin types.

Here's some tips for making the best out of our new "normal" policies.

  1. Change it frequently. This should be done not just for the care of your skin but sanitary reasons. Wearing the same mask all day just means that you're tracking germs around all day. But for your skin, it means that the bacteria and germs you breathed out with your first closed-in breath at 8am are still on your skin at 5pm when you take it off. Change your mask frequently and wipe down the area of your skin under the mask with water or a witch hazel pad.

  2. Don't wear makeup foundation with it. Besides the fact that it just makes a mess, it forces the make up even deeper into your pores. Skip the foundation, powder, and as a word to the wise, the lip gloss too. I cannot tell you all the places my lip gloss went the first time I wore a mask. *face palm

  3. Use a good, but gentle, exfoliating cleanser nightly. When you're wearing a mask, your skin isn't able to shed its dead cells like it usually does. Those dead cells stay plastered to your skin. This does two things. One, the cells can get stuck in your pores, creating clogs and blackheads. Two, dead skin is what the mites that always live all over your body, eat. Now they have more food. And more food equals more babies. And more babies equals irritation for some people. Use a gentle (remember these cells are already dead, we're not trying to kill them) exfoliating cleanser, such as one with an enzyme, jojoba bead, or herbal scrub, nightly.

  4. Wear a balm or salve to reduce friction. If you're suffering because of the friction against your skin, which looks like red, raw skin, using a CBD or calming balm can help. Before putting your mask on, rub a small amount onto the area that the mask pushes against. It doesn't need to be placed everywhere the mask covers, just where it rubs. Use a really good healing moisturizer or oil, such as rosehip or evening primrose,

at night to help the wound heal as well.

As we navigate through our new normal I'm sure many new "experiences" will start popping up. I'm here to let you know that where it pertains to skin, I've got you. Where to find toilet paper or disinfecting wipes, your neighbor may be your better buddy for that. If you're still struggling with your skin after implementing these suggestions, come on in for a 30 Minute Calm Treatment that I designed for just these problems.

Much holistic confidence to you!

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