As our country begins to open back up from lockdown status during the novel corona virus pandemic of 2019/2020 many are starting and continuing to don face masks to help prevent the spread of disease, to protect those most vulnerable. This is great but many healthcare workers are already experiencing unwanted side effects on their skin when wearing face masks during an entire work shift. It doesn’t seem like face masks are going away anytime soon so let’s take a look at what you can do to promote vibrant beautiful, glowing skin beneath the cover!
Problems you may experience:
Acne: There are a few major reasons we might be seeing more breakouts in the area of the face mask. With cloth and other materials sitting on the skin, there is a chance that harmful bacteria can get trapped. Additionally, just like wearing a too tight bra, when elastic, metal and tight material is pressing into the skin, this leads to a lack of lymph flow. Our lymph system is like the sewage system for our body, it carries waste away from the cells through small vessels or tubes. When something is pressing into this area, it’s the same as stepping on a hose, the cellular waste becomes backed up. Instead of a clean, flowing river below the surface, we have a sludgy dirty pond... It’s easy to see how this can manifest as congestion and breakouts on the surface. Furthermore, stress increases hormones like cortisol which raise oil production. when skin is already inflamed and excess oil is produced, this oil gets trapped in the pore and mixes with dead skin cells. This mixture is a perfect lunch for the bacteria that resides in an acne lesion. Dehydration: Dehydration during use of face masks can due to constantly steaming the skin with your breath. We exhale about a cup of water a day, and while some steam on the face can be great, this constant humidity on the face is actually quite dehydrating. That along with the physical rubbing of the material on the face breaks down the invisible barrier on the surface that protects and lubricates our skin. Sensitive skin: Stress hormones also trigger inflammation and the skin is no exception to this response. Just like with dehydration, the material rubbing on the face is irritating. Our skin’s immune system sees it as an attack and responds with an inflammatory cascade.
1. Be gentle with your skin. Especially now, when stress levels rise, our skin becomes hypersensitive. This is a stress reaction of the immune system in our skin. Now is not the time to be burning your face off with harsh exfoliants. This type of controlled wounding is a bad idea when the immune system is already feeling taxed… not to mention that we want to support our immune system in all ways possible right now. Instead nourish it with skin loving oils such as Remedy Treatment Oil from Color Up. The organic macadamia, rose-hip, hempseed, and jojoba oil blend will assist in repairing the damaged outer barrier and soothe irritated skin.
2. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and stay hydrated. A hydrated body leads to healthier more resilient skin. Mineral rich vegetables nourish the nervous system which will in turn nourish the skin.
3. I’m a fan of incorporating CBD skincare into your regimen because it can address all of these problems. CBD is antibacterial and is effective at assisting the skin in the uptake of antibacterial peptides, meaning that it helps your skin to ward off unwanted bacteria naturally. CBD is not only moisturizing without clogging pores, but it is also highly anti-inflammatory! Browse CBD skincare HERE.
4. LED Light Therapy has been a game changer in my home routine. The benefits of LED were discovered by NASA as plants were taken aboard the space shuttle and administered with LED light which proved their theory that the light could produce energy in the cells, helping them to grow faster even outside of the presence of the sun. Research was then done on human cells, to find the same results! There are now several peer-review studies showing the health benefits and safety of LED light therapy. Today, red LED is used in hospitals for wound repair, and in spas for it’s incredible anti-aging effects. Red LED produces energy (ATP) in our cells promoting healing and regeneration. Additionally, red LED greatly reduces inflammation and promotes healthy circulation. All of these properties are incredibly healing for skin that is being rubbed raw! The LightStim for Wrinkles contains infrared, red, and amber lights to target different depths of the skin for more effective healing. Blue LED is interesting because it doesn’t penetrate as deeply into the skin, but it packs a huge punch! Molecules called chromophores which reside inside of the bacteria in an acne lesion (Propionibacterium acnes). These chromophores actually absorb the blue light and this action creates oxygen within the lesion. As the Propionibacterium acnes is anaerobic, meaning it cannot live in the presence of oxygen and so of course it is killed. The LightStim for Acne device has both red and blue LED lights to kill this type of bacteria and to reduce inflammation. Purchase HERE.
5. Face massage is one of the best things you can do for your skin daily. This can be done with a massage tool, or just the tools you came with, your hands! Facial massage increase circulation which brings blood, oxygen and nutrients that our skin cells need. It helps to bring cellular waste away through stimulation of lymphatic drainage (think of this like taking out the trash). Face massage helps to soften tension in the muscles… you never realize how tense these muscles are, or how often facial muscles are used until you start to massage them! Make sure to apply a small amount of skin healthy oil to the skin prior to the face massage to provide slip (don’t grease it up too much you still need a bit of tug). Watch some simple at home facial massage techniques here.
Our skin needs some extra TLC right now, and the great thing about that is all of the above tips mentioned also help to tap into the mind-body connection and turn on the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of the nervous system that comes on when we relax, it’s the opposite of the stress response. Give them a try, drop a comment to let me know how it goes!