A Parisian girl with her homemade mask. - Lewis Joly / SIPA

  • Our face is now daily "confined" under a mask.
  • Our hands are attacked by the regular application of hydroalcoholic gel.
  • Redness, tightness, irritations, pimples… Our tips to avoid the inconvenience linked to these essential allies against the spread of Covid-19.

Wearing the mask, repeated hand washing and application of hydroalcoholic gel… Our skin suffers from some inconveniences linked to these essential allies against the spread of Covid-19. Redness, irritation, pimples or itching… Uncustomed to be so "confined", the face reacts. Uncustomed to be washed and disinfected so often, so are our handcuffs. Redness, irritation, pimples, itching, dry skin ... Colette Haydon, doctor of dermopharmacy and creator of the skincare brand Lixirskin, delivers her 20 minutes of advice to help your skin better tolerate the daily wearing of the mask and the regular application of hydroalcoholic gel.

On social networks, many internet users complain about the side effects of wearing the mask on the skin.

Today I had to go home by train, after only 8 hours by train and therefore 8 hours with a mask I officially had an allergy / irritation to the mask 😂

- Pauline L. (@Paulineisb) May 12, 2020

They also find skin problems on the hands.

I have an allergy to hydroalcoholic gel welcome to the club

- 58ju¹²⁷ (@ r4v3nct) May 18, 2020

It’s good for me to be a nurse who has an allergy to hydroalcoholic gel during a pandemic

- Roro 🌺 (@ Romane632) March 13, 2020

The tropical microclimate under the mask

Under the mask, we sweat, we're hot and all that macerates. This “hot and humid microclimate” favors “the appearance of what are called heat rashes, these very small buttons very close together,” observes the expert.

“We breathe in oxygen and we breathe out carbon monoxide. With the occlusive effect of the mask, the carbon monoxide gets stuck on the skin, ”explains Colette Haydon. In short, the skin has trouble breathing. In addition, skin secretions remain trapped. "It will not help people who already tend to have sebum, clogged pore or acne-prone skin problems. Buttons can thus appear in particular on the T zone ”, she continues.

Prolonged and repeated wearing of the mask can promote the development of small skin damage such as irritation, redness or even skin dryness, or even contact eczema. People already suffering from eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea are at higher risk.

The friction exerted by the edges of the mask and the elastic bands also irritate the skin, a little "like for people who wear ill-fitting glasses" or for the first time.

"He can also have real allergies with his masks," warns the expert. Do not hesitate to contact a tele-consultation dermatologist if in doubt.

Favor cotton masks

How to limit this small skin damage? You must first equip yourself with the appropriate mask. "The washable cotton masks minimize reaction problems," says the specialist. From an ecological point of view, there will be “fewer masks found thrown all over the place. "

If possible, use masks that allow knotting at the back of the skull if elastic bands are not tolerated. If you don't find one, instead of attaching the rubber bands behind the ears, use a paper clip to attach them to the back of the head.

Moisturize your skin before putting on your mask

Another way to prevent irritation, dermo-cosmetic treatments. "It is important to moisturize your skin just before wearing your mask with a barrier cream," advises Colette Haydon. In the Lixirskin range that she formulated, she recommends "Universal Emulsion". (49 euros per 100 ml)

There are two types of moisturizers. Direct emulsions (Oil in water) and reverse emulsions (water in oil). “Our cream is semi-inverted, it contains water in oil and oil in water. It is therefore light but it is still a barrier cream, but lighter and thicker than a classic emollient cream, ”she explains. Another tip: “Do not hesitate to use your lip balm on very dry and irritated areas of the face, where the mask rubs the most. "

Very dry and atopic skin will bet on barrier, repairing or healing creams. (Soothing restorative cream Epitheliale Ah Ultra, A-Derma, € 17.90 per 100 ml, Emollient cream Exomega Control, A-Derma, € 19.95 per 400 ml, Anti-itching emollient cream Dexyane, Ducray, € 16.10 200 ml)

Limit eye makeup

The more makeup you wear, the worse it will get. “We often wear makeup to hide pimples and it's the vicious circle. The makeup is very occlusive on the pores. With the mask in addition, it's catastrophic, ”said the expert. With the mask, "we can do without foundation but we encourage eye makeup".

"If you have pimples, apply locally, that is to say only on the area around the pimples, a little clay mask or acids like salicylic acid or azelaic acid", recommends Colette Haydon. (Night Switch BHA / AHA 10%, Anti-imperfection molecules, Lixirskin, 24 euros for 15 ml)

Exfoliate your hands

The hydroalcoholic gel dries up the hands. “We often tend to believe that exfoliation will worsen dry skin. If you exfoliate with an appropriate product, like the one on your face, then you remove the dead cells. And the moisturizer will be more likely to penetrate well than if it is applied to a layer of dead cells, ”explains Colette Haydon.

The protocol for very soft handcuffs will therefore consist of linking a hand exfoliation and the application of a moisturizer. (Gardinarius, Gardener's Hand Balm, the Couvent des minimimes, 19.90 euros for 75 ml) For very dry hands, gloves impregnated with nourishing care are very effective. (Avocado, Sephora Hand Masks, 3.99 euros per pair). No more side effects, you can go out covered!


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  • Style
  • Deconfinement
  • Coronavirus
  • Covid 19
  • Beauty
  • Skin