Fighting mask-related acne.

In Ottawa

By Dr. Howard Silverman

COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives over the past few months, from how we interact socially with our friends and family, to what we take with us before we leave the house… keys? Wallet? Phone? Hand sanitizer? Mask? CHECK! While we all learn to navigate this ‘new normal’, the constant use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and face masks has left some of our patients feeling frustrated with acne breakouts and skin sensitivity.

Wearing masks can create a build-up of oils, dead skin cells and bacteria on the surface of our skin, leading to clogged pores, inflammation and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Luckily, we’ve got some tips and tricks to soothe and protect your skin while preventing active acne breakouts. Here’s what I recommend to patients struggling with mask-related acne.

1. Exfoliate with ZO® Skin Health Oil Control Pads

Consistent exfoliation of dead cells is so important when it comes to improving the quality and health of your skin, but when breakouts and pimples are already on the surface of the face, it can be difficult to exfoliate without causing more discomfort to the skin itself. Granular scrubs can leave your skin feeling sore, so my personal recommendation to clients is to begin using ZO® Oil Control Pads one to two times per day. These pads have a combination of salicylic, mandelic and glycolic acid to gently exfoliate, remove oils/bacteria, shrink pores and even out skin tone all while providing a topical cooling sensation with botanical extracts for irritated and inflamed pimples. 

Ottawa Plastic Surgery Skincare Mask Acne 4

2. Follow up with ZO® Skin Health Enzymatic Peel 

I suggest following up twice a week with the ZO® Enzymatic Peel, a mild topical exfoliator that can be applied to the skin in the evening and left on overnight – making it perfect for clients who enjoy minimal steps in their skincare routine. This product restores hydration while combating uneven skin texture, and is a fantastic add-on product for all skin types! 

Ottawa Plastic Surgery Skincare Mask Acne 5

3. Hydrate with ZO® Skin Health Daily Power Defense

While exfoliating skin is important in reducing acne breakouts, keeping skin healthily hydrated is equally important for proper skin cell function. Heavy cream-based moisturizers can sit on the surface of your skin as they take more time to absorb and can begin to clog pores, which becomes problematic used in tandem with COVID safety measures like face masks. My go-to, never-forget product is ZO®’s Daily Power Defense, a lightweight moisturizing serum that hydrates skin from the inside out! This serum is packed with antioxidants to protect your cells from exposure to free radicals and pollution, while a tiny dose of retinol will promote healthy cell turnover. So whether you have oily or dry skin, this hydrator will effortlessly allow breathable moisture all day long and keep cells functioning at their highest capacity.

With mandatory mask requirements for all public spaces officially taking effect in Ottawa this summer, OPS is here to help you keep your skin feeling healthy and happy (even under the fashionable face mask you purchased online)! The best part? You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. We can ship skincare right to your door, and we offer both virtual and in-person complimentary skincare consultations. Contact us today to schedule yours!

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