At the beginning of May 2020, South Africa moved into Level 4 of Covid-19 and, with this, mask-wearing became a part of everyday life. While experts agree on the importance of wearing face masks, stating that they can help slow the spread of Covid-19, there are definite downsides for some of us. Here are skin care concerns related to the use of cloth masks in everyday life.


Not only does wearing a mask prove problematic for those that wear glasses due to lenses consistently fogging up, athletes also find breathing difficult whilst exercising. Another side-effect of mask-wearing that many of us are experiencing, is that of an unhappy skin, especially for those have to wear a mask during a full day of work or for anyone with an already underlying skin condition such as acne, eczema or rosacea.


Wearing a face mask causes moisture from breathing to become trapped within the enclosed space between a person’s face and the fabric, thus increasing humidity directly around the nose and mouth area. This in turn leads to breakouts and potential skin irritation and is often accompanied by an uncomfortable itchy rash known as contact dermatitis, a result of material friction on the skin.


For clients with sensitive skin, we advise against wearing any face coverings made from synthetic materials like polyester or spandex, as well as synthetic wool. Many of these synthetic fabrics are treated with chemicals that can easily irritate the skin and may exacerbate humidity as they are seldom ‘breathable’. A mask made from natural fibres, such as cotton, to help reduce the likelihood of skin irritation.


With cloth masks, it’s not just the textile itself that can lead to contact dermatitis. There are several other irritants, or allergens, to consider including dyes or even the laundry detergent used to wash these masks that your facial skin may be more sensitive to. If you suspect that your laundry detergent might be causing skin irritation, wash your masks separately on a hot cycle, with a mild, fragrance-free soap.  Always be sure to avoid wearing the same mask two days in a row, rather invest in a couple of masks to have on rotation. Allow your mask to dry thoroughly and iron it well before storing for its next use.


Now that half of our faces are permanently covered up by a mask, many of us are using this as an excuse to embrace a much simpler make-up routine. Remember that, although you may not be wearing as much make-up, bacteria from sweat and moisture along with oil being produced by the skin is still in play and as such cleansing of the skin is as important as ever. The following tips will help keep you in routine whilst promoting skin health benefits:

  • Wash your face with a DermaFix Cleanser, especially at night after taking off your mask to get rid of any debris, dirt, make-up, and excess oils on the surface of the skin.
  • Let your DermaFix ACC Vitamin C and your DermaFix Moisturiser of choice absorb thoroughly into the skin before putting on your face mask and heading out. This will minimise additional humidity whilst wearing your mask.
  • If you are prone to acne breakouts, we can recommend our MD Prescriptives Mandelic Cleanser for and anti-bacterial benefit, DermaFix Mattifying Pore Minimizer to be used as a spot treatment and the DermaFix Vitamin B Cream as your daily moisturiser.
  • Boost skin health at night with the inclusion of DermaFix ACC Retinol + or MD Prescriptives Vitamin A Propionate working to promote and maintain a healthy skin structure for a more resilient skin.
  • It might be winter, and you might be covering your face with a mask but that is not enough to block the harmful rays that can cause premature ageing and possible skin cancer. Be sure to make use of DermaFix DermaShield SPF40 / SPF50 High Protection sunscreen.


Strengthen your skin by incorporating DermaFix products that work to promote skin barrier health:


DermaFix Ceramide Complex firms the skin whilst helping to combat skin dryness.

DermaFix Bio-Hydrating Cream helps to prevent trans-epidermal water loss for a restored and strengthened skin barrier.

DermaFix CBD Lotion restores & strengthens the barrier and provides anti-oxidant protection whilst preventing further trans-epidermal water loss.

DermaFix Skin ResQ nourishes a depleted skin whilst restoring skin hydration levels DermaFix Argan Oil is a natural source of essential fatty acids, preventing skin dehydration whilst repairing and restoring the skin barrier

Bio-Effective Cream is a rich source of essential fatty acids helping to restore the natural lipid barrier of the skin

MD Prescriptives Intensive Scar Repair is formulated with Copper Peptides for boosted skin healing. This rich emollient offers additional barrier protection and repair.


For more information on the above mentioned DermaFix Cosmeceutical Skin Care products, or for additional advice on how to best care for your skin, visit our website on or call us directly on 0861 28 2323.