I want to talk to you about masks, because many people are now being forced to wear them.
There’s something you should know… they may damage your skin’s microbiome.
Organized medicine doesn’t even acknowledge the role of the microbiome on your face, but let me tell you what it does.
Your microbiome is an invisible shield of microbes that work together to protect your skin and promote its health and youthfulness.1
These beneficial bacteria also keep your pH level in balance – protecting your skin against psoriasis, eczema, acne and aging.
But when your pH is thrown out of whack by constant friction – not to mention the damp, warm humidity from your breath – your microbiome becomes unstable. This provides the perfect breeding ground for bad bacteria, allowing your complexion to become more susceptible to flare ups and break outs.
5 Tips To Protect Your Facial Skin
But there are steps you can take to protect your skin – no matter how long we have to wear masks in public.
- Avoid disposable face masks when possible: Disposable face masks are a lot rougher in texture than reusable masks, causing more friction and skin irritation. Single-use masks also make you sweat more since they’re not as breathable.
- Choose soft, organic, breathable material without chemicals or colors. Choose a 100% cotton or two-layer silk mask that provides a snug, secure fit. Avoid synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon and rayon. They’ll make you sweat more.
- Wash your mask after every use. This will not only help to protect against the virus, but it will also get rid of the dirt and grime that can cause outbreaks. And after you wash, use a fabric conditioner. This will soften the cloth so you don’t get any more friction.
- Wash your skin with a gentle probiotic cleanser that restores your microbiome. Avoid harsh soaps and body washes that will further strip away this unique environment. I recommend using rosehip seed oil extract. Its essential fatty acid chains closely resemble your skin’s own lipid matrix. It also contains prebiotics that help nourish and protect the microbiome – while reducing wrinkles and scars.2
- Take a break. If you need to wear your mask all day while working, give your skin a break every few hours. When it’s safe to do so, take the mask off for at least 15 minutes. This allows your skin to breathe.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Prescott S, et al. “The skin microbiome: impact of modern environments on skin ecology, barrier integrity, and systemic immune programming.” World Allergy Organ J. 2017; 10(1): 29.
2. Griffiths C, et al, “Restoration of collagen formation in photodamaged human skin by tretinoin (retinoic acid).” NEJM. 1993; 329(8):530-35.