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Looking after your skin whilst in PPE

During the Covid-19 pandemic, PPE has become a vital part of the uniform for healthcare workers. From face masks to gowns, gloves and goggles, wearing this daily can have an impact on your skin.

We’ve come up with some tips and tricks on how to treat and prevent any skin problems caused from wearing PPE on a regular basis.

Establish a skincare routine

There have been many images of healthcare workers, whose faces have been marked from wearing face masks and goggles for prolonged periods of time.

If you are in PPE or wearing a mask, it is important to keep your skin clean and well moisturised.

Wash your face daily with a gentle cleanser before and after wearing a mask and goggles. This will remove any oil, dirt and any bacteria build-up. After cleansing, it’s important to moisturise so the skin retains its moisture and hydration as wearing a face mask and protective eyewear can dry out your face and cause irritation.

When picking a cleanser and moisturiser it’s always best to go fragrance free to avoid further irritation.

Whilst on shift

Public Health England recommends only wearing PPE for two-hour stretches so your skin can dry and recover. It is important to protect the skin whilst wearing PPE as any damage to the skin can become infectious. Removing your PPE during your shift, when it is safe to do so, will give the skin a chance to recover and dry.

When cleaning your visor or goggles always make sure they are dry before putting them back on so no disinfectant product is being placed on the skin. 

PHE have also recommended applying a moisturiser 30 minutes before wearing a mask as this will help keep retain the skin’s moisture and keep it hydrated, stopping the mask from rubbing too much.

Masks that have been fit tested are less likely to cause skin damage. Check your skin regularly for any signs of redness, sores or cracking as you will need to replace your mask.

Vitamins are important

It’s important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated as this will hydrate the skin. Getting plenty of sleep and a balanced diet can contribute towards skin health. Taking Omega-3 fatty acids is also beneficial for your skin health, can minimise breakouts and balance hydration.  

The eyes Chico, they never lie

We know makeup makes you feel better and put together sometimes however, if you’re wearing a mask for the day, we would recommend going make up free. Masks can make your face feel sweaty and sweating in makeup will clog your pores and cause breakouts.

Instead of a full face of makeup, how about some eye makeup. At the end of the day it is all in the eyes?

If you have any skincare tips make sure you share them with us below.

We have also teamed up with Nursem for tips on looking after your hands during the pandemic. Check it out here.

The information in this blog is for general informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider for personalised guidance. The author(s) and publisher(s) are not liable for errors or omissions, and reliance on the content is at your own risk.

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