Face Masks May Protect You From Coronavirus, But Are They Damaging Your Skin?

Girl wearing face mask

Dr Terri Vinson explains how wearing face masks may impact your skin and how can you protect it whilst still staying safe. 

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country, the Government and medical professionals are urging the public to stay home or incorporate social and physical distancing to stop the spread of the disease. Safety measures such as facial masks and gloves are also being used to reduce the risk of infection.

However, it is important to acknowledge the impacts these face masks may have on the skin. 

Cosmetic Chemist and Founder of Synergie Skin, Terri Vinson says that regular use of these face masks may cause congestion and breakouts.

Terri Vinson
Are Face Masks Damaging Your Skin?

“With the increased use of face masks [due to the coronavirus] many of you may notice congestion and break outs around the nose and chin. This is because the skin is a barrier that must allow itself to absorb water and remove excess oil and skin toxins,” says Terri.

She says, “wearing a face mask reduces this natural process and acts like a block to the skin’s natural processes. The humid environment created by the mask is a breeding ground for bad bacteria and the sweat if not able to evaporate off the skin naturally”.

Terri also highlights that there is also the issue of the synthetics and materials that make up the mask.

Many brands are using synthetic additives in the manufacturing of their face masks.

Terri says, “[These additives] may include bleaching agents, perfumes or certain materials added to the manufacturing process. Some of you may be allergic to these additives and others may just be irritated by them and notice flaking and redness.”

As these masks are essential to reduce the rate of infection, it is now even more important to create and implement a skincare regime to combat any of these negative effects.

Girl with dewy skin and a towel on her wet hair
Create and implement a skincare regime to combat the negative effects of face masks

Terri recommends using a simple four step skincare regimen that will cleanse and repair the skin from irritation and congestion.


Whether you are at home or still on the go, Terri emphasises the importance of cleaning your face in the morning and evenings with a gentle cleanser to remove surface build up on the outer layer of the skin.

TIP: Opt for a cleanser that is free from sodium laureth sulphate, parabens, artificial colours and fragrances


On a freshly cleaned face, apply a few drops of a pre-serum product to boost the skin’s resistance to physical and chemical irritants. Synergie Skin’s Dermiotic (RRP $69) assists in relieving symptoms of skin stress and is a substitute for a traditional toner which can often dry out the skin. 

Terri says, “The probiotic lysate, together with the prebiotic skin nutrition, restores skin balance of beneficial and harmful bacteria, and prevents the triggers of skin inflammation.” She recommends applying the product morning and night for best results.


There is no need to overcomplicate your skincare regime with products and serums. Terri says the most important serum to use is a Vitamin B serum as it strengthens and repairs the skin, prevents dryness and controls excess oil.


If you are experiencing dry, red or sensitive skin as a result of overdoing it on the face masks, opt for an anti-inflammatory moisturiser in the morning and a soothing facial and a soothing facial oil in the evening to reduce irritation. Synergie’s De-Stress calming facial oil (RRP $110) is fortified with blackcurrant seed soil, pure olive squalene, sea buckthorn and macadamia oil to hydrate sensitive skin. 

Otherwise, for all other skin types use a moisturiser with high levels of zinc oxide, a wonderful anti-inflammatory ingredient for the skin

Tara Mckenzie

Like many of Bondi Beauty's readers, Tara has two main passions; health and beauty. As a group fitness instructor you'll either find her dripping in sweat during a HIIT class or with a full face of bronze makeup. If you meet Tara in person be prepared to act excited as she tells you all about your star sign and why you should start carrying a rose quartz around in your purse.

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