The Skinny on Pandemic Skincare | Carson Tahoe Health

The important precautions you’re taking to avoid the coronavirus can have unintended consequences for your skin. Take steps to keep it happy while staying healthy.

Cold weather can be tough on your skin by drying it out. But this fall and winter, your body’s largest organ faces additional challenges—dryness and irritation caused by recommended safety measures related to COVID-19. Wearing a mask, for example, may cause acne, rashes, or peeling, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Frequent handwashing can rob your skin of moisture, causing cracking.

The pandemic seems likely to continue for several more months, which means it’s important to keep following “stop-the-spread” recommendations—and to incorporate daily skin care into your wellness routine to counteract potential skin issues.

Soothing Steps

Here’s what you can do to relieve or prevent skin problems or irritation related to COVID-19 precautions:

Find your fit. A clean, comfortable, close-fitting mask—cotton is best—won’t rub against your skin, which can cause blisters.

Forgo makeup when wearing a mask. Makeup can cause acne when your face is covered.

Keep your face clean and hydrated. Wash your face daily with a mild cleanser, and apply a moisturizer that suits your skin type (dry, oily, sensitive, or combination).

Show your lips some love. Applying petroleum jelly can prevent drying and chapping, which are more likely when you wear a mask, according to the AAD.

Wash your hands wisely. The AAD recommends applying a fragrance- and dye-free hand cream or ointment right after washing, when your hands are still damp. Be sure the product you use contains mineral oil or petroleum jelly. You should also moisturize your hands after using hand sanitizer, but wait for it to dry first.

DIY Facial Moisturizer

November is National Healthy Skin Month, and what better way to celebrate than with a homemade moisturizer to soothe dry spots before winter arrives? All you need is raw coconut oil and vitamin E oil.

Preparation is simple. Place your jar of coconut oil in warm water to liquefy, which only takes a few minutes. Pour one cup of coconut oil and a half-teaspoon of vitamin E oil—you can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil—in a mixing bowl and stir together. Pour your new moisturizer into a jar and apply to dry skin right away, or store the mixture to use later.

Frustrated by a rash, acne or another skin problem? Visit to find a dermatologist who can help.