No More Maskne: Dealing with Breakouts from Wearing a Mask
Maskne is a relatively new term coined during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since wearing a mask is the only way to stay protected from the deadly virus, we sometimes have to wear them for several hours at a stretch. As a result, acne may breakout at strange spots on our faces.
What Causes Maskne?
Mask related acne might arise due to friction and rubbing of the mask on your skin surface. The friction irritates the skin and creates microscopic tears, which makes it easier for dirt and bacteria to enter your skin.
You can easily identify maskne if most of your acne lesions are appearing on the bridge of your nose, cheeks, and chin. If worn for long periods, masks can also lead to the following, especially during the summer months:
- Contact dermatitis
- Skin breakdown
- Irritant dermatitis
- Perioral dermatitis; and
- Other skin conditions
Since not wearing a mask is not a solution under current circumstances, you need to find other ways to keep your skin safe from acne induced by wearing a mask.
Some of the preventive steps that you can take include:
- Using a gentle cleanser to wash your face every time you wear or take off your mask
- Using a face cleanser containing BHA to soothe redness and inflammation
- Using exfoliants which contain AHA to dissolve any dead cells and unclog the pores
- Keeping your skin hydrated with a gentle moisturizer
- Since foundations can keep bacteria in your skin pores under the mask, it’s better to not use them at all
- Using an oil-free, non-comedogenic sunscreen that removes excess oil from your pores and keeps your skin protected from UV rays
- Using a sunscreen containing zinc oxide, as it has antimicrobial and anti-irritant properties that are good for sensitive as well as acne-prone skin
If you have already developed acne from wearing a mask, the first thing you need to do is to create a barrier between the mask and your chapped skin. Use an occlusive, hydrating balm on the areas where your mask sits on your face. You can also apply medicated pimple patches, such as COSRX - ACNE PIMPLE MASTER PATCH that not only keep your lesions away from your mask but also dries up the pimples fast.
Apart from all that, you should wash your fabric mask every time you wear it. This will not only keep germs away from your face but also keep breakouts under control. Those masks tend to trap oil, dirt, and sweat. If you wear them for a long time without washing them, they may worsen your skin condition. It’s better to keep a few masks handy so that when you wash one, you have another one to wear. Alternatively, you can explore the usage of disposable masks.
It's important to stay safe but don't forget to keep your skin healthy too!