What is ‘Maskne’ and how to fight it
While we all have learned to wear a mask -literally- everywhere we go, you might be one of the few that have been chosen by the skin gods and haven’t noticed any changes in your skin health and texture. For the rest of us, our new nemesis is known as‘maskne,’and the struggle is very real.
Breakouts throughout this pandemic haven’t really come as a surprise, especially considering the fact that stress is one of the top causes ofskin issues. If you notice breakouts and redness that suspiciously appear around the nose, chin and mouth area, then you might be a victim of acne caused by wearing masks: maskne. The cause? Wearing a mask for prolonged hours can penetrate your skin’s superficial layer through friction, that layer acts as a shield to keep the moisture in and the bad stuff out. Masks also generate humidity, which is bacteria’s favourite hang out spot. However, wearing a mask is currently essential and is one of the best tools to stop the spread of Covid-19. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to get rid of friction and lessen maskne..
Time for a texture change
The market has been flooded by masks of all types, colors and sizes since the beginning of the pandemic.Try to opt for cotton or a polyester blend – basically anything that is close to a soft t-shirt or pillowcase in texture. Those materials will not irritate and rub against your skin as much. These can be pricier than a disposable mask, but think of it as an investment for your skin (that’s what I tell myself when I drink Fiji water!). You can also make your own, and don’t forget to clean it often.
Amp up your skin care routine
If you are concerned over mask-related breakouts, you can change your skincare regimen by adding non-irritant gentle soaps and increase moisturizing. Some people in the healthcare industry have been swearing by diaper cream, which is known to help with irritation. Try to switch from heavy and pore-clogging foundations, to BB creams and tinted moisturizers. You can also try using healing ointments like Eucerin or CeraVe on irritated areas before putting on your mask.
Try out some new products and remedies
If wearing a mask for hours at a time is essential to your work or daily life, then you can invest in some of the newest products that were designed just for maskne. Our Korean friends at Dr Jart+ are always ahead of the skincare game, and have come up with patches you can wear under your mask or face cover. You can also consult a dermatologist for personalized tips to help your skin go through mask-related acne.
And if everything and anything fails, just remember: this is temporary and it will pass. Your skin has a 100 per cent track record of recovering from trauma and bad phases and can bounce back with good health, consistent care and a healthy diet.
Note: Face masks do not and cannot replace the need to wash your hands and social distance and cannot prevent the spread of Covid-19 alone.