The pandemic had incorporated masks being our day-to-day accessories to wear to protect us from the COVID virus. However, it draws a setback for some people with oily skin, combination skin, to acne-prone skin. Maskne or mask acne is rather a new term to explain a condition where one is experiencing acne breakouts along the jaw, cheeks, and mouth caused by wearing a face mask. Aside from pimples, it may cause redness, bumpiness, irritation, and chaff, which also trigger skin conditions such as dermatitis and folliculitis.
In most cases, maskne is the result of clogged pores. You already have oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells on your skin, and when you wear a mask, these substances can build up more and block your pores. Then, wearing a mask also traps humidity due to breathing and sweating and could increase the risk of breakouts. Friction between the materials of the mask against your skin can also lead to chafing and irritation.
Maskne can be frustrating even though it's a common side effect of wearing masks. Not to mention that we still need to wear masks for an undecided period even though it's bringing negative effects on our skin. Thus, how do we take care of it?
Wash your face regularly
You need to pay attention to your regular skincare routine, starting from washing your face. Use lukewarm water when washing your face in the morning, at night before going to bed, and after wearing a mask. Avoid rubbing your skin with your hands or towel as it may irritate.
Avoid cleansers that contain alcohol or perfume because those ingredients can cause irritation and make it harder for your symptoms to heal. Use a gentle cleanser. Most importantly, pat your skin dry when you're finished washing your face.
Hydrate and hydrate
You need to keep your skin hydrated, which can be achieved with the help of moisturizer. Choose a non-comedogenic moisturizer that likely won't block your pores. If your maskne involves irritation, you may want to apply a mild cortisone cream together with a moisturizer that's rich in ceramides. This routine will protect your skin and relieve itching and irritation.
Let your skin breathe
If you have a long day outside, try to remove your mask for 15 minutes every 4 hours to help give your skin a break. However, you should remove your face mask only when you can practice physical distancing. Also, don't forget to wash your hands before taking a mask break.
Ditch your foundation
You mustn't put a lot of product that could further clog the pores including makeup. Skip your foundation, concealer, and blush while you're treating maskne to speed up the healing process.
Choose the right mask
The type of mask you're wearing also affects the likeliness of maskne to develop. Choose a face mask that fits snugly on your face, but is also not too tight, has two or more layers of fabric and is made of natural fabric such as cotton, and has a wire at the top to prevent air from leaking through. Avoid synthetic materials that can irritate the skin, such as nylon or rayon.