On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Since then, people have been wearing masks as an effort to slow the spread of this serious virus.
Masks do come with some caveats. They fog up glasses and can restrict your breathing, and for some, troublesome bumps and breakouts we have dubbed, 'maskne'.
What is maskne and how can you prevent it from happening to you? We'll discuss this topic below.
What Is Maskne?
"Maskne" is a portmanteau of the words "mask" and "acne". As you might've guessed from breaking down the words, maskne is where you get breakouts thanks to mask usage.
The technical term for this kind of breakout is acne mechanica. Basically, the acne is caused by the extra heat, friction, moisture and dirt build up that comes from wearing a mask, especially a reusable mask that may have missed a wash.
At first, it may start out as just some small bumps on your skin. With time and more irritation, these bumps can turn into larger blemishes. Here's what to do.
Understanding how maskne can appear and why, perhaps you've realized that you have it too. The good news is, there are some things you can try to decrease maskne and its discomforts. Below are a few steps you can take for maskne treatment.
Wash Your Face Thoroughly & Exfoliate more Regularly
Throughout the day, not only does your face accumulate impurities, but it also naturally produces oils. If you wash your face before wearing masks, then this decreases how much dirt and oil you trap inside.
Try exfoliating with a mechanical (granule base) scrub more regularly. This will prevent the early signs of congestion and help refine texture of skin. If you use a chemical (acid base) exfoliant like salicylic, be careful not to over use. This can cause more agitation from dehydration and stripping of the protective barrier.
Use a Good Moisturizer
After washing your face, apply a good moisturizer. If you're going outside, pick one with a good SPF level.
Not only will this keep your face nice and hydrated, but it'll also protect you from the sun's harmful rays and provide a thin barrier between your skin and mask. SPF's with zinc oxide in them will work to reduce irritation and inflammation of skin.
Choose skincare that is designed to be gentle on skin and support acne regeneration. The last thing we want to do is temporarily see a reduction to only be left with long term damage.
Wash Your Mask Regularly
If you have disposable masks, you should only wear them once. Not only are they ineffective after a certain period of time, but the longer and more often you wear it, the more dirt and oil will accumulate.
If you use reusable cotton masks, then wash them after each use. This should get rid of not just the dirt and oil, but any bacteria that's clung onto the outer or inner sides of your mask.
Make sure you also thoroughly dry the mask before you wear it again.
Combat Maskne With Our Face Mask Tips
Your maskne may have had you feeling so hopeless that you were going to give up wearing masks altogether. But now, with our helpful tips, you'll be able to continue wearing masks and stay safe while decreasing your chances of developing that pesky maskne.