Covid-19 has changed life as we know it. One thing most of us didn’t expect to encounter is “maskne.” The masks help reduce the spread of the virus, but they are rough on faces. They rub against skin, leading to irritation and inflammation, and they can trap oil, dirt and sweat on the skin, causing mask acne around your lips and on your chin. For those lucky enough to not be familiar with maskne, allow us to explain.
WHAT IS MASKNE?
Breakouts, redness or irritation on the upper cheeks, lower cheeks, jawline, chin, nose, and around the lips - the areas of the face covered by protective face masks - from being enclosed for long periods of time. There is a significant overlap between mask induced acne and the traditional acne, which is a type of acne induced by friction.
WHAT CAUSES MASKNE?
Wearing a mask or face covering can causes breakouts for any of the following reasons:
Friction from the mask against your nose and cheeks can cause the skin barrier to become irritated. An irritated skin barrier may have difficulty balancing oil and hydration levels, thus causing breakouts.
Masks trap humidity against the skin. This increase in moisture, combined with the warm environment created by the mask, allows bacteria to grow and causes an increase in breakouts.
Masks, especially those that are fabric based, absorb oils from the skin. The mask, now saturated with oils from the skin, rubs against the skin and sebum left behind, causing clogged pores.
HOW TO PREVENT IT
Wash your face regularly
Start by washing your face before you put a mask on and after you take it off.
Opt for mild cleansers that won’t strip your already sensitive or irritated skin.
Moisturize after cleansing to prevent dryness and help restore skin’s natural protective barrier.
Look for moisturizers with calming ingredients to help with any redness or irritation.
Skip makeup if possible
Wearing too many products, including layers of makeup can cause build up on the skin.
If necessary, choose non-comedogenic AND OIL FREE products.
Choose masks wisely and wash after every use
Using soft cotton masks will help reduce friction and irritation and allows the skin to breathe WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
Masks should be washed after every use to avoid growing microbes in the weave of the fabric.
HOW TO TREAT MASKNE