Face masks have played a huge role in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 Virus. However, in its role to keep us safe, it actually brings danger to us; more specifically, danger to our skin. Acne Mechanica, or commonly known as “maskne”, is a skin condition brought on by prolonged wear or facial personal protective equipment. With constant used of the mask, it imposes heat, friction, and occlusion on the skin. With the added environments caused by breathing, talking, or sweating, it is a recipe for breakouts. While this new skin condition may seem new, it has actually always been around. Maskne most commonly occurs within the medical field, as many medical professionals with sensitive skins can attest to this problem
How to Prevent Maskne
How To Prevent Maskne
- Always Wash Your face (before & after) – When wearing a mask, it is good to always wash your face. Using a fragrance-free cleanser can prep the skin before it is cover for a prolonged period of time. Even after you take your face mask off, you should wash your face. Dirt and oil may skill linger even after the mask is off and can clog up your pores.
- Use Moisturizer - A good moisturizer keeps the skin hydrated and looking fresh. However, it acts as a protective barrier between your face and the mask. As the shield protecting your skin, it reduces the friction caused by the mask upon your skin. It’s good to keep in mind that the most beneficial moisturizers are fragrance-free; fragrances can lead to allergens and cause more irritation to the skin.
- Don’t Wear Makeup – Wearing makeup under your mask can caused clogged pores and breakouts on the skin.
- Wash your mask – If you used a reusable mask, make sure to wash it after every use. When we talk, breathe, or sweat, it causes a build-up of bacteria that lives within the mask. There are different materials that are made into the reusable masks, however, it is said that a cotton-fabric mask is best for the skin., as it allows it to breathe. If you plan on using a disposable mask, make sure to only use it once. The disposable mask is made for one-time use and can cause maskne if reused.
- Choose a fragrance-free laundry detergent – Fragrances can lead to irritation of the skin – avoid them at all cost. You should also avoid using fabric softeners as well.
- Beware of chemical products – Medicated skincare products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinol can cause irritation under the mask. A small amount is okay but overusing it can lead to acne if paired with a mask.
- Washing – A simple skin care routine before and after an extended time of use of a mask can help prevent any breakouts on the skin. It is recommended to wash your face twice a day and any time after sweating. Avoid any skin care products that may be rough on the skin and have a fragrance. Rather than rubbing your skin, you can pat your skin dry using a clean towel. The overall use of a gentle cleanser can remove dirt, germs and oils that have built up under your mask and on your skin.
- Moisturizing – Dry skin can usually be a major player in causing maskne. With the added friction of the mask on your skin, it can lead to irritation causing the area to get inflamed. Dermatologists may recommend choosing a moisturizer that contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, or dimethicone. Everyone has their own unique skin type, that is why it is suggested that you should choice products that are aimed to help your specific skin type. People who have oily skin should look into using gel moisturizer. People with normal skin can opt for lotion, while those with dry skin should use a cream to protect them.
“Maskne” is a term used to refer to the acne or facial breakouts that are caused by the prolonged wearing of a face covering. Those experience masken my experience symptoms such as pimples, blackheads, bumps, redness, and irritation.
Bellow are the recommended tip in treating and preventing maskne:
- Maintain a good skin care routine
- Avoid any irritating products
- Wash your mask after every use
- Use a well-fitted face covering mad of preferably cotton