If this was from a few years back, wearing face masks used to be just a thing for fashion on a normal day. But with the new normal today, it’s become one vital piece of protection that we all must have in order to be safe throughout the pandemic.
As the pandemic continues, time and the current infection rates only proved how important wearing a face mask is as a way to lessen the spread of the coronavirus. With the strict implementation of this practice, people have no choice but to wear it at all times especially when in public. While it’s keeping us safe, for some people, wearing masks for long periods can cause some serious side-effects such as mask-induced acne, A.K.A “Maskne”.
Maskne Is Not A Trend — It’s Real
Maskne is not a skin condition that has only popped up during the pandemic. It has always been a problem for professionals in the medical field in which they are required to wear masks regularly. Now, in our new normal where the general public are obliged to wear masks, its side effects have become magnified.
In medical terms, Maskne (Mask + Acne) is referred to as acne mechanica, a skin condition caused by prolonged wearing of facial protective equipment such as masks. Long-wear of masks causes bacterial imbalances and irritation caused by friction in the skin that promotes skin issues such as acne, perioral dermatitis and rosacea flare-ups which appear around the nose and mouth.
When masks are worn, they impose heat and friction between the mask and skin since it traps a lot of air that creates moisture as you talk and breathe. The area now becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause irritation, dryness, and itch to the skin.
Preventing Face Mask Breakouts
With the on-going pandemic and the rising cases today, we cannot really afford not to wear masks. This also means that maskne can happen to anyone if skin care is not well taken care of.
Here are some useful tips on how you can prevent your skin from breaking out:
1. It’s all about good hygiene
We cannot stress how much practicing good hygiene is important nowadays. With the face shield and face mask that we have to wear, we are always reminded to take precautions especially with our interactions with others and of course with the things we lay our hands-on. Sanitize or wash your hands now and then to keep your hands clean.
Wash your face thoroughly before and after wearing your mask. Use a gentle cleanser that is not dehydrating, fragrance-free, and oil-free, and rinse with lukewarm water to strip off your face of dirt and oil which when trapped on the skin can cause breakouts. Always keep your face clean before you put on your mask.
2. Clean your masks properly
Since you’ll be wearing one all day when in public, always make sure that you wear clean masks. A mixture of sweat, oil, mucus, and saliva can get on your face mask as you wear it. Never reuse disposal masks. If you’re wearing a cloth mask, always wash your it with anti-bacterial soap and store them in a clean bag to keep them fresh and clean for your next use.
3. Wear the right mask
Another thing to consider about your mask is its material. Choose masks that are made with materials that don’t irritate your skin and cause allergy. Wear one that has a perfect snug to avoid too much friction that can irritate your skin. This will also ensure that you are completely protected with your mask on since there will be no gap for the virus to pass through it.
4. Give time for skincare
Follow a skincare routine that suits your type of skin. Always put moisturizers especially after wearing your mask to soothe the dryness of the skin. It also acts as a barrier for your skin and the mask which will reduce the friction. Choose one that contains hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, and ceramides. Choosing the right products can be a trial and error process. Choose skincare products that are mild in the skin and contain ingredients that can trigger allergy or irritation.
5. Dare to go Bare
With a huge mask covering half of your face plus a huge plastic barrier that overlaps it, no one would literally notice whether or not you are wearing makeup. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, wearing full-on make-up under a mask will only cause clogging of your pores which will cause the breakouts. Also it will only make your mask dirty.
With this whole pandemic going on, we need to prioritize our health and safety more than anything else. Following public safety, protocols are a must for us to protect ourselves from getting infected and to prevent the virus from spreading. With the new normal, it really pays to be extra hygienic. If you are suffering from a worse case of maskne, consult your dermatologist to know how to better care for your skin condition.