Maskne 101: 5 Tips on How to Keep it Under Control
by Wendy KimonJan 28, 2021
Wearing masks has become so common and considered as the new norm now that it is even to the point where it is awkward to find people not wearing masks in public. In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, wearing a face mask has become part of our daily routine. It’s now required in many public places, such as restaurants and grocery stores, as a barrier against the new coronavirus that spreads through respiratory droplets.As much as wearing face masks keep us safe, many is finding it troubling with having a layer of fabric directly on top of the skin for a lengthy amount of time. If you have been struggling with breakouts or skin irritation from wearing a mask, don't be worried because you’re not alone. This condition, known as “maskne” (mask acne), is a common side effect of using a mask. Maskne doesn’t simply cause pimples, though. It may also result in skin issues including redness, bumpiness, and irritation. If you’re concerned about maskne, read on. We’ll explore the potential causes, as well as ways to treat and prevent it.
What causes maskne?
Now, let’s not make a rash decision to discard your mask for the sake of your skin. We need to find a way to stay bacteria-free and keep our skin acne-free. Maskne, a combination of mask and acne, is a real hazard that’s going on inside your mask. Here is a great IG post on Maskne by @funskincare → #SKINTALK: Mskne, “Mask Acne” Cause and TipsAccording to the New York Times, masks can “worsen skin issues that already exist or cause new ones” and acne flares up regardless whether your profession requires you to be wearing masks all day or not. Masks trap moisture and the humidity inside your mask works like a magnet to dust and dirt, clogging your pores. The hot, humid environment also makes a perfect home for yeast, fungi, and bacteria. This may come across as terrible news to those with acne-prone skin but the worst is yet to come.Anna Lien-Lun Chien, M.D. at John Hopkins Medicine, subverts our common understanding of maskne and actually claims that maskne is not as simple as fungal- and bacterial-acne but can be an umbrella term that includes all the rash, atopic dermatitis, and allergic reaction you get from wearing masks. The places that are covered by masks, ironically, are exposed to all these skin troubles and the conditions can get worse if not treated in a timely manner.
1) Hydrate effectively but keep it light
For most winters, which is normally a dry season, it is best for you to gear up with moisturizing cream with thick texture and add facial oil to your daily skincare regimen. This winter, we are going to do our skincare a little differently. You probably already felt that it is super moist under the mask and the surface of your skin becomes sticky with sweat and sebum. Hydrating should always be the most important part of skincare but keeping it light is key to keeping your skin maskne-free this winter.
2) Exfoliate your jawline with a gentle cleanser
You naturally focus on your T-zone when you exfoliate because that’s where your pimples appear the most. For maskne, you need to target your jawlines. Make sure you really get those places that are always covered by your mask. Your jawline just happens to be the only part of your face that’s never liberated and gets clean air when you wear masks. Gently exfoliate your jawline so that you make sure you prevent the dead skin cells from accumulating in your pores. By exfoliating, you are making sure your pores breathe while preventing your pimples from building up.
3) A cooling gel or a calming cream might help
If you are feeling that your skin is feeling more irritated than usual, putting on a cooling gel or a calming cream at the end of the day might help with the redness. When you are letting your skin breathe fresh air, adding some cooling gel or calming cream could allow the temperature drop faster, allowing your skin to resume its balance. Using skincare products that contain tea tree oil can alleviate the mild irritation while soothing your skin.
4) Try breathing through your nose to prevent humidity
This is actually very simple but effective. You are letting more moisture build up inside your mask when you breathe with your mouth. Try breathing through your nose to lessen the humidity and heat inside the mask. Giving yourself a 10-minute break every 4 hours could also help prevent maskne. But don’t feel overwhelmed and pressured to pop out for fresh air every 4 hours! Breathing through your nose is enough to do the trick.
5) Use a mask with antibacterial properties or a fabric with less skin irritation
Wear your mask right not only to protect yourself from COVID-19 but also from maskne! You could prevent or get rid of your maskne instantly if you switch to the right mask. Stay away from masks made out of synthetic fabric that could cause skin irritation. Using cotton masks is a moot point when you don’t wash it so wear the right mask with proper material and keep it sanitary. You could avoid the fuss overall by using a mask with antibacterial properties. One of the great ingredient to take notes is ‘hemp‘.