Since the rise of Covid-19, masks and face coverings have become a part of our daily lives. While masks have played an important role in slowing down the spread of the virus and ensuring public safety, they have also resulted in a new type of skin condition – Maskne.
If you’re suffering from acne around the mask area, you are not alone.
What is Maskne?
The term Maskne is a combination of the words “mask” and “acne”. Professionally known as acne mechanica, Maskne refers to skin irritation or facial acne that is caused by using face masks.
How do masks cause Maskne?
First, the friction caused by the mask rubbing against your skin can lead to a skin condition called acne mechanica. This condition is very common among athletes. As sports equipment rubs against the athlete's already sweaty body, the skin becomes irritated leading to acne mechanica. Wearing masks for a long period of time, especially the tighter-fitting ones that are worn by healthcare and other front-line workers, can cause a similar problem.
Second, wearing masks for an extended period of time can lead to excess oil, sweat, dead skin, and dirt being trapped under your mask. This build-up clogs your pores which creates a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms. This, in turn, can cause red inflammatory acne bumps, deep white/blackheads, and redness or skin irritation around the mask area.
How to treat/prevent Maskne?
It’s very important to keep your skin clean. Washing your face before and after wearing a mask can help prevent Maskne. Just beware of over cleansing. It can be harsh on your skin and cause dryness and even breakouts. To prevent over cleansing, try creating a morning and nighttime skincare routine by incorporating soothing cleansers.
2. Use A Natural Moisturizer
Keeping your skin hydrated is key. Try using a natural moisturizer that is free of toxic chemicals to replenish your skin. Applying moisturizer before wearing a mask does two things. First, it helps prevent dryness and itchiness which can cause your skin to breakout. Second, it creates a barrier between the mask and your skin, thus reducing the friction.
3. Use Fewer Makeup Products
If you're suffering from Maskne, consider opting for a lighter makeup application. Try skipping foundation on the days you have to wear your mask for a long period of time. Wearing foundation underneath your mask can cause bacteria to get trapped in your pores, consequently worsening your Maskne.
4. Wash Cloth Masks/Throw Out Disposable Masks After Each Use
Making sure that your mask is clean is a very important step in preventing Maskne. It’s very easy to carry around a mask in your bag and keep reusing it. We’ve all done that. However, doing so can result in the buildup of dirt and bacteria on your seemingly clean mask which then transfers to your skin causing acne and other skin problems.
TIP: Replace your mask after wearing it for 4 hours.
TIP: Make sure your mask fits properly. To help avoid chafing, your face mask should neither gap excessively nor should it be too tight.
Our Recommendations for minimizing excess oil build up and treating Maskne
A soothing yet powerful facial serumwas formulated to reduce oily skin effects by countering excessive sebum production. Juniper and Oregano essential oils have clarifying properties, while Alpine Willowherb extract helps balance oil glands and maintain the skin's healthy acid mantle. Turmeric root and Green Tea extracts help clear clogged pores, resulting in a healthy balanced complexion.
This is the ultimate spot solution for deep, stubborn blemishes. Formulated with Bakuchiol, a powerful plant extract that mimics retinol without the unpleasant side effects. Clove essential oil is known to help calm the skin from the appearance of redness and swelling. Golden Jojoba, being an ester and not an oil, is the closest to our own natural skin sebum and is non-comedogenic. Black Cumin seed oil moisturizes and balances skin sebum without clogging the pores.
Though Maskne has become a new skin challenge we face, it is one we can overcome. The safety of our community always comes first, so face masks are a priority. Just remember that during this time, pay extra attention to your precious skin underneath the mask and treat it with care.