Have you gotten home after a long day of wearing you mask to find out that the lower portion of your face is covered in sore, red spots? Acne caused by wearing a facial mask (referred to as maskne) is a common issue ever since wearing a mask became the new norm due to the ongoing pandemic. Health experts are advising us to always wear a mask when we step outside to reduce the spread of the virus. However, while we are taking the necessary steps to stay safe and keep others safe, we are faced with a new issue – maskne.
What causes maskne?
It is distressing to find sore and red bumps along your jaw, around your mouth and on the lower half of your cheeks. The reason why you are experiencing acne breakouts around this region is due to two main reasons. First reason being the friction from the mask rubbing up against your skin promotes inflammation, which leads to acne breakouts. The second reason is the trapped moisture in the mask is a breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms which leads to clogged pores and acne breakouts.
How to avoid getting maskne?
Since friction from the mask and moisture trapped are the two main contributors of maskne, there are a few adjustments you can make to avoid this issue. If you prefer wearing reusable cloth masks, make sure to only use ones that are made from 100% cotton. Cotton is a breathable and natural fabric that is gentle on the skin. Additionally, cotton does not trap excess heat and the moisture will get absorbed well. This will in turn reduce the chances of you having an acne breakout. Make sure to wash your masks after every use, so that there is no residue of makeup, sunscreen or skincare products that can clog your pores and lead to acne breakouts.
If you prefer to use surgical masks, replacing them frequently will avoid the build-up of bacteria. Doing this will keep your skin clear. If you feel the material is too harsh on your skin, try adding silicon strips to the pressure points. That way your skin will not get irritated from the mask.
Skincare tips to prevent maskne
- Wash your face thoroughly before wearing a mask. This gets rid of any bacteria, makeup residue or oils to avoid transference onto your mask.
- Wear minimal makeup when wearing a mask. Your skin is able to breath freely and the surface of your mask is clean and product-free.
- Wash your face after removing your mask. This will get rid of any bacteria and oils that maybe trapped on your skin. This is will ensure that your skin stays acne free as all the bacteria and moisture trapped is washed away.
- Use a clay mask at least twice a week to clean your pores. Clay masks are very good at absorbing the oils and cleaning out your pores. This will help you get rid of any bumpy texture on your skin and improve your complexion.
Written by Harshani Dinushika