You’re not going crazy!
Your mask could be triggering breakouts!
While maskne might be new to many of us, it didn’t originate from the COVID pandemic. Acne triggered by mask wear over long periods has been an ongoing issue for people in professions that require regular mask wear. Now, the general public has become aware or even victims of this skin issue.
“Maskne” is the term for those acne flare-ups and unsightly rashes caused by frequent mask wearing. On top of this, many people are suffering with dry lips, chapped hands from all the sanitising, overall skin dryness.
Your breath is captured by your mask which creates this humidified environment that is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. So if you have any susceptibility to acne, or for any reason whatsoever, then chances are you’re going to experience some form of maskne.
6 tips for reducing ‘maskne’
Protect your skin!
You can prevent breakouts from your moisturiser by using a moisturiser that best suits your skin type. When selecting a moisturiser, follow this guide:
- Oily skin: Gel moisturiser
- Normal or combination skin: Lotion
- Dry to very dry skin: Cream
Choose the right mask
Maskne is really not that you’re coming into contact with any new bacteria, it is more about the environment you’re creating under your mask. This can be exacerbated by the type of masks that you wear too. Particularly those cheap, blue disposable masks – they can be the most irritating on the face because of the polyester and synthetic fibres. The cloth ones are generally better.
Wear clean masks – for more than one reason
A clean mask protects you from airborne bacteria on the outside and skin irritants on the inside. If you’re wearing the same mask on-and-off several times a day over the course of the week, then there’s a lot of stuff that builds up. Change disposable masks at least daily and wash your cloth masks daily.
Choose a hypoallergenic detergent
While you might not normally react to laundry detergents, your face is much more sensitive than other areas. Something that ordinarily might not upset you, when you start wearing that on your face, you might start to get skin issues you wouldn’t normally see there.
Minimise makeup wear
Makeup just adds to the disruption of the skin’s barrier. It is prone to harbouring bacteria because your skin can’t breathe properly. Opt for a tinted moisturiser or use this time to give your skin time to breathe.
Not the best time to be experimenting with skincare
Avoid trying new skincare products that can irritate your skin. Wearing a mask for even a short time can make your skin more sensitive. To reduce skin problems, avoid trying harsh products, such as a chemical peel, exfoliant, or retinoid for the first time.