Maskne. This brand new term is starting to pop up more and more as facemasks become a norm in our daily routine.
Now that we are required to wear facemasks in workplaces and public spaces, many people find that they are experiencing new or increased breakout activity under their masks.
We all know by this point that wearing a mask plays an important part in slowing the spread of the novel corona virus. What we didn’t expect are the skin care challenges it has created for many of us.
When the face and nose are covered, it traps extra moisture in the lower face area and doesn’t allow the skin to “breathe” the same way it does when it’s uncovered. Friction from the mask, oils and sweat excreted by the skin combined with bacteria create the perfect breeding ground for blackheads and pimples.
Since we will be sporting facemasks for the foreseeable future, here are a few tips to help combat the new and dreaded maskne:
- If you are wearing a fabric mask, ensure it is cleaned every time you wear it. Alternatively, switch up your disposable mask daily or more frequently if your job requires it.
- Make sure to cleanse your skin twice a day in the morning and evening. Choose a cleanser that is best suited to your skin type and be sure to manipulate it on your skin for 1-2 minutes before removing in order to thoroughly cleanse your skin.
- Use a light-weight moisturizer under the mask area since your skin’s natural oils and sweat already tend to accumulate here.
- Use a chemical exfoliant like retinol or an AHA regularly to help increase cell turnover and to slough off dead skin cells that can accumulate on the skin’s surface and trap oil and bacteria in the pores. Chemical exfoliants will also help to brighten the skin if you are experiencing dark spots from healed blemishes.
- Use a spot treatment containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to help heal breakouts faster.
- Don’t pick or scratch breakouts. Scratching/picking can often make them worse and create post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or dark spots on the skin.
It’s important to note that stress and hormonal fluctuations also play a role in our skin’s health. While the mask can aggravate acne prone skin, often times the stresses that many of us are experiencing as a result of the pandemic can also have an effect on acne and breakouts.
In addition to being mindful about our skin care routine, we also need to be mindful of our mental health. While there is no quick fix to reducing stress but try to identify a few things that help you destress each day. Whether it be exercise, meditation, relaxing with a good book, or whatever your thing is, try and make it part of your regular routine to not only help with your complexion but your overall health and wellness too.
And remember we’re always here to help with any skin care questions or concerns you may have!