Wearing a mask is one way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There is no sign of the pandemic ending anytime soon and we don’t know how long masks will be part of our daily wardrobe. One of the drawbacks of wearing a mask is the dreaded maskne (mask + acne). It is generally caused by the friction from the fabric of the mask against your skin. It is worse in the summer because of moisture getting trapped in the mask from humidity and perspiration. If you already suffer from acne, or another type of skin issue like eczema, rosacea, allergies or even if you just have sensitive skin, you may be more prone to maskne or other irritations.
Now that you know what maskne is, we spoke to an expert to see what can help with the breakouts. Brittni Alexandra is the owner of Toronto’s B.Beautiful Studio. The certified aesthetician shared her tips on what you can do to help avoid or improve maskne:
Maskne Prevention Basics:
Change or wash your masks every time you wear one. Makeup, sunscreen and oils from your face will transfer onto your mask. They are a breeding ground for bacteria. Make sure that you wash your masks and let them dry completely every single time you wear them. If you have exercised in a mask, change it (leave an extra, clean mask in your gym bag). If you use disposable masks, only wear them once.
Don’t skimp on hygiene and skincare. People have been cutting back on their skincare, in some instances. Make sure that you cleanse enough and that means at least twice a day – morning and night. Using the right products is also important. If you are experiencing maskne, your old routine may not be working because you need a stronger product. When you wear a mask, sometimes you are wearing makeup, you are talking with the mask on – it’s a breeding ground for bacteria. You may also be touching your face more than you think that you are.
Cleanse your face before putting on a mask. If you don’t, you are trapping dirt and bacteria below that mask. Your skin is usually oily when you wake up in the morning. If you don’t wash off the oils, they will be trapped in the mask all day. If you are wearing a mask for more than 20 minutes at a time, the first thing that you should do when you remove it (after washing your hands) is to cleanse the area. You can use a makeup wipe if you need something convenient if you are at work or the gym.
Don’t switch to acne products, properly cleanse your skin. They will strip your skin, dry it out and may even cause more acne. It’s all about proper cleansing with a gentle cleanser morning and night. Continue to use a moisturizer based on your skin type. Don’t use as much, or use a lighter formula if you are wearing a mask for extended periods. If you are like me, have dry skin, and you need a heavier moisturizer, let it absorb completely, around 15 minutes, before you put your mask on. This also keeps your mask properly sealed because the moisturizer isn’t making it slide around.
You can learn more, and follow Brittni and B. Beautiful Studio on Instagram @bb.by.brittnialexandra.