Smog, air pollution, blue light, solar radiation… We all know those enemies and so does the skin. Unfortunately, there’s a quite new gripe we struggle with these days: a skin condition caused by wearing a mask in the public space. See what maskne is and how to wipe it off your face.
What is maskne?
The term combines two well-known words: mask and acne. It’s quite new so maybe you haven’t even heard of it yet. As you probably guessed from the name, it’s a kind of acne which is caused by constantly wearing a safety face mask.
The pandemic and the call for covering the nose and mouth area make us wear face masks really often. Many people need to wear a mask for long hours, e.g. because of the profession and constant contact with a client. Maskne appears through spots on the face area which is covered by a mask. Some people wear it rarely but are bothered by the condition anyway. How to make the complexion better?
What are the symptoms of maskne?
The zits appear on the face area where you put the mask: cheeks, chin, jawline, around the lips. Most common blemishes include:
- open comedones (blackheads)
- closed comedones (painful bumps)
- dilated or broken capillaries
Why does skin break out under a mask?
Firstly, it is caused by the lack of ventilation: a protective mask should be air-tight at the edges. As a result, the skin gets little air. Unfortunately, most masks are synthetic and harmful for the skin. The mask clinging to the face tightly for many hours may trigger irritations, scrapes and infections.
How to prevent and get rid of maskne?
First and foremost: if you’re already bothered by maskne, you need to get suitable treatments to remove the blemishes but also remember to moisturize the complexion. Don’t pop the zits because it only intensifies the inflammation, making the problem worse. Use a toner which soothes inflamed skin, not drying it out or causing irritations. If the condition is really bothersome, try some topical treatments, both during the day and before sleep to give them time to reduce the imperfections.
Remember to replace the masks after a few hours of wear to avoid intensifying the inflammation and breakouts. If you wear cloth masks, wash them after each use at 60 Celsius degrees to kill the viruses and bacteria. Use mild washing liquids and iron your mask. You can also use a steamer. Also, remember about hygiene and don’t touch the face. If you wear make-up, keep it natural and lightweight, ideally don’t use any. Avoid comedogenic foundations which keep the skin from breathing.