Treating your skin well is necessary for its health and well-being. Keeping it clean is a great first step, along with natural skincare treatments for common problems like acne.
Though there are many factors that can contribute to skin issues, today we have one particular contributor in mind. It may not be the new guy in town, but in pandemic-land, it’s increasingly more prevalent. It’s even been dubbed with its own cutesy name. Yes, we’re talking about the dreaded maskne!
What is Maskne?
The term ‘maskne’ (mask acne) refers to acne and breakouts that are caused by the continuous wearing of face masks or face coverings. Maskne has turned into a big problem for many since the onset of COVID-19. Yes, in the face of a pandemic, pimples may seem like a small problem, but the maskne skin condition is no small concern for the people going through it. You deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin!
What Causes Maskne?
Things like stress and lifestyle can contribute to acne, but with maskne, the culprit is traced to face masks and coverings that can thoroughly irritate your skin. Below are our top three reasons your face is vulnerable to maskne.
Your Mask is Chafing You
The reality is that wearing a mask for prolonged periods of time can be downright uncomfortable. It continuously rubs against the skin of your face, creating friction. This friction irritates and inflames your skin. Then the skin irritation and inflammation causes breakouts, otherwise known as mask acne or maskne.
Your Skin Can’t Breathe
Masks are supposed to create a barrier between the air and your nostrils and mouth. However, it also creates a barrier between your skin and fresh air. That means your skin can’t breathe and things like moisture begins to collect.
You’re Breeding Bacteria
Unfortunately, since masks trap moisture on your skin, this then creates a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. By blocking your skin from fresh air and holding in moisture, you’re actually perpetuating a cycle of events that results in skin issues like maskne.
Maskne Skincare Tips
Remember that maskne isn’t that different from regular acne. However, since the triggers differ, that means there can be different ways to avoid it as well. By adjusting your skincare routine to cater to the new demands of your skin and life, it can go a long way in preventing maskne. Two vital things you can correct and see success with are below.
Non-Comedogenic Skincare Products
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to mask-appropriate skincare is to make sure all your products, especially moisturizer, are non-comedogenic. This will ensure that your skincare products don’t cause clogged pores and clogged facial hair follicles. Clogs like these are a major contributor to breakouts!
Trade Harsh Cleansers for Gentle Cleansers
As with regular acne, you need to properly cleanse your skin twice a day, morning and night. However, with maskne you can’t use harsh cleansers or it will simply strip your skin of oils and dry it out. This will have an opposite effect to the one you’re desiring and unfortunately, it will leave your skin more vulnerable to maskne.
Try using a gentle cleanser instead, preferably one that is free fragrances and sulfates. Fragrances and sulfates are known to irritate and dry out your skin.
If you are already suffering from maskne, try opting for a facial cleanser that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is famous for its acne-fighting abilities. It unclogs your pores and also exfoliates your skin at the same time, which may help to reduce your risk of further breakouts.
Trade Physical Exfoliants for Chemical Exfoliants
Acne breakouts are caused by a buildup of dirt, oil, and bacteria on your skin. Maskne isn’t any different. Using an exfoliant regularly––at least twice a week––can help to unclog pores, remove dead skin cells, and prevent the buildup of bacteria and debris on your skin.
However, it’s advisable to use a chemical exfoliant instead of a physical exfoliant. This is because chemical exfoliants are comparatively gentler on your skin, while physical exfoliants could create micro tears in the skin, causing irritation and cracking. All of which will only serve to make your skin even more vulnerable to maskne.
Trade Heavy Moisturizers for Lighter Moisturizers
Possibly the most important step in any skincare routine, and instrumental in dealing with a variety of skin issues; moisturizing is essential. For maskne, it’s best to choose a light moisturizer. Make sure that your moisturizer is not an occlusive, but rather a humectant. Opt for a lotion-like moisturizer formulation, instead of heavy cream ones.
Maskne is nothing if not annoying but thankfully, there are things you can do to help mitigate it or even prevent it altogether. A proper skincare routine is one of the best things you can do for your skin in the era of masks and face coverings. Oh, and don’t forget to swap out your mask or wash your reusable mask regularly!