Today I wanted to talk about the, oh so lovely, breakouts and rashes that many have been experiencing lately due to daily mask wearing. These breakouts are called mask acne , now coined “Maskne”. This has become a nuisance and concern for many, so let’s talk about it and what we can do.
What causes Maskne?
Maskne — which is referred to as acne mechanica by derms — it’s caused by the combination of rubbing and friction from the mask, which irritates the skin barrier, as well as the hot moisture trapped inside, which dilates the pores and allows bacteria and oil to clog them up. Once the follicles are trapped with gunk, they become inflamed, leading to breakouts.
This is commonly seen with athletes wearing helmets and baseball caps. If those areas that are being covered are not properly cleaned, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast which = breakouts and infections of that area.
What can we do to minimize breakouts?
Wash mask after every use OR replace with a new one if you’re using disposable. You should also test out different fabrics.
Avoid bleach & fragrances when washing.
Make sure mask isn’t too tight causing too much friction.
Avoid makeup and heavy moisturizers under masks.
Make sure your skincare products are noncomedogenic, meaning they are not pore clogging.
Wash face AM/PM with a non drying Cleanser. Avoid harsh soaps like Dove or Ivory that will strip your skin barrier.
2x’s a week use a product containing salicylic acid or an AHA like lactic or glycolic to keep pores clean. Keep in mind we don’t want to create any irritation to the masked area by over using these ingredients.
Keep the skin hydrated with Hyaluronic Acid Serums & lightweight moisturizers.
A diligent skin care regimen will help the skin bounce back from mask-inflicted congestion. If you can, it’s also a good idea to let your skin breathe while you’re out and about wearing a mask. While it’s ok to wear mascara and eyeshadow, you may want to take a break from foundation. Clean and clear is the new look this year ;-)
Have questions or need more advice? Feel free to email, message or come see me at the office.
Looking forward to seeing you soon!