The last time we met we spoke about acne. I thought I covered it all, but then, wearing masks became an everyday occurrence, eight hours a day and “Maskne” became the new buzzword on the internet.
When I speak of Maskne, (the medical term being Acne Mechanica) I am referring to acne or other skin irritations formed by excess pressure, heat and rubbing against the skin from wearing a mask (especially a medical, N95, or cloth face mask) for extended periods of time.
This friction, coupled with your pores being blocked by sweat, oil, makeup and the humid environment created with breathing in your mask, make for ideal conditions for acne! This probably looks like pustules around the nose, nasolabial folds, mouth and chin. They may even have the appearance of little dry or hard bumps/texture accompanied by dryness/flakiness in the mask area.
Let us dive into tips to help prevent or get rid of you current Maskne situation.
Tip #1: Make sure your skin is clean prior to putting on a mask and make sure your mask is clean too!
I know, this tip seems obvious and self-explanatory, but for those who want to know more it is all about creating an environment that prevents the build-up of bacteria. Gently cleanse the skin twice a day, using warm water, not hot, and pat the skin dry. Try using Sundari’s Gentle Gel cleanser — in-store or online at sivanaww.com. Do not rub the skin aggressively as the increase in friction can cause more irritation. If you cannot switch to daily disposable masks, make sure to wash your cloth masks regularly using a fragrance-free detergent (fragrance is an irritant) or, if you are feeling a bit extra — switch to a silk mask. Silk creates extraordinarily little friction on the skin, so will decrease that irritation tremendously.
Tip #2: Try not to wear makeup
If you are wearing a mask, you do not necessarily need to wear makeup underneath it. Don’t hate me, makeup lovers, but wearing makeup with your mask makes your breakouts worse and clogs the pores more! Now might be the time to invest in a “healthy” alternative or bb cream or a lovely hydrating moisturizer. I personally love Colorscience’s All Calm, which has acne-fighting ingredients, helps neutralize redness and has the added bonus of being an SPF 50 — in-store or online at sivanaww.com. Bonus, the time you save from applying your foundation is added time to slay that gorgeous eye look!
Tip #3: Moisturize!
We spoke of friction and even dryness that could occur with wearing a mask? If you prep the skin properly with hydrating serums and moisturizer, you are not only creating an extra barrier to the skin, but you are also supporting the skin’s function.
Choosing the right moisturizer is based on the individual and as much as I would love to recommend one, I suggest that you reach out for a complimentary consultation to choose the right product(s) for your skin type/needs.
Tip #4: Take off the mask.
No, I am not saying take it off irresponsibly — the heading was just for dramatic effect! Wearing your mask out in public is essential — especially in settings where the 6-foot rule is difficult to apply. What I am saying is you do not have to wear your mask 24/7. On your break, take a five- to 10-minute walk outside, remove your mask (or take the increasingly fashionable “hanging your mask from one ear to quickly don your covering” approach), soak up some sun (don’t forget the SPF) and be mindful to social distance. Or, if you are driving your car or alone at home, pull the mask down.
Tip #5: See an esthetician or dermatologist.
If your maskne continues to persist despite the above, then you should make an appointment to see a licensed esthetician or dermatologist.