Life as we knew it has become a distant memory. Face shields, gloves, sanitisers and face masks, of course, are a new reality.
Shikha Vaswani, founder of Beaumark says, "While masks play a crucial role in reducing the spread of coronavirus, they can take a toll on your skin. Having to wear a mask for long periods of time can cause breakouts, an oily face, and even the growth of bacteria on your skin. Masks can also cause chafing, which can be extremely uncomfortable and make you feel self-conscious about your appearance."
However, it is easier to fight mask acne than the virus, so check out these tips to prevent mask breakouts and stay safe by wearing your mask!
What is exactly is maskne and how to prevent it?
"As the name suggests, maskne refers to acne, pimples, breakouts, and other irritations on your skin that results from wearing a face mask. This occurs when sweat, oil, and bacteria get trapped on your skin while wearing a mask, creating a perfect breeding ground for breakouts. Maskne is a small price that we have to pay to survive in these times," says Shikha
Wash your face regularly and use a gentle cleanser
"The dirt and oil if trapped under your mask for a long time can cause breakouts. Always put on a clean mask and make it a point to wash your face. Wash your face twice a day, especially as soon as you remove your mask. Use a gentle cleanser to avoid further friction and irritation to your skin. Beaumark’s Maskne Gentle Cleanser is gentle and includes ingredients such as Salicylic and Citric acid that reduce breakouts by opening clogged pores."
Add a ‘barrier’ such as a moisturiser
"Always apply a moisturizer after washing your face. Look for a lightweight moisturizer that hydrates your skin and acts as a barrier against the friction from your mask. Avoid using heavy products, as they can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Using a moisturizer formulated for your skin type can also help avoid breakouts." Follow this guide when choosing a moisturizer:
Oily Skin: Gel Moisturizer
Normal Skin: Lotion
Dry Skin: Cream
Skip the makeup
"Avoid wearing makeup while treating maskne. Cosmetics like foundation, concealer, and blush can clog your pores and delay healing. If using makeup products is necessary, then look for products labelled as ‘non-comedogenic as they won’t clog pores and leave your skin with bumps."
Choose the right fabric for your mask
"Use 100% cotton masks as they are breathable and are less likely to make you sweat underneath. I recommend using multiple layers of lightweight cotton for your mask that is both breathable and protective." However, if you’re working out, use a mask made from wicking fabric like polyester, as it doesn’t hold onto sweat as opposed to cotton masks. Above all, choose a mask that feels smooth on the back of your hand.
Resist the urge to touch your face
In case you develop maskne, try not to your face or pick at your maskne. Touching your face or picking at acne is an easy habit to develop, making it a more difficult tip to follow. Touching your face can transfer oils from your hands to your face, which can clog pores and cause acne, whereas picking your acne can make it worse in the long run, in some cases leading to acne scarring, which takes even longer to heal. So, resist the urge to touch and pick your face to ensure clear skin.
Always wear a clean mask
"One of the most effective ways to protect your skin from unwanted breakouts is to use a clean mask. Keeping your mask clean will aid in the prevention of blemishes and the maintenance of healthy skin as you are avoiding the re-introduction of bacteria onto your skin. If you use disposable masks, changing them throughout the day can help to reduce dirt and oils that accumulate on your face. If you prefer cloth masks, wash your mask after every use with an unscented hypoallergenic detergent and allow it to dry completely. If you are wearing a mask to exercise, then change it immediately after use. Putting on a clean mask rather than wearing the same one for hours appears to be an easy way to avoid maskne."
Consult a dermatologist
"If you’re following a skincare routine, using oil-free products, cleaning your mask face regularly but still have breakout and acne, then it is highly likely that the mask may not be the cause behind it. In such situations, it is best if you visit a dermatologist. Once you’ve identified the exact problem, you and your doctor can determine which treatments work best for your skin."
Wearing a mask is important to reduce the spread of the virus, and while wearing a mask is the new normal, maskne doesn’t have to be. The right skincare routine along with consultations from a dermatologist can help reduce mask-related skin problems and get you clear and healthy-looking skin.