In an attempt to slow the spread of Covid- 19 countries worldwide have started to enforce wearing facial coverings in public. With this new rule in effect and with more businesses and locations reopening, more and more people are starting to feel the effects of wearing facial coverings for a prolonged time period. Skin troubles like contact dermatitis on the face and “maskne” are on the rise and people are now more than ever looking for new ways to help their skin heal and breathe.
If you are wearing a face mask regularly you may have noticed that your skin seems to be a little more acne prone than it used to be. One of the biggest side effects of wearing a mask is “maskne” and yes it’s a thing. The actual medical term best suited to describe “maskne” is acne mechanica and it refers to the skin irritation that is caused by pressure, heat and rubbing against the skin. Your face mask is most likely the culprit in causing this. While wearing your mask, you are creating a hot and wet environment between it and your skin. This can lead to your pores becoming clogged; combined with the added skin friction made by your mask, this is a recipe for breakouts and even other uncomfortable skin irritations.
Thankfully there are a few things you can do to help keep your skin healthy during this time.
- Wash Your Face Mask Regularly: Keeping your mask clean is essential during this time. It’s best to use a mild and fragrance free detergent to clean your mask, heavy detergents with fragrance can cause skin irritation.
- Wash Your Face: Washing your face regularly with a gentle cleanser will help with unclogging your pores caused by dead skin, dirt, excess oils and bacteria.
- Go Botanical (this one is for the ladies!): Make-up is fun but unfortunately a lot of foundations and concealers are filled with heavy oils that can clog the pores which can cause breakouts.
- Moisturize Your Skin: The constant friction made by your mask can cause your skin to become dehydrated. Dry dehydrated skin can cause breakouts and other skin irritations. Using a lightweight and non-comedogenic shielding lotion like Skin MD will help with rehydrating the skin and also help with creating a barrier between your mask and skin.
Times are rough but dealing with your skin doesn’t have to be. Using the skin care tips above could help but if the problem persists or becomes too much to handle it is always best to check with your dermatologist to find the best treatment for you and your skin.