Maskne. The struggle is real. While wearing a face mask protects in many ways, it can leave your skin dry, irritated and acne prone. Let’s take a look at what causes it and how to treat it—so your skin stays healthy too.
Let’s start with why it’s happening. In most cases maskne is caused by clogged pores. Think about it this way, you already have bacteria, oil, pollution on your skin throughout the day. Then if you are taking a mask on and off, your pores are very likely to be clogged thanks to sweat, dirt and dead skin cells.
Acne isn’t the only skin condition made worse by wearing a face covering. Rosacea flare ups, rashes caused by contact dermatitis, and folliculitis (an infection of your hair follicles) can cause itching and pain are other conditions caused by wearing a face mask.
How to treat it?
This is definitely not the time to skimp on your skincare routine. In addition to acne, mask wearing can also cause redness on the nose, chin and cheek area. Consider trying a skincare routine that supports healing and nourishing acne-prone and reactive skin. From cleansers to purify clogged pores and prevent future breakouts, to serums designed to control oil while hydrating with hyaluronic acid, and a blemish control gel that will help suppress acne-causing bacteria and regulate oil production, adding the right products based on your skin type or issues can help get things under control quickly.
Some are also turning to Blue Light or light-emitting-diode (LED) light therapy acne treatments as well. Studies show there are benefits to using blue light masks. Exposing the skin to different forms of low-level LED light does have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. While not a miracle cure, combined with the proper skincare routine and wearing the right mask, it definitely can’t hurt.
What you can do about it.
Start by considering the mask you are wearing. Weigh the amount of protection you get from the mask with the type of material that is best for your skin. Protection of course should come first, but many dermatologists suggest that a mask made from 100% cotton is a good balance. Letting your skin breathe better, studies are showing that tightly woven 100% cotton masks are outperforming most synthetic materials.
It’s important to keep your masks clean as well. Washing every couple of days is ideal so make sure you have several on hand to get you through the week. If you are really having an issue with breakouts, you can also stop wearing makeup on your face for now—just focus on making those eyes pop until your acne clears up. If you get home and your mask has made your skin sweaty, consider washing your face with a gentle cleanser or micellar water so all that grime is not sitting on your skin throughout the day.