Corona face masks are what we have to start making an essential part of our daily attire. Thanks to the pandemic we’re now having to wear corona face masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to wearing these facial masks every day. Not only in terms of how you breathe but also the health of your skin. Doctors have been noticing an influx of patients experiencing acne from masks – maskne. Acne breakouts from wearing a corona face mask.
While masks may be essential to protect us from the virus, sadly they are taking a toll on our skin. Breakouts are also showing up in the worst areas, like around the mouth and chin. Many people are experiencing a bad reaction to these masks and if you are too, you’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong, in fact, doctors are saying it’s a very normal response.
These breakouts happen because there is a build-up of sweat, oil and makeup once they’re on your skin. This happens because the corona face masks cover these oils which cause them to become blocked. In addition, dermatologists explain that breathing into the mask creates a lot of humidity which just accelerates the process of causing acne. Fortunately, there are simple ways you can help protect your face from the mask. It comes down to the type of mask you’re wearing and how often you wash it.
Corona Face Masks And Maskne
A lot of the time people are using their corona face masks, taking it off and plonking it down when they get home. Then they use it again. This process happens again and again without the person stopping to think twice about washing it and all the bacteria it is breeding.
Two things: First, if you’re using disposable masks then you should not be re-using them and you need to dispose of them effectively and hygienically.
Your disposable mask must be gently washed regularly.
Second, dermatologists recommend exfoliating your face with a face wash twice a day.
If we have learned anything from this whole COVID-19 pandemic, it’s how to live with good hygiene.
Mask and Acne means Maskne
Admittedly, this is a seriously nasty side effect of wearing corona face masks every day. The issue has become so common that it’s even given rise to the name maskne. The new name combines the words ‘mask’ and ‘acne’ and is springing up all over social media. Hundreds of people are struggling from the new blemishes and are venting their frustrations about the dilemma. This is particularly problematic for nurses and health-care workers who have to wear a mask constantly and are covered in the maskne.
Experiencing Breakouts For The First Time?
This is an especially worrisome problem for those who have never encountered acne or breakouts before. The issue is not only affecting hormonal teens, acne-prone adults or health-care workers wearing heavy-duty N95 medical masks for hours at a time. Corona face masks are being worn by everybody now. That’s why dermatologists are noticing a major spike in acne cases, even in those who have never had a pimple previously.
The facial area is a very sensitive part of the body and now we’re wearing corona face masks on it daily. This is why even those who’ve never experienced skin problems are now. Dermatologists officially call it maskne, mechanica. It is caused by the combination of rubbing from the mask, which irritates the skin barrier, as well as the hot moisture trapped inside. This moisture dilates the pores and allows bacteria and oil to clog them up. Once the follicles are trapped in the muck, they become inflamed, leading to terrible breakouts.
Apparently, this is very common with athletes too who wear a helmet or a baseball cap. Also, if you play an instrument that rests against the chin area, you may have experienced this skin problem as well. Doctors explain that not treating acne and cleaning your mask can cause infections that require prescription medication to get rid of it. A dirty corona face mask is a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria.
However, your best bet is to ensure that your mask is clean before you even worry about the clogged up bacteria underneath.
Maskne Repair Routine
If you’re going to wear a cloth mask whilst you exercise, then you must wash it frequently.
Corona facial mask acne is not something you can’t bounce back from. All it takes is a really great skincare regimen to help the skin repair itself from mask-inflicted congestion. It’s recommended that you wash your face before and after wearing a mask. We also recommend choosing a gentle skin cleanser that is free of harsh sulfates which can strip the skin of its protective oils.
Note that loofah and abrasive scrubs are not a good option for you right now either. Stick to using your fingertips only and then pat your face down gently with a clean towel. Once you’ve finished this step, then use a lightweight, fragrance-free moisturizer with ingredients like glycerin and niacinamide to help strengthen the skin barrier. Doctors also suggest waiting at least 15 minutes before putting on a corona face mask so the skin can fully absorb the product.
Your face will be slippery from the moisturizer, which will prevent the mask from sealing closed on your face.
Gentle Treatments Are Best
If you’ve just broken out into maskne then do your best to avoid any aggressive ingredients in your skincare routine. This includes serums and peels. Rather, start incorporating salicylic acid, or other beta hydroxy acid, to clean out the pores.
Also, limit the number of acids you use around the mouth area to prevent irritating the skin. Experts also recommend using a gentle exfoliating mask in the evening just once a week. You can then follow this with a night cream to restore moisture. Finish with a hydrating lip balm or serum to minimize chapping.
These steps might sound a bit tedious but experts believe the mask to be our new normal way of life. Corona face masks are an accessory we’re going to have to get used to. We don’t foresee not wearing them anytime soon. That’s why it’s crucial we know how to handle the side effects.
Corona face masks or not, our skin is very unpredictable. You never know how it will react and even when you take care of it, it can still have a reaction. Unfair as it is, luckily we have benzoyl peroxide. This compound reduces inflammation, kills acne-causing bacteria, and helps open up pores. It also targets all the main causes of red acne caused by your mask. Just be sure not to overdo it with the benzoyl peroxide, because too much will cause irritation. Use it in the lowest concentration available, which is 2.5 percent. It will be just as effective as a high concentration without the side effects.
Makeup And Mask Material Matters
There’s no better time than now to give your face a break from makeup. We know it’s tough, especially if you’re used to wearing foundation and blush daily. However, dermatologists advise against it because any kind of face makeup can lead to breakouts. Corona face masks can cause makeup to get trapped against your skin. This is because the environment is moist and humid.
Not good for achieving flawless skin. Moreover, it’s also difficult to fully wash off makeup that gets trapped in your corona face mask. Therefore, you’re potentially just reintroducing more bacteria to your skin every time you wear it. If you are unable to wear no makeup at all, then at least choose an oil-free and noncomedogenic foundation. These are less likely to make you break out when worn under your mask.
More importantly, the kind of corona face mask you’re wearing matters. Experts state that acne-prone clients should avoid cloth masks made of rough fabrics. They should rather opt for ones made with cotton fibres. Not only is cotton softer and less irritating on your skin, but it’s also breathable. This means less humidity will be created for breakouts to happen.
The bottom line: Make sure that you’re washing your mask regularly! Using a dirty mask is not doing your skin and your health any favors. It’s also best to clean your mask after using it with a gentle detergent that’s dye-free and fragrance-free. Dyes and fragrance will absorb into the mask’s fabric and cause irritation and acne when pressed against your skin for extended periods of time.
Maskne is real! How to fight breakouts if your mask is causing acne. New York Post. https://nypost.com/2020/05/12/maskne-is-real-how-to-fight-breakouts-if-your-mask-is-causing-acne/
Cloth Mask Acne Is a Real Thing—Here’s How I Cured Mine. Cosmopolitan. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a32315443/cloth-mask-acne-covid-19/
Coronavirus: How to protect your skin from side effects of wearing mask amid pandemic. Eye Witness News. https://abc7.com/maskne-face-mask-acne-skin-irritations-protect/6149255/