There’s no doubt that wearing a mask is one of the most effective solutions to keeping covid at bay- both for yourself and for your community. Unfortunately, keeping our loved ones safe can provoke some not-so-pleasant side effects on our skin.
Whether you’re an essential worker spending 8 hours a day with a protective mask on, or your daily outings with your mask is causing major irritation to your complexion, you’ll benefit from reading our most essential tips on how to get rid of maskne.
Keep reading to learn about common maskne symptoms and what you can do to soothe and protect your complexion at home to keep your flare-ups at bay.
In this article, you will learn:
- What is Maskne?
- 5 Common Maskne Symptoms
- Why These Reactions Occur
- 3 Skincare Solutions for Maskne
What is Maskne?
As the term suggests, maskne is a type of acne breakout that occurs in the areas a face mask is worn. Since you’ve been wearing your mask on a [hopefully] regular basis, you may have noticed a few extra pimples in specific areas on your face including the bridge of your nose, your cheeks, and your chin. If that’s the case, you’re likely dealing with what dermatologists are calling "maskne."
Essentially, most cases of maskne are a form of acne known as acne mechanica. To put it into perspective, this is what athletes like hockey and football players commonly experience in the areas where their helmets frequently brush against their skin.
Common Maskne Symptoms
Frequently wearing a mask can cause any number of symptoms, including:
- Clogged pores
- Acne cysts
- Chaffed skin
...But why are these reactions happening?
To put it simply, your skin consists of water, lipids, and proteins; wearing masks can cause an imbalance in the skin over time, causing excess oils (more lipids) to accumulate while trapping sweat and moisture that cause the proliferation of bacteria. The result: clogged pores that cause visible reactions like acne.
What’s more, face masks can also cause serious skin irritation from all the constant friction. As the mask is physically rubbing against your face throughout the day, your skin's protective barrier may become damaged.
Avoid These 5 Maskne-Provoking Habits
Prevention is always your best bet. Continue reading to discover what you can do to keep your skin protected throughout the pandemic.
Overdoing it with your skincare-
This is not the time for a 10-step skincare routine. First and foremost, if you start developing maskne, be gentle—that means avoiding using too many treatments. During the quarantine, many women have been enjoying at-home face masks, scrubs, and treatments. This can compromise your skin's protective barrier. Instead, we recommend giving your skin some time for R&R.
Wearing your mask in your car and private outdoor spaces-
The warmth and humidity under your mask in the summertime can cause acne to fester. When you feel your skin is flaring up, remember that you can (and really should) give it a breather. Masks aren’t meant to be worn everywhere.
When you're somewhere private, like in your car, one of the most important things you can do is to let your skin breathe. Once your skin begins feeling irritated, find a secluded place to take a few minutes for your skin to relax while pat drying it of excess moisture. Your face will appreciate the break, especially if you have acne-prone skin.
Using stripping cleansers-
The constant friction from wearing a mask can leave your skin barrier damaged. For that reason, it’s essential to avoid any products that are drying, stripping, or aggressive which will further compromise your precious skin barrier. Instead, opt for a gentle foaming cleanser to help unclog your pores (more on this later).
Wearing too much makeup-
Maskne is already triggered by pores that are clogged by factors like sweat and oil, so try to avoid adding makeup to that list. This is a time to forgo wearing foundation while making an effort to apply solely non-comedogenic cosmetics on your skin.
Not washing your mask-
Washing your mask regularly doesn’t only help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it also works to effectively remove potential acne-causing germs. Be careful to use a laundry detergent that’s fragrance-free so as not to further irritate your skin.
Our Top 3 Skincare Solutions for Maskne
Regardless of if you’re experiencing the pesky effects of maskne or not, applying these skincare solutions can help you soothe your skin and prevent future irritation:
Gentle daily foaming cleanser
Your skin’s moisture barrier works as a protective defense that prevents inflammation. It all starts with a good cleanser. To keep your skin protected and balanced, be sure to cleanse before and after wearing a mask to ensure your skin stays clean and free of harmful bacteria. Avoid overly-abrasive face washes; your goal should be to cleanse your skin without stripping it of any precious moisture, and a gentle foaming cleanser is going to do just that.
Nightly facial pads with potent actives
Nightly treatments are an effective solution for maskne, and TreCeuticals offers a protection-enhancing option to offer major skin-repairing results in the comfort of your own home. Combining the potent skin-renewing effects of retinol, the deeply-hydrating effects of hyaluronic acid, and an abundance of antioxidants, this blend of highly effective active ingredients promotes the production of new healthy skin. Simply apply an Everyday But Sunday pad to your face and neck each night after our Priming Cleanser.
Everyday moisturizer for long-lasting hydration
Hydrating your skin enhances its protective hydrolipidic film barrier, meaning your skin is fortified against irritating external factors like surgical masks. While using a moisturizer is essential to prevent your mask from rubbing against your skin and causing a negative reaction, it’s important to use a lightweight cream, especially one with repairing ceramides. If your skin is too “wet,” the condensation that accumulates from your breath while wearing a mask can clog your pores. Thankfully, using a gentle daily cleanser and nightly exfoliating facial pads will help remove build up on your complexion before they can allow bacteria to accumulate.
TreCeuticals offers clean, dermatologist-backed skincare essentials to keep your complexion radiant and healthy. Shop the collection here.