For many people, wearing a mask is now a daily routine. There are even some who haven't been outside without a mask in months. While people need to play their part in delaying the spread of the coronavirus, there's no use denying that wearing a mask has its challenges. For example, many people have started complaining about acne breakouts caused by mask-wearing.
If you're suffering from this (it's now called “maskne”— which is short for acne caused by masks), you're not alone. It's a widespread side effect of using masks. Thankfully, maskne can be easily prevented. In this article, we'll be going through the easiest ways for you to prevent acne breakouts from your mask. But first, why do maskne breakouts happen in the first place? The answer is simple. Masks may be great for preventing the spread of diseases, but they aren't so great for your skin. They can irritate the skin, clog pores and finally, flare acne. The mask's material may absorb the natural oils of your face and could lead to your face being extremely dry. Residue from detergents could also get stuck underneath the mask and irritate your skin.
Tips For Preventing Breakouts From Your Mask
Wash Your Face First
Always make sure that you're putting your mask over a clean face. If not, dirt will get trapped underneath it and will cause breakouts. Make sure that the cleanser you're using for your face is fragrance and oil-free, as it will give your face a cleaner and smooth finish.
Makeup can be a habit that is difficult to drop, but if you don't want that maskne, then skip the makeup. The reason is simple. Masks act like occlusive barriers, which means that makeup trapped underneath them could quickly lead to clogged pores. And clogged pores could lead to breakouts.
Use A Good Moisturizer
Moisturizers help keep your skin hydrated and also reduces the chafing effect of mask friction on your face. However, avoid heavy moisturizers that can clog the pores and breakouts.
Make Sure You Wear A Clean Mask
Masks get dirty too. Dirt and oil from your skin end upon them, and wearing them over a clean face dirty your face. That's why you must always wear a clean mask.
Avoid Harsh Products
If you're going to wear a mask, you should avoid using harsh products. Products like retinol and benzoyl peroxide may help solve particular skin ailments, but they are also really harsh. This means that they do not react well with your skin under a mask and may lead to reactions. So it would be best if you steered clear of them.
Don't Reuse Surgical Masks
Surgical masks should not be reused because there are no reliable ways to clean them. The CDC doesn't recommend them for the general public specifically because of this reason. However, if you do choose to wear one, make sure you don't wear it twice.
Should I See A Doctor
If you're suffering from the regular maskne that many others suffer from, it should clear off after two to three weeks of following these tips. However, if it doesn't, you should probably see a dermatologist. You don't have to book an appointment in person, as many now offer virtual services.
The coronavirus pandemic means that we may have to wear masks for a long time yet, which can lead to uncomfortable problems, like a breakout of acne. But cheer up. In no time, we'll rid ourselves of the bothersome masks, and the pandemic will be gone for good!