Right now, wearing masks is a reality for most of us. The new normal requires us to wear masks regularly and for longer periods of time. Unfortunately, wearing masks bring about a new issue for some people: “maskne,” or acne that occurs from wearing a mask. For those in certain industries that require masks, maskne is nothing new, but for others it is becoming a pesky issue that wasn’t a problem before.
What triggers maskne?
When you talk and breathe while wearing a mask, the mask creates a warm and humid environment where bacteria becomes trapped. Plus, friction from the mask can create further irritation. The type of fabric also plays a role in whether maskne is triggered. Tightly woven fabrics with more than one layer provide the best protection; however, they also create a warmer environment. Some people may have sensitivities to any mask fabric in general. Certain fabrics can also lead to increased dryness. These factors all lead to maskne. Wearing an unwashed mask also triggers maskne.
How to minimize maskne?
Here are 15 steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing maskne.
Staying on top of your oral hygiene will reduce the amount of bacteria that you breathe into the mask.
This will prevent bacteria from accumulating in your mouth.
Limit or skip wearing heavy makeup, such as thick layers of foundation and powder. Wear a lightweight tinted moisturizer or foundation instead. Make sure it is fragrance-free.
If you spend a lot of time outside while wearing a mask- a Mask tan line might be in your future...unless you prevent it!
Lip balm can smudge and smear onto your skin and if it has essential oils or added fragrances, they can irritate your already sensitive Maskne.
Takes extra effort but it’s worth it! Hand washing will ensure that bacteria from the rest of your laundry is not mixing into the mask.
The steam will help kill bacteria.
Leaving your mask out in the sun after washing will also help banish bacteria. Plus, letting the sun shine on your acne for a few minutes can help it heal faster!
In the morning and at night, use a double cleanser that is non-stripping and non-drying, like our 2-Step Cleanser.
We know that when acne props up the instinct is to battle your skin. But don’t scrub aggressively, because that causes dry skin and creates more opportunities for bacteria to get trapped in microcracks. Also exfoliators that are too strong can further irritate your Maskne. Be gentle.
Make sure your cleanser has calming and gentle ingredients without essential oils or fragrances. Washing more means your skin can become dried out if the cleanser is too harsh.
A gentle exfoliating serum can help dissolve impurities and heal your skin. Gentle is key.
This is especially important right now. A good moisturizing serum like T-Zone + Cheeks will create a protective layer against bacteria and penetrate your skin with healthy nutrients, while soothing irritated skin.
If you find yourself getting pimples, use a pimple patch to get rid of them quickly.
Most importantly - be consistent with your skincare routine to keep it balanced, healthy and nourished with gentle ingredients.
For many people, wearing a mask isn’t ideal, but it is part of our current way of life. If it is causing changes in your skin health, it is essential to take more precautions to minimize irritation, including acne that crops up. With a nourishing, healing, and rejuvenating skincare flow (like Navinka’s!), you can keep your skin healthy even while wearing a mask.