Hate to be the agent of bad news but you can hold your face mask accountable for this spotty situation.
The unfortunate side effect of wearing a face mask is mask acne or ‘maskne’ and it may show up as pimples. redness or irritation around your mouth, cheeks, and jawline.
What is ‘maskne’ and why does it happen?
Maskne is caused by the trapping of sweat, oils and bacteria on the skin while wearing a mask.
Face masks irritate by either physically rubbing against the skin, which can damage the skin’s protective barrier, or by trapping moisture, which can cause acne.
This type of acne is called acne mechanica, which includes any skin issues due to pressure, friction, rubbing, squeezing, or stretching.
It’s different from other kinds of acne which may be hormonal because it occurs only in areas where the mask sits against the skin
In healthy skin, there are normal amounts of bacteria and yeast that live there, but with clogged pores due to excess sweat and moisture from the mask, these organisms overgrow, leading to pimples or acne cysts.
Can you prevent maskne?
Whether you’ve noticed maskne already or not, including these steps may help to prevent more pimples from occurring.
Wash your face regularly.
Wash your face twice a day, before and after wearing a mask.
After washing your face, use a moisturiser to prevent dryness and repair the skin’s natural protective barrier
Wearing products under the mask can cause a build up on the skin.
If you can do without makeup, this is the time to allow your skin to breath.
Choose masks wisely.
Opt for a soft, cotton mask (if possible) to reduce rubbing and irritation. When exercising with a mask, sweat and friction are inevitable, so the trick is to use a clean, dry mask every time. Then remove the mask (after you wash your hands,) and wash your face as soon as your workout is done.
Wash your facemask after every use.
This is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to remove any acne-causing bacteria and oils from the mask.
Use hot water, laundry detergent, and white vinegar, which has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Be sure to look for a laundry detergent that is fragrance-free as leftover fragrance residue could also irritate the skin.
The most essential thing you can do when it comes to maskne is to pay attention to how your skin is reacting to wearing a mask.
Take note if you feel like moisture is building up under your mask or if your skin feels irritated or tender.
This is your cue to step away from others, remove your mask, pat dry any moisture, and let your skin breathe for a few minutes.
Your skin will appreciate the break.