The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in most of us wearing face masks to work, parks, supermarkets, airports, etc. Mask-wearing is taunted as an effective way to prevent catching the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Covering your face with an artificial garment is not nature’s way. Your skin is meant to breathe, but you can’t compromise your health.
There have been reports of people developing various skin problems from prolonged mask-wearing, including:
- Irritation and redness
- Acne breakouts
- Peeling skin
- Face tenderness
- Abrasions and cuts
- The aggravation and resurgence of conditions such as acne and eczema
Don’t let this list of possible complications scare you. There are effective ways to reduce the chances of “Maskne.” It’s a term coined to explain the mask-related acne breakouts caused by heat, moisture, friction and clogged pores.
Six Ways to Reduce “Maskne”
1. Deep Cleanse Your Pores
You don’t have to go it alone when dealing with an acne breakout. Specially formulated natural and organic cleansers can help. Keep in mind that acne results when hair follicles are clogged with excess oil debris. Wearing a mask creates an occlusive barrier trapping oil and debris into the pores so a thorough deep pore cleansing would help unclog pores allowing skin to breathe more.
The team at Natural Skin Junkie recommends using an exfoliating cleanser with salicylic acid to kill bacteria and get deep into the pores. Or a coconut oil and honey based deep pore cleanser for sensitive, irritated or skins with open cuts.
2. Modify Your Skincare Routine
Maskne is the new combination skin with one skin condition on top and another on the lower half. So in some cases, you should perform your usual daily routine on the top half of the face and a modified routine on the bottom.
Before wearing a mask, keep your skin clean by washing your face with a salicylic based cleanser and applying either a serum or a light moisturizer on the lower half. Keep it simple and light. The less layers, the better. Perform your usual routine to the upper part of your face.
Notably, after taking off your mask, it's time to repair the damage done. Use a gentle cleanser, a corrective serum or hydrating oils, or a soothing mask.
The right products should be gentle on your skin and not break the natural moisture barrier. And they should not make an existing condition worse.
3. Hydrate, hydrate & hydrate
Dry skin is prone to damage. It’s less supple and cannot properly heal itself. Masks may continuously rub against your skin, eroding its protective barrier. This may aggravate symptoms of rosacea/dryness.
Fortunately, you can apply a light serum and/or a moisturizing cream before wearing your mask. It’s essential to keep the skin hydrated. But, oilier skin types should avoid wearing a moisturizer under your mask. A combination of serums and moisturizers will keep your skin hydrated and lock in moisture longer.
4. Use comfortable fitting masks
Tight masks have a more abrasive effect on sensitive skin. Ensure that you find a snug-fitting mask. Choose a comfortable material for cloth masks such as 100% cotton.
5. Heal mask wounds
Do you have existing sores, blisters, or scabs? The recommended care regimen involves tenderly cleaning the affected area with a fragrance free oil based lotion cleanser. Applying a jojoba oil, infused with the healing properties of rose, jasmine and CBD oils, will help heal tears in the skin without causing breakouts ---all while providing a sealant effect around wounds. Using moisturizers is also paramount. Avoid scrubs, astringents/toners, and clay based masks.
6. Go Makeup Free
Going make-up free has been a trick up the sleeves of medical workers. They skip on foundations and concealers during work hours or least avoid wearing makeup under your mask.
“What if I really need makeup?” Seek out non-comedogenic products. They have a reduced chance of clogging up your pores. It’s also important to avoid harsh chemicals in certain face products.
We recommend wearing face masks.
Keep rocking your facemasks! It’s the official position taken by health agencies. Remember that you don’t have to suffer the effects of prolonged mask-wearing. At Natural Skin Junkie, you can find gentle skincare products and routines to stop maskne in its tracks.