While we’ve all become used to wearing face coverings, some of us are finding our skin isn’t. Skin breakouts from wearing masks are a sign of the times with this form of acne, referred to as “maskne”, and commonly found along the bridge of the nose, chin, cheeks, and jawline. So how do you avoid maskne during covid?
Just what is maskne?
The medical term for maskne is acne mechanica. Healthcare professionals have endured the problem for some time—so, it isn’t new—but it has become more widespread now that wearing a facemask is common among the general public.
How to stop face mask breakouts
Face masks are designed to catch respiratory droplets and limit airflow in and out. However, this traps skin cells containing dirt, oil and bacteria in the mask that would normally be shed. The constant rubbing of the face mask against the skin produces micro-injuries, allowing the bacteria, dirt and oil to enter the skin, which clogs the pores and causes acne.
Therefore, the key on how to prevent maskne is keeping the skin clean and moisturized, while ensuring you have a well-fitting mask that allows the skin to breathe. These tips will tell you how.
Wash and change your mask regularly
Washing your mask after every use will prevent a build-up of bacteria and remove grime. If you must wear a mask for a prolonged period of time, change it regularly, especially to avoid maskne during covid.
Wear a mask made from natural material
Natural fibres, such as cotton or silk, are more breathable and kinder to the skin than man-made materials. Silk also has hydrophobic (water-repellent) properties—making breathing through a mask a healthier, more pleasant, and less humid experience.
Wear the right size mask
A face mask should be a snug fit, fully covering your nostrils and mouth. It will cause friction if it is too tight or too loose—so, you may find one with adjustable ear loops that will provide the perfect fit.
Take a mask break if you are wearing it for prolonged periods
Healthcare workers have found that removing their masks for 15 minutes every 4 hours is helpful. Only do so after you have washed your hands, it is safe to do so (or you are outside) and you can maintain social distancing.
Watch your skincare routine to avoid maskne during covid
Establish your best skincare routine to help recover from breakouts when wearing masks. Gently cleanse your face without scrubbing using a non-abrasive cleanser—preferable one that doesn’t contain alcohol. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean, soft towel.
Keep skin hydrated and moisturized
Dry skin is a common problem caused by facemasks. Applying a moisturizer eases dryness and forms a protective barrier. Use a moisturizer formulated for your skin type, and preferably one that is non-comedogenic that won’t block your pores. Drink plenty of water.
Avoid some skincare products
Some skincare products contain ingredients that may irritate your skin when you wear a facemask. You may have to use them more sparingly or stop using them. Astringents found in aftershave, salicylic acid found in cleansers and retinoids in face creams are among the culprits.
Consider trying a clay mask to help restore your skin while protecting it from the harsh reality of having to wear a mask. Check out our recent review of the best clay masks for maskne to avoid maskne during covid.
Rock the minimum makeup look
Underneath your mask, your skin is already dealing with bacteria and sweat so don’t add heavy makeup into the mix. Use a tinted moisturizer if you still need light coverage and why not make the most of your peepers, accentuating them with gorgeous makeup.
Reduce dairy and sugar
Dairy and sugar have been linked to higher rates of acne. Reduce your intake and replace it with healthier options, including foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 and fibre. A paleo diet helps with reducing both diary and sugar.
Cut down stress
Stress doesn’t cause acne, but it may make it worse. Stress increases the level of some hormones in the blood which impairs the body’s ability to repair itself, slowing down the healing process.
Find ways to manage stress and anxiety in a healthy way but don’t forget to treat yourself because a little of what you fancy always does you good.
What else can help with Maskne?
Of course, the ideal solution for Maskne is not wearing a mask! When you don’t need to wear one, give your skin a break and don’t wear a mask. Allowing your skin to breathe as often as possible will help skin cells regenerate and maskne to clear up. Just make sure you are doing this safely for yourself and for others.
These tips can help you to avoid maskne during covid-19 and assist you with how to stop face mask breakouts.
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