Since the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of people suffer from Surgical Face Mask Acne and don’t know how to treat and prevent “maskne”. You might have noticed that the term “maskne” pops up frequently. Either on Social Media or blogs, it roams around the internet. But what is it?
The word maskne almost speaks for itself, basically, acne caused by wearing face masks, the official word for this is acne mechanica. Now you might be reading this and think ‘I am lucky enough to not relate to this’ but, even with clear skin maskne is proving to this day that it can get the best of skins. In this blog you will find what maskne actually is, how it forms and how to stop it.
How does Maskne happen?
Maskne occurs when sweat, oil and bacteria are trapped on your skin while wearing a mask, creating the perfect breeding ground for breakouts. This type of acne is known as acne mechanica is different from blemishes caused by hormones or hereditary issues like cystic acne. Acne mechanica forms mainly because of fabric rubbing against your skin which irritates hair follicles. While wearing the mask little parts of liquid coming from your mouth get in- and onto the mask. These little parts of liquid are called aerosols. The oils and sweat both originating from the skin combined with aerosols causes your skin to go through an unpleasant time and form more bacteria.
Conclusion: When the hair follicles are irritated it is easier for bacteria to get into the skin and infect it. This process can be compared to general regular acne or just impurity related infections.
What does Maskne look Like?
Maskne mainly forms and shows in the area which the mask covers. So, around the mouth, cheeks, chin, jaw and nose. Scary; When treated incorrectly this can spread to more areas. Little infections are formed in and on the skin which in general is known by the name cystic acne; red skin, bumps and sometimes itchy or painful spots but, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Every skin differs, so do routines and skin products. A different and little less common form are black heads and white heads. This doesn’t necessarily have to be painful or itchy but after a while this can also turn into cystic acne. Not fun indeed.
Is Maskne a real Thing?
A crucial question if you ask us. At the beginning of the pandemic, not a lot of people had any side effects from the mask. After a couple of weeks of quarantining and acclimating to the masks the number of people suffering from acne around the mouth area increased. Since the first time the word maskne was brought into this world scientists and dermatologists have done studies about it. While the studies were still going, social media already had declared that it was due to the masks. After a short period of time, multiple dermatologists have written and spoke about the new term and have indeed said that it was due to the masks. Luckily, they have not only left us in the dark with just confirming the connection but have also given us tips. Some known about general acne and others related to actually wearing a mask.
How to treat Maskne in 6 simple steps?
Acne in general is not easy to handle. Unfortunately, maskne isn’t either. However, the good news is that it is possible. The bad news?; It takes time and effort.
1. Wash or Switch Your Pillowcase Every Day
Switching your pillowcase daily might seem a little too much. But this is very important to treat mask acne. Moreover; if you have sensitive skin and are particularly prone to breakouts, you should also be conscious of the type of detergent you use. We advise a white cotton pillowcase.
2. The mask you are wearing
Wear a soft, natural, and breathable fabric, such as cotton. A through-away surgical mask is best. NEVER wear synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester! These will make you sweat more and the sweat can’t move. Bacteria love this.
Avoid re-usable (cloth) masks. If you would like to wear a re-usable mask, buy a few, and wash them daily. Preferably switch twice a day.
3. Take a 2-minute mask break every hour.
And give your face a quick wash with water. Pat-dry with (toilet)paper.
4. Skip make-up.
Yes, we feel you, but this will make a huge difference. Your skin needs to breathe. TIP: If you can’t go out without make-up, don’t use it under the mask.
5. Cleanse and moisturize your face daily.
Gentle pH-balanced skincare can prevent skin problems. . With harsh products, you run the risk that the PH of your face gets out of balance. This can only worsen acne and pain. Healing at this point is very hard for the skin.
6. Use a nourishing moisturizer.
You might be thinking, but didn’t you just told me that moisture causes maskne? Yes, but a surgical mask moves continuously on your skin and damages your skin like sandpaper. If you use a nourishing moisturizer, you protect the skin barrier.
Your new acne-fighting skincare routine.
We have made a list of skincare products that prevent and treat mask acne:
- The ORGINAL Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask – Use it as a spot repair daily or as a healing and deep cleansing mud mask once a week.
- The Aftermask Vitamin Serum – Use this as a daily lightweight moisturizer under your cotton face mask.
- The Leave-me-on Winter Mask – Recommended and used by thousands of nurses and doctors worldwide.
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If you are lucky and do not suffer from maskne just be aware that maskne doesn’t announce itself or picks out a random person. The four factors mentioned in this blog play an essential part in considering maskne. Be easy on yourself, have patience and use all-natural skincare for the skin. This will decrease the chance of you getting maskne.