Maskne is acne caused by wearing a mask. Indeed, since the start of the pandemic, the wearing of mask has been recommended and even mandated to prevent the proliferation of the disease. However, for people with sensitive skin, this has caused some skin problems.
People with sensitive skin who are forced to wear a mask for long periods of time often have acnes, rashes or pimples on the chin (now called maskne), around the nose, and on the cheekbones. Here are five tips to avoid these inconveniences.
Our breathing promotes humid and warm conditions under the mask, which warm the area around the nose and mouth. As it retains bacteria and sebum from the skin, this creates an ideal biotope for the development of rashes and acnes. How to avoid this?
1. Cleanse your skin twice a day
Dirt, oil, sweat, and bacteria can build up quickly on the skin under your mask. It is therefore essential to wash your face before and after wearing a mask to avoid masknes.
If you have sensitive skin, use gentle products so as not to irritate your face further. If you’re prone to acne, choose a salicylic acid cleanser to visibly reduce spots and prevent new breakouts.
However, while it may be tempting to wash your face more often, we recommend that you stick to your cleansing ritual in the morning and evening to prevent dry skin or the appearance of redness and irritation.
2. Moisturize the skin
With friction, the mask can dry out your skin and make it more fragile, more “brittle”. This is the reason why it is essential to hydrate it well. It is best to do this after wearing the mask or at least an hour before putting it on.
Be careful though: a moisturizer can soften the stratum corneum of your skin, making it more “permeable”, which increases the risk of irritation or allergies.
If you have dry skin or acne, wear washable fabric masks. They irritate the skin less and are gentler.
3. Avoid makeup
Applying makeup to the area of the face covered by your mask is a bad idea. This can cause your pores to clog, leading to the appearance of reddish pimples, spots, or rashes.
4. Wear clean, dry masks
Your skin must be kept clean, and this implies that your mask is too. Replace it every day. If you are using cloth masks, wash them at 60 °C and allow them to dry completely before using them again.
If you use disposable masks, throw them away immediately after wearing them.
Replace your mask whenever it gets damp (from your breathing), wet, or dirty.
5. Wash your hands
Wash your hands or clean them with hand sanitizer before putting on or taking off your mask.
Get in the habit of not touching your face too often, as your fingers can carry dirt that could clog your pores.
If despite all these measures, you still suffer from skin irritation, use a fatty cream, such as petroleum jelly, or a restorative ointment.
A journalism student at the University of Florida, Serena writes mostly about health and health-related subjects. On her time off, she enjoys binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix or going on a weekend get-away.