What Causes Maskne?
The scientific term for mask-induced acne is maskne. Oh, wait. No. That's the social name for it. The actual name for maskne is 'acne mechanica'. Essentially, the seal-it-in-ability (occlusive nature) of face masks results in acne and breakouts. But how? You might ask.
So what happens is: when you wear a face mask daily inside or outside, especially during the simmering months of the summer, your skin is prone to a lot of conditions. These include humidity, constant irritation from the mask rubbing against the skin, and possible skin inflammation- particularly on the chin, nose, and cheeks.
After wearing a mask, you'll see on your skin mostly dirt, sweat, oil, and makeup- even residue of your skincare, such as deodorizer and sunscreen. One thing to point out is that maskne doesn't just refer to acne, though that's the obvious result of dusk-to-dawn mask-wearing. Maskne can also mean skin irritation and redness.
What Can You Do To Help Ease Maskne?
1. Keep Your Face Clean
You already know the importance of washing your hands regularly (for at least 30 seconds) during this time. In addition to a hand disinfectant, you might want to keep face wipes on you while running errands, stretching, or even strolling around your neighborhood.
Wipes are essential to keeping your facial skin as clean as possible when you remove your mask. Just like using a hand disinfectant is ideal in a pinch when you're not close to a sink, using a face wipe helps keep your face dirt-free when you can't use a face wash.
2. Wash Your Mask Regularly
A practical approach to preventing maskne is that you should wash your mask after every round. It's safer for you from a medical standpoint and a skincare point of view. Masks attract dirt pretty quickly. Skincare products, sweat, and makeup remnants can get on your mask. Not forgetting the many elements (pollution, dirt, pollen, etc.) you face out there.
To be super safe, be sure to clean your mask immediately you take it off. Allow it to air dry and get one or more washable masks to wear for the time being. Utilizing a mild, fragrance-free soap to clean your mask will work great if you want to avoid irritation, skin redness, or acne in general.
3. Take Breaks From Wearing Makeups
If you're wearing makeup beneath your mask and still breaking out, now is the time give your skin some much-needed break- at least when you're actively treating your breakouts and acne. It's best to keep off makeup and any other products that could block your skin pores.
Then, once you eliminate any possibly pore-blocking products from your regimen, ensure you're cleansing your skin often. Wash your face at least twice a day- in the morning and in the evening with something that helps unblock the pores.
4. Get a Fabric That's Gentle On Your Skin
The last thing you want to do to a sensitive skin breaking out and angry is to add even more irritation with an uncomfortable or rough face mask.
Various types of fabrics have various textures, and some will irritate your facial skin more than others. For example, most printed cotton fabrics used to make masks can feel scratchy against your skin, so changing to something smoother-like neoprene- can help avoid vexation. Cotton also traps moisture more than nylon or polyester, so if your area is hot and humid, you might want to buy a mask that's made from breathable moisture-tapering fabric.
How To Treat Your Maskne
Now that you know how to stay away from mask-induced acne (no thank you, maskne), let's look at how you can treat the maskne you already have. Whether you're dealing with skin redness, skin irritation, or just acne, there's a series of steps you can take to treat your skin ASAP.
We can all agree on one simple fact: acne can be annoying. To look after your acne-privy skin, try applying the Extra Exfoliation Organic Facial Sheet Mask and follow it up with your usual skincare regimen. Use this product at least 2-3 times a week. The treatment contains an infusion of Lactic Acid and Lemon Juice to control existing breakouts.
Skin Redness & Skin Irritation
To help calm down your skin and minimize inflammation, a sheet mask with a soothing and moisturizing effect is key. Try an application of the Cucumber Breeze Soothing Sheet Mask while you binge-watch your favorite program. All it takes is just 20 minutes, and visible redness is minimized. This soothing mask boasts plant collagen and natural cucumber extract to help the skin feel relaxed and more comfortable. Plus, Vitamin E calms skin and neutralizes UV light to relieve skin.
Hot Tip: If you have a skin condition like eczema or rosacea, the irritation from cotton masks can trigger your symptoms. To keep that under control, definitely maintain the treatment plan that your dermatologist advised, but reach out to your derm if that plan is no longer effective with the flares.
The Key Take-Away
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we might be wearing masks for the foreseeable future. The right skincare regimen can help reduce maskne and other breakouts. Just remember to keep your face clean (with lots of exfoliation and soothing!), take a break from makeups, and wear breathable skin-friendly masks. And you'll be sure to retain a supple and healthy skin beneath that mask.
Want a sheet mask recommendation? BioRepublic skincare products are formulated to protect your skin from all types of blemishes. Visit our online store and let us be part of your story!