As though 2020 hasn’t thrown us enough curve balls, many of us can add maskne (mask-acne) to the list of torment we’re dealing with this year. We all want to do our part and stop the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask. Unfortunately for some, wearing a mask for long periods of time comes with breakouts they may not not have experienced since they were a teenager. Many adults are breaking out around the mouth and chin area from the constant rubbing of the face mask against the skin. Fear not, you don’t have to suffer with pesky pimples. Below, I’m sharing several tips on how to combat maskne.
1. Use a Clean Mask
While this may sound like common sense, it’s important to use a clean mask daily. Your pores can get clogged and trap bacteria that you don’t want to get below the surface of your skin. If you’re opting for disposable masks, toss them out at the end of the day and start fresh the next day with a new mask. If you’d rather use reusable masks, go for a breathable fabric like cotton which will allow air to circulate through. Also, keep several on hand so you can switch them out. Fabric masks should be washed after every couple of uses so make sure you throw them into a hot cycle in your washing machine.
2. Wash your Face
We’ve got washing our hands with soap on a regular basis down, but what about our face? Washing your face day and night with a gentle cleanser will get rid of dirt and oil that can clog your skin. Imagine the heat and humidity your breath is causing under the face mask (yuck). If you have acne prone skin you’ll especially want to be sure to use the right cleanser for your skin type. Everyone should look for cleansers that have salicylic or hyaluronic acid. Another way to rid your skin of toxins is to exfoliate a bit more often than usual (unless you have extremely sensitive skin). Three times a week is recommended during these times.
3. Avoid Makeup
While wearing a mask, the less products on your skin the better. Try to steer clear of heavy foundations and skip the contouring. After all, if you’re wearing a mask no one will see what’s underneath. Do your skin a favor and skip the foundation.
4. Use Moisturizer
Moisturizer can act as a barrier between the skin and mask. Opt for a water based moisturizer and wait 10 – 15 minutes before putting on your mask to allow your skin to absorb the product. Using a moisturizer will keep your skin hydrated so don’t skip this step, even if you have oily skin.
5. Lower Stress Levels
This particular step I struggle most with. It feels impossible at times to keep my stress levels down but I definitely notice an increase in breakouts when my stress is at an all time high. Many of us are dealing with so much anguish, whether it’s work related, loss of income or wondering how your children will pass this next school year while distance learning. My advice to myself and you is to get some light exercise into routine a couple times a week. Taking a thirty minute walk in the evening in the cool breeze is sure to help release some mental and physical exhaustion we have built up in our bodies.
If you’ve had to deal with maskne, I’d love to hear how you combat it.
(This article first appeared in Voicebowl.com and has been reproduced with permission)