As the COVID-19 numbers continue to increase across the United States, many people have opted to wear a facial mask. While these masks help to prevent the spread of the virus, underneath your mask is the breeding ground for acne.
Maskne, known to the medical community as acne mechanica, occurs when fabric rubs against the skin. We all have tiny hair follicles on our faces. When we wear a mask, we create friction and pressure on our faces, which can irritate the hair follicles. Once we compound the hair follicle irritation with the moisture trapped underneath our masks, the humidity, and heat of summer days, we create the perfect acne environment.
What should you do to keep away maskne?
- Wash your mask after every use. Makeup, moisturizer, sunscreen, and other products that you use on your face are contributors to the bacteria that grow in the weaving of the fabric in your mask.
- Do Not reuse disposable masks. Disposable masks are meant to be thrown away after one use. As discussed in #1, bacteria grow in a mask that is not washed after each use.
- Avoid wearing makeup such as powder and liquid foundation because of their occlusive nature. Masks absorb the ingredients and bacteria found in powder and liquid foundations, which can create breakouts. Use this time to give your skin a break from heavy products such as concealers, foundations, and
cover sticks. If you want to add glam to your makeup routine, play up your eyes. Definitely avoid lipsticks and lip glosses as they will get all over your face and can become a contaminant.
- Use gentle skincare products twice a day. Using a light, gentle, cleanser twice a day is a perfect skincare regimen for many skin types during this time. Any products containing harsh sulfates will strip the skin of its natural oils, causing damage to the skin barrier. Stay away from washcloths, and loofahs. If you are wearing makeup, stay away from heavy ingredients, oil-based foundations, and lip glosses. You should wait 15 minutes after applying your moisturizer or sunscreen before you put on your mask—30 minutes if you are wearing an N95 mask.
- Do Not rub or press your mask on your skin. Rubbing or pressing your mask against the skin can cause potential skin damage and spread bacteria to uninfected places on the skin surface.
- Sunscreen should be worn on the areas that are exposed to the sun. Remember to apply sunscreen all over your face and other sun-exposed areas of the skin.
For more assistance with maskne or other skin concerns, schedule an in-office or virtual appointment by calling our office at (770) 972-4845 or click here to request an appointment.
Posted in: Acne Treatment