Wearing masks daily is now part of our new normal, and this has also introduced the dreaded “Maskne” into our daily life as well. We describe Mask-acne as that uninvited guest you never wanted around, but are now forced to tolerate. Mask wearing is essential in protecting yourself and others during this pandemic, and is also non-negotiable.
Luckily, mask-wearing is a normal routine in the medical profession, so we asked our Revive Med Spa staff their helpful tips and tricks in combating this novel nuisance known as “Maskne”.
So What Is Maskne?
“Maskne” is acne caused by the combination of friction, sweat, and heat, amplified by mask-wearing. When wearing a mask and you breathe or talk, the mask can trap in your hot hair and make it a breeding ground for bacteria to grow. This then irritates the skin, clogs the pores and traps that bacteria under the skin, producing, you guessed it, mask acne.
The biggest mistakes people are making with Maskne:
Not washing your mask: If you are using a cloth or reusable mask, it is imperative you wash it after every use. We suggest purchasing 5-7 masks and having a clean one in your daily rotation. If you use disposable masks, make sure you only use it once and throw it out.
Not washing your face: We always stress washing your face in the AM and PM, but right now you may find yourself needing to wash when you take your mask off after prolonged wear. Adding a clarifying toner could also help wipe away stuck bacteria and grime.
Drying out your skin with acne treatments: Do NOT overuse acne treatments and hope you’re doing your skin a favor! A big mistake is using too harsh of an acne treatment, which in turn can overly dry out your skin. This causes your skin to send more oil to the dried out area, which can result in more acne. A vicious cycle, we know. Be sure to work your way up to the stronger products, and maybe start treating the area every other day and work your way up to every day.
Too harsh of face cleansers: This one is huge! If you are washing your face more, you don’t want to strip away all the good oils on top of it. Try switching to a more gentle cream cleanser if you feel your skin is tight after washing.
Over-exfoliating: A common mistake is using an exfoliator that rips up the top layer of skin. Always use a gentle one! The polished beads in this product are gentle enough for everyday use and won’t tear up the skin’s top layer. Make sure you use a good sunscreen during the day with this product! (But you should be doing that anyway, so that goes without saying).
Overdoing daily detox masks: They can strip your skin barrier and can lead to more oil production and breakouts. Similar to acne spot treatments, detox masks commonly have clay as a main ingredient, which can pull too much oil from the skin and strip the barrier. Stick to weekly masks to keep your skin in nice homeostasis.
Tips To Combat Maskne:
1. Try a new fabric mask: Silk is a great option as it creates less friction and is a delicate material. Silk pillowcases are commonly used to prevent hair breakage and create less friction on your skin as you sleep. A big tip to remember is to make sure to get washable silk!
2. CLEANSE: Just like your hands (especially now!), you need to increase the frequency you cleanse. When you come home from work or errands, use a gentle cleanser to clean the mask area.
3. Find and stick with a gentle exfoliator
4. MOISTURIZE: It’s common for people who have acne to not want to moisturize, but you do need to put some kind of protective barrier cream to help lock in hydration and shield the skin from bacteria and other contaminants getting in.