Your Guide to Maskne: Causes and Treatment
Although the world has been rapidly altered over the last year, one thing that hasn’t changed is the challenge of maintaining clear, healthy skin while wearing a mask. If you’ve struggled with chronic acne more inflamed by regular mask wear, you’re not alone. “Maskne” is a very real problem for many adults, especially those in healthcare and customer service professionals. If you’re frustrated and even a little hopeless about your skin, then here’s what to know about “maskne” and more importantly what you can do about it.
What is “Maskne”?
“Maskne” is not actually a new phenomenon. In fact, professionals who have always worn masks regularly (those in healthcare) are likely familiar with how the mask can impact your skin. “Maskne” is basically skin inflammation and irritation associated with wearing a mask or face covering for long periods of time, although it doesn’t always manifest as acne as the name might suggest. “Maskne” can also include rosacea flareups, redness, irritation, and overall infection caused by bacteria, yeast, skin mites, and microorganisms.
What Causes “Maskne”?
The specific causes of “maskne” can be twofold. Firstly, wearing a mask for long periods of time can produce irritation from certain types of fabric or wires present in the mask when you talk, express, and move your face beneath your mask. Over time, this can cause chafing and discomfort on the skin. Secondly, a mask worn for long periods of time creates a warm and moist environment ideal for certain organisms to grow. Additionally, long-term facial coverings trap oil, debris, impurities, and dead skin cells, an ideal environment for excessive bacterial growth. When bacterial imbalances thrive, it can cause symptoms such as redness, chafing, pimples, inflammation, and overall irritation.
How to Prevent “Maskne”
Preventing “maskne” from developing can be one of the most effective ways to manage it. There are a few steps you can take – firstly, make sure to limit your makeup use under your mask. Medical grade mineral-based makeup is best as it is less comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores as much). This means wearing only a light layer or skipping it altogether depending on your needs. Secondly, if you have facial hair, make sure to use products that neutralize bacteria like toners or chemical exfoliants, as well as making sure your facial hair is dry before putting on your mask. Finally, make sure to keep your mask clean by washing it regularly, or even opt for disposable ones. This can help remove buildup, bacteria, and sweat.
How to Treat “Maskne”
If you’re already experiencing “maskne” breakouts, then taking stock of your skincare regimen can be a great first step. Find a good foaming cleanser to gently remove sweat, moisture, and buildup from your skin. If you can’t wash your face regularly throughout the day, then consider keeping a toner on hand to quickly cleanse during your downtime (and avoid facial wipes since these can be irritating). Although it may seem beneficial to moisturize regularly, this can work against your skin by preventing natural exfoliation underneath your mask. Check with your skincare professional to find the products that are best suited for your specific skin type.
Schedule an Appointment
“Maskne” can seem frustrating and difficult to manage. We encourage you to consult with your EVOLV Skin Care Professional to find a personalized regimen that is best suited for your skin type and concerns. We have found that creating healthy skin is your best option in preventing irritation and inflammation conditions such as “maskne” and acne as well. We invite you to contact our Toledo office by calling 419-780-3014 or filling out our online form.