In the age of COVID-19, wearing a mask on a daily basis has become the new normal. As we’re covering up our mouths and noses to stop the spread, some of us are uncovering a new problem – maskne. If you’re noticing pimples, redness, or blemishes on the bottom half of your face (exactly where your mask lays on your face), you’re most likely experiencing maskne.
When wearing a mask, the fabric tends to trap in hot air when you breathe or talk which creates an ideal environment for acne-causing bacteria. The friction from the fabric being on your face also causes inflammation, which drives breakouts. Additionally, depending on the fabric of your mask, it can dry out your skin.
If you’re looking for relief from maskne, here are a few tips to help!
If you’ve read some of my other posts, you probably already know that I am a big sunscreen advocate. Another great use of sunscreen that we might not have thought about before is to help prevent maskne.
Zinc oxide, a common ingredient in sunscreen and even in diaper cream, has skin-soothing benefits that can help keep your skin moisturized and help with inflammation.
- Avoid makeup
If you’re planning on wearing a mask for an extended period of time, it’s best to skip the heavy face makeup. This can vary from person to person, but if you know your skin breaks out with makeup, the effects of makeup on your skin will be heightened when wearing a mask.
- Washing your mask regularly
Oil, saliva, sweat, and bacteria can build up easily in your mask. You want to make sure you are switching out your masks regularly if you are using disposable masks and washing your reusable masks regularly.
For those with sensitive skin, scented laundry detergents can cause irritation. If this is you, opt for washing your mask with unscented soap and drying it as normal!
- Choosing the right material
Finding a mask that is both effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and gentle on your skin can be difficult. Rather than disposable masks, reusable masks have been shown to be better for your skin (and the environment).
For everyday use, while practicing social distancing, studies have shown that the most protective masks are made of cotton or polyester blends. Good news! These fabrics are also gentle on the skin. Here are a few suggestions:
- Anti Acne Face Mask from MDacne ($29.95 for 3-pack)
- Athleta Everyday Non-Medical Masks ($30 for 5-pack)
- Blissy 100% Mulberry Silk Mask ($14.95 for 1)
- 3-Layer Organic Bamboo Fabric Mask ($7.99 for 1)