Since wearing masks anytime you’re out in public, you may have noticed an increase in acne in your mask area — now known as “maskne.” Masks don’t seem to be going away anytime soon, but luckily there are a few tips to care for the skin beneath the mask.
Wearing a mask that is made out of a breathable material will help cut down on breakouts. Acne and bacteria thrive in a moist, warm environment which can be caused by a restrictive mask. Opting for a material such as cotton will allow your skin to breathe and prevent sweat and oil from building up.
Keep it Clean
Wearing makeup under your mask can also clog your pores and cause breakouts. Be sure to apply your mask only onto clean skin to ensure that nothing will irritate your skin.
Dermatologist Harry Dao suggests washing your face with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser and rinsing with lukewarm water before masking up.
“This prevents dirt and oil from being trapped on the skin surface, which cause breakouts,” Dao says.
Makeup can also rub off onto masks, leaving them dirty and prone to growing bacteria. If you insist on wearing makeup under your mask, be sure that the mask is cleaned afterward to keep it sterile.
Check Your Soaps
While washing your masks and keeping them clean is essential to caring for your skin, the way that you wash them could be irritating your face. The detergent that is used to wash clothes is meant to clean the clothes that we place on our body which is a much less sensitive area. Many detergents contain chemicals and fragrances that can irritate your face and cause breakouts.
If you prefer to wash your masks with the rest of your laundry, consider switching to a baby-safe detergent. These detergents are made to account for sensitive, delicate skin, and they can prove to be helpful if you think your detergent could be causing your breakouts.
Another option is to handwash your masks with your regular cleanser. This can be one of the most effective ways to wash your mask since the soap is specifically made for your face.
Wearing a mask all day can also cause irritation due to friction. This friction not only causes acne to become irritated, but it can leave your whole mouth area itchy or inflamed, especially if you have dry skin. The best way to combat this irritation is by keeping the skin hydrated. Using a moisturizer or petroleum jelly will give your skin more slip and let your mask move without rubbing up against sensitive skin.
Another option to combat friction is to use a satin or silk mask. These smooth masks allow the fabric to glide over your skin without much friction. The only downside to these masks is that they are not very breathable for your skin, so be sure to cleanse your face before and after wearing to remove any excess sweat or oil buildup.
Treat Current Breakouts
All of these suggestions can help prevent acne, but what about fighting existing acne? Pimple patches from brands like Mighty Patch are a great treatment for breakouts. These are tiny, circular patches of hydrocolloid that absorb oil and puss from a breakout. By covering your spots with these little stickers, you not only treat them but protect them from further irritation.
Thanks to masks, there’s no shame in wearing your spot treatment out in public since no one can see it. For days that you’re constantly taking your mask on and off, Mighty Patch offers clear, discrete patches that are nearly invisible once placed on your skin.
Wearing masks have become a new addition to our routines, so it’s important to take care of the skin underneath.