Do you know what Maskne is? Unfortunately, I do, because I have a mild case of it. Maskne is acne on your cheeks and chin caused by face masks. We are all trying to navigate the new world of face coverings, some of us opting for bejeweled, and some of us opting for the most simple, disposable, kind available. We’ve tried bandanas, homemade, cloth, paper, store bought and surgical, and none are comfortable and all have the potential for irritation.
Masks cause breakouts because:
they trap humidity and heat
they aggravate the sensitive facial skin they are in contact with
they can harbor bacteria
residue from manufacturing or even detergent can be irritating
we may actually be touching our face more with a mask to adjust and scratch
increased anxiety -> increased potential for acne
Other than staying at home and going mask free, here are some simple ways to prevent maskne.
develop a good skin regimen now, before the weather changes, and you will likely be wearing masks more often. This is especially important for students
wash your face in the morning before putting on your mask, and if possible, each time before covering up
after working out and before donning a mask, clean any sweat and debris off your face (stock up on disposable face cloths now as they may become the new toilet paper … from a shortage standpoint, not a wiping your butt standpoint)
don’t reuse disposable masks
wash cloth masks every day
try not to rub your mask against your face
don’t wear makeup under your mask
choose masks that are effective, yet breathable and non-irritating, 100% cotton masks have been touted as the best choice
know the difference between acne and a skin reaction* as each is treated differently
be mindful of what masks are causing you to breakout more, and try something different
take your mask completely off your face when it is safe to do so, rather than letting it hang off an ear
If you are unsure if you have maskne or an allergic reaction, call your doctor. Also set up an appointment
if your breakouts are severe and consistent. It is better to treat before it escalates.