I don’t have to tell you that masks are a must these days. Medical experts say wearing a paper or cloth mask in public spaces is one of the most import things we can do to slow the spread of COVID-19.
What’s not fun is the telltale pimples on your cheeks and chin caused by all that mask wearing. Mask induced breakouts have become a fairly common phenomenon, cleverly named “maskne”. In addition to blemishes, you may also experience redness and irritation after a day of mask wearing. I’ll explain why maskne happens, how you can make it stop, and how to keep yourself and your skin healthier.
Why does maskne happen?
The name took off during the COVID-19 pandemic, but doctors have long known the condition by a different, more medical term: Acne Mechanica. This type of acne breakout is caused by friction, pressure or rubbing against the skin. It’s often seen in athletes who wear chin straps. In the case of maskne, it’s the friction of the fabric or paper mask against your skin. This traps moisture, sweat, oil and makeup which can all wind up lodged in your pores, triggering an inflammatory response. Acne causing bacteria, excess oil and inflammation are the three culprits for breakouts and acne. Even if you’re not one to typically breakout, you still may be seeing pimples after all the mask wearing.
How can you avoid maskne?
1. Add an acne treatment to your skincare routine.
Products that are formulated to fight acne without irritating or drying your skin will help keep pores clean, even when they’re covered with a mask.
Veronica’s Fresh Mint Cleanser, Vitamin B Blemish Cream, Bio Drying Lotion and Mint & Carrot Masque will help keep skin in balance. These products help reduce tissue redness, irritation and helps to prevent growth of the bacteria.
The Veronica Fresh Mint Wash is a mild pH-balnced facial cleanser that instantly softens hard tap water, dissolves oil and contaminated sebum from the skin’s surface. Beneficial to the skin because of its selective blend of natural botanical extracts of Aloe Vera, Horsetail Extract, Sage, Peppermint and Spearmint. Unclogs pores and helps control oily skin without over drying.
The Veronica Vitamin-B Cream is a highly effective, yet very light day cream. It is recommended for normal to oily, blemished and problem skin. A complex blend of natural botanical extracts, vitamins and amino acids, help to moisturize and balance the skin. Vitamin-B (Yeast Extract) helps to regulate oil gland secretion to reduce the possibility of clogged pores, inflammations and breakouts. This helps keep skin in balance by working with your skin’s natural microbiome, a name that refers to all the microorganisms that live on the surface of skin, keeping it healthy and happy. When the skin’s microbiome is out of balance, bad bacteria (also known as P. acnes) can take over, contributing to pimples. Keeps the skin hydrated while controlling oil overproduction. Aloe Vera helps soothe problem skin. Blackcurrent, Tamarind, and Apple Extracts help to balance the skin’s pH and control bacteria. Vitamin-B Cream goes after bacteria that causes acne, without drying out your skin.
The Blemish Drying Lotion is an effective spot treatment for blemished skin. It helps dry up blemishes, reduces tissue redness, irritation and helps to prevent growth of the blemish. While other acne spot treatments are harsh and can irritate a dry or sensitive skin, this product is safe and effective for all skin types. The combination of ingredients, including Propolis and Tea Tree Oil make this one of Veronica’s top sellers for clear skin. The Veronica Blemish Drying Lotion also takes the redness and itch out of mosquito bites! Sulphur clears comedones and inhibits new ones from forming, Salicylic Acid encourages the sloughing of dead skin cells, Propolis works as a anti-inflammatory, and Tea Tree Oil fights off bacteria and is a anti-fungal. You can wear it under your mask during the day, and it will not dry out your skin.
To round out your acne regimen, you can add a weekly detoxifying mask.
The Veronica Mint & Carrot Masque purifies the skin with chlorophyll that helps draw out impurities. It calms irritations, and tightens and refines pores. If your skin is super oily, bump it up to twice a week on non-consecutive days.
2. Wash it daily
Fabric cloth masks need to be washed everyday. Fabric masks can become a haven for bacteria and wearing one without washing it can upset skin’s natural microbiome. Launder your fabric masks with a fragrance-free, gentle detergent. Fragrance can sometime trigger skin irritation in sensitive, and acne prone skin. You can spritz the liner of your mask with an antibacterial spray to keep it clean between washings.
3. Wear the right type
After months and months of mask wearing, you’ve probably realized they’re not all created equal. So, what’s the best mask if you’re struggling with maskne? Experts say you want one that’s snug, but not supper tight. Make sure it’s designed with at least two layers of a soft, comfortable fabric. Cotton is especially breathable and skin-friendly. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon or polyester can feel too heavy and lead to more moisture, irritation and potential breakouts on your skin.
4. Rethink your makeup
You have to tweak your regular look, especially if you’re already experiencing maskne. Avoid foundation if your going to be masked up for most of the day. Otherwise, it will mix with your skin“s oils and settle into your pores. Instead, use a makeup concealer with an SPF to spot treat areas under your eyes and where you need it on your face and neck. Play up your eyes, after all, your eyes are the first things everyone sees when half of your face is covered by a mask.
5. Give your skin a break
The American Academy of Dermatology (ADD) suggest giving your skin a breather at least every four hours for 15 minutes at a time. This is also a great time to remove excess oils by blotting and switching out your mask for a clean one.
Masks may be part of our reality for the foreseeable future, but maskne doesn’t have to be. Using the right products, treatments, makeup changes and hygiene tweaks, you can keep your skin calm and comfortable while you protect yourself and everyone else around you. Apply healing and nourishing products at night. Your skin works hard at night to try to heal itself. It’s therefore, essential to provide skin-nourishing ingredients before hitting the sheets.
Wishing you a beautiful holiday season filled with hope and joy.
With love & gratitude,
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn