Maskne: How to prevent and treat it
As the current pandemic created a new norm of working from home, many people no longer dress up with a full-face makeup. So, one less cause of acne to worry about! Phew.
But despite letting our skin breathe for some time, acne somehow continues to be an issue for some people. The anxiety and stress from covid-19 are not the only factors that are causing you more breakouts than normal. Wearing a mask when leaving the house is likely another major culprit. If you noticed pimples on certain areas of your face like your cheeks, chin and nose, you are not alone. It is “maskne” that you are facing.
What is maskne and why does it happen?
As the name clearly suggests, maskne is basically acne caused by prolonged use of a face mask. Those can be seen on the areas covered by the face mask, especially on cheeks, chin and nose. When pores beneath the mask are clogged by sweat and sebum, maskne happens.
Wearing a mask for long hours creates humidity below the mask and warmer conditions on the skin. Thus, it creates an ideal breeding ground for the bacteria that causes acne. Furthermore, the friction between the mask and skin may cause irritation, which leads to inflammation. This eventually causes clogged pores and blackheads over time. Sometimes the type of fabric and the soap used for the washable mask can cause maskne too.
Maskne can worsen your skin issues. For those with acne-prone skin, maskne tend to aggravate it further. Couple that with the hot and humid tropical climate in Malaysia, you have a frustrating acne issue to tackle.
How to prevent maskne?
1. Take a look again at your mask
Behind the problem, lies the solution. For maskne, the type of mask you wear matters. Identify the type of fabric that suits you and avoid those that irritates your skin. Cotton is the most recommended material because it is less irritating for most skin types.
2. Wash your mask with gentle soap
Avoid washing your mask with strong detergents or mixing them into your usual laundry basket. Sometimes, the residues from the soap used to wash your face mask could be irritating your skin. So, use a gentle soap instead that’s friendly on your skin.
3. Treat your skin after a long day
After long hours of wearing a face mask, you’d really want to treat your skin and ensure acne don’t pop out. So when night falls, it’s time to beef up your nightly skincare routine. Let your skin repair itself while you sleep. Similarly to normal acne, consider using a deep cleansing face wash. The idea is to clear the harden sebum or blackheads building up under the face mask. Then apply antibacterial serum or moisturizer like our tamanu oil to prevent the bacteria from growing on your skin. You may read more on how Shea Terra tackle acne problems here: sheaterra.com.my/acne-solutions
The Bottom Line
Although wearing a face mask may cause acne, it’s important to keep ourselves and our community protected. Wearing a face mask to stay safe is part of the new normal now. The key is to embrace the changes and adjust our skincare routine as well accordingly. Maskne is essentially a type of acne after all, so as long as we understand acne formation, we will be able to overcome more effectively.