Maskne: What It Is & What To Do About It

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If you’re like me and you're finding yourself getting breakouts on your cheeks and chin (the areas that are covered by your mask), then you’re not alone. As people around the world are now wearing masks every day, acne caused by mask wearing (or maskne) is becoming more and more of a common skin issue. There’s a few factors that cause it as well as some ways to prevent it. Keep reading to get your maskne under control.

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Why it happens:

The clinical term for maskne is actually “acne mechanica” and it’s caused by friction, pressure or heat. Sports players that wear sports gear and health workers that wear protective gear often are those that usually suffer from acne mechanica. As mask wearing is now an important part of every day life, more and more people are also suffering from acne mechanica. Maskne is caused by the friction created when your mask rubs against your skin. 

Another main cause of maskne is trapped moisture from your breathe mixed with sweat or oil. This mixture causes the perfect environment for acne causing bacteria to flourish. Both these factors combined with the use of sunscreen or makeup can make things even worse, irritating skin and causing awful breakouts.

Since mask use and therefore maskne are both here to stay for the foreseeable future, it’s best to look towards what we can do to prevent future maskne breakouts.

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The type of fabric of your mask

If you’re using surgical masks, switch to a re-usable cotton one. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s better for your skin too. Cotton is softer on your skin, therefore it will be less irritating. Choose a well fitting mask for better coverage and less friction.

 

Wash your mask often

Wash your mask after each use, especially if you’ve worn makeup or sunscreen. Any residue left on your mask should be thoroughly washed off before you wear it again so as to kill any acne causing bacteria.

 

Use more gentle products on your skin

The friction caused by mask wearing is already abrasive on your skin enough, so now is a time to treat it gently. Switch to gentle, less irritating products that protect your skin’s natural barrier. If you use chemical or physical exfoliants, consider using them less often a week.