Spiderman and Catwoman have been rocking face masks for decades to fight crime and hide their identity. In 2020, we're doing it to save lives. That makes us superheroes too, right? Yes! Many schools and businesses in British Columbia and across Canada now require face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Mask wearing is one small, yet major way we can protect ourselves and our communities. That said, masks come with some brand new annoyances like foggy glasses, mask breath, and the dreaded maskne or mask acne. (How come we never saw Catwoman with a blemish?) The good news is, you can keep those pesky breakouts at bay with the right products and beauty routine. Keep reading to find out how to treat and prevent maskne so you can feel like the superhero you are!
What Is 'Maskne'?
If you've noticed more breakouts on your chin and around your mouth lately, it's not in your head. It's a new problem called maskne or mask acne. If you already suffer from frequent acne breakouts, wearing a mask can make the problem worse. If you don't normally deal with acne, the new habit of wearing a mask can create an issue.
What Causes Mask Acne?
Mask acne is technically a form of acne mechanica. This type of skin irritation happens when there's friction or pressure on your skin. That's why you can also get it on your hairline, butt, torso, or legs from wearing tight clothing or sitting. Athletes often get it along their hairline and chin from wearing baseball caps and helmets. Sweat, moisture, and heat can also make the irritation worse. Since mask wearing means friction and humidity on your face, it creates the ideal environment for acne.
Treat Maskne Breakouts With a Cleansing Routine
If you're already dealing with a breakout, gentle cleansing is key. If you don't already cleanse your face twice a day, now is the time to start. This is especially important if you've been wearing makeup under your mask. When you're looking for a good cleanser, look for something that will hydrate your skin. A lot of acne treatments can dry out your skin which can make the problem worse! We recommend starting with our cleansing balm. Gently rub a small amount of balm onto your face, focusing on any problem areas. It's fragrance free and packed with antioxidants to nourish your skin. Plus, the formula gently melts away your makeup so you won't need to scrub. Double-cleansing, or washing your face using a two-step process, can also help. Follow up with a foaming wash to rinse away any remaining dirt and bacteria from your pores. Your face will feel smooth and clean, yet still hydrated. If you have particularly painful blemishes, apply a few drops of a hyaluronic acid serum. It will soothe your blemishes and create a protective barrier between your skin and your mask. Finish up with a moisturizer that's lightweight, non-comedogenic, and oil-free for the best results.
How to Prevent Future Blemishes
Once you've gotten your breakout under control, you want to keep it from coming back. Whatever you do, don't stop wearing a mask! If you follow these tips, you can keep your skin thriving without sacrificing your health.
1. Wear a Clean Mask One of the simplest ways to keep breakouts from roaring back is to check your mask hygiene. Your mask can absorb virus particles, oil, and bacteria, which is why you need to wash it after every use. Honestly, you should treat your mask like your underwear and wear a clean one every day. If the mask material irritates your skin, opt for a silk mask. Silk is gentle on skin and won't cause as much friction as other materials. If you can't find a complete silk mask, look for a cotton mask with a silk lining.
2. Lighten Up Your Makeup Just because you wear a mask doesn't mean you have to give up your makeup routine! In fact, it can be a fun opportunity to play up your eyes. That said, heavy foundations and concealers can make maskne worse. These products can clog your pores and lead to even more painful breakouts. If you don't want to give up your full-face routine, opt for mineral-based products. You could also use a tinted moisturizer for a lighter alternative. The key to avoiding breakouts is to not clog your pores.
3. Keep Up With Your Cleansing Routine
If you want to keep your skin blemish-free, don't abandon your cleansing routine as soon as your skin clears up. It's important to keep your skin clean and hydrated.
When it comes to cleansing, more isn't always better. Over cleansing can lead to more breakouts and irritated skin. In other words, don't wash your face more than twice per day.
If you'd like to add exfoliation into your routine, stick to once or twice a week especially if you have sensitive skin.