While COVID-I9 vaccinations continue to roll out, it is still crucial to wear a mask. Although they're super helpful in protecting our health, they're also the cause of pesky breakouts known as "maskne." With the weather heating up, your skin may be more prone to mask breakouts and irritation this summer. Here are a few helpful tips to prevent mask acne.
What is maskne?
Pimples or breakouts on the chin and lower face area, below where a mask sits, is known as maskne. It's caused by friction and irritation that can lead to clogged pores from sweat, heat, oil and dirt. This is a very similar phenomenon to what athletes experience on their foreheads from wearing helmets for prolonged periods of time. Dermatologists refer to this as acne mechanica.
How can you prevent or treat maskne?
Thorough cleansing is a great tool to fight against maskne. Using a gentle cleanser, like our Acne Cleansing Gel, provides a nice clean base below the mask. Follow that with a lightweight moisturizer and SPF -- skip out on the heavy creams since it's summertime. And pro tip: be sure all the creams fully dry and absorb into the skin before putting your mask on.
Once it's safe to remove your mask, cleanse your skin again. If you're out and about and unable to find a place to wash your face, you may want to carry face wipes with you. Just like using hand sanitizer is great in a pinch when you’re not near a sink, using a face wipe helps keep your skin clean when you can’t use face wash. Pro tip: Look for a cleansing wipe that lightly exfoliates and is sensitive skin friendly, like our Blemish Cleansing Wipe.
What should I not do?
Although it may seem counterintuitive, you'll want to avoid heavy scrubs or peels, which can irritate the top layer of the skin. Additionally, avoid wearing makeup under the mask. However, if you must, opt for a non-comedogenic powder rather than a heavy cream foundation.
What type of mask is best for the skin?
Current CDC guidelines recommend a medical-grade mask for healthcare professionals and front line workers. For common, everyday wear, a cotton mask is advised. It should have a snug fit around the nose and cheeks, without being too tight on the cheeks and chin. Most importantly, however, is that you wash the mask after every wear with a gentle detergent or cleanser. Pro tip: Keep two or three masks on hand so you always have access to a clean one when you're running out the door.
If you're following proper mask precautions and your skin condition worsens, reach out to a board-certified dermatologist or medical professional for evaluation.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.