The pandemic has prompted people around the globe to regularly wear a mask to do their part in curbing the spread of COVID-19. However, despite its protection from the virus and other pollutants, its extended use has unfortunately been causing skin problems. One of which is the mask-related acne or ‘maskne’ which would be quite a challenge to address.
It is important to first understand how masks prompt acne. Since it basically covers the lower half of the whole face, the skin cannot breathe while it is humid beneath the mask. This can result in clogged pores as the masks tend to exaggerate the bacteria and oil on our faces. It also rubs against the skin which can lead to irritation.
All these bring about maskne. Though, it must be noted that doing away with masks is not the answer. Wearing them is still imperative for public health and there are ways to help keep the pimples away.
Like when buying any product, it is best to check your options first. You can opt to consult your dermatologist before buying a face mask but they usually recommend those made of cotton or lightweight silk which are gentle to the skin.
Since the masks restrict ample air circulation to prevent unwanted dirt or virus from entering, the importance of using softer fabric cannot be overstated since it ensures less moisture and minimizes skin irritation.
You need to follow a skincare regime to eliminate acne and keep your skin healthy. It is crucial that you moisturize before putting on your mask since your skin gets irritated from the lack of it. Remember to cleanse, tone, and exfoliate your skin regularly.
Using a powder mask or those which are homemade can also help nourish your skin, allowing it to bask in the freshest of ingredients. The OSCO Pollution Detox Mask in powder form detoxifies the skin while delivering essential minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. You can check out other DIY face masks as well such as oats, honey, and turmeric powder mask that can soothe the skin.
Needless to say, washing your face when you wake up and before you go to sleep is a must to prevent acne. This removes accumulated bacteria from wearing a mask all day so it’s important that you find yourself a good cleanser. You can also consider products for double cleansing to dissolve deep-hardened oils that have trapped dirt and grime. Moisturize your skin afterward especially if you have dry skin to avoid skin irritation.
To ensure that all the dirt from your skin has been removed, you should exfoliate on a regular basis. This also improves your skin texture aside from eliminating the dead skin cells, grime, and oils being amassed each day.
This can come in the form of a toner which further helps close your pores as you go along your skincare routine. Some toners include salicylic acid which prevents and heals acne and glycerin which helps reduce irritation.
However, if you still experience troubles in keeping your skin clean along with your mask, then don’t be afraid to look for a pimple trick that you can add to your routine. Talk to your dermatologist to best assess which acne treatments would effectively work on your skin and fight the bacteria to prevent any further maskne breakouts.
Importance of keeping your mask clean
While skincare certainly helps prevent maskne, your mask plays a big role in its proliferation. Make it a habit to change your mask frequently especially when you’ve been sweating or exercising to avoid oil accumulation.
Remember to wash them regularly as well to control possible infection. For disposable masks, you simply need to dispose of them after each use otherwise you would be putting back the dirt gathered on your face.
Other Skincare Tips
If possible, take mask breaks too even for at least 15 minutes every four hours. Do this only when you’re alone and if you deem it is safe to do so. You can also take this as an opportunity to wash your skin using a cleanser and reapply a moisturizer right after. Today’s environment is not particularly healthy for your skin with the polluted air. It would be best to check out products such as a Pollution Defense Serum which is effective in treating not only acne but other skin problems.
If your skin has also become more sensitive, avoid wearing makeup under your mask since it can worsen pores blockage which can prompt more breakouts. Don’t pick at your acne as well send it can not only inflame the skin but can also cause a scar.
It is understandable that maskne can be frustrating and it would seem much easier to just ditch wearing a mask. Though, keep in mind that you would be risking your overall health as well as others’ if you would do so. Stay patient and disciplined with your routine to keep your skin healthy.
-- Guest Blogpost by Kat Sarmiento