Masks have evidently become a part of everyone’s new lifestyle, and some are forced to wear them daily for hours on end. In turn, this can cause what is known as “maskne”: a skin condition brought on by the prolonged wear of facial personal protective equipment.
Due to the fact that the wearing of masks is mandatory, the effects of maskne may feel extremely frustrating and ultimately endless. However, there are a multitude of reasons as to why wearing a mask is causing you acne and likewise solutions to make maskne completely preventable.
Prep: Before even putting on a mask it is crucial that you cleanse your face to make sure you aren’t trapping any dirt or oil on your skin. After you’ve washed your face, you should apply toner following with exfoliation such as L-mandelic Acid or Salicylic Acid and lastly, you must apply a moisturizer (preferably one with SPF) all over your face. After your moisturizer has fully absorbed, use either a thin layer of Aquaphor or PRIIA’s acne-safe primer. This will not only keep hydration locked in throughout the day but will simultaneously act as a barrier between your skin and the mask which will greatly reduce acne caused by friction (acne mechanica). If you have active breakouts or just want to be preventative, we recommend using our Calm Down Anti- Blemish Powder. Apply a thin coating of Calm Down Powder over the Aquaphor or PRIIA acne-safe primer from your nose down. This powder will not only soothe any current inflammation you have but it will also act as an extra barrier between your skin and the mask. In addition to these prep steps, it is important to not to wear makeup under your mask unless it’s an acne-safe makeup, like PRIIA minerale-derm. And if you are going to wear PRIIA, we recommend sticking with our LOOSE MINERAL FOUNDATION. Heavy makeup applications and comedogenic (pore clogging) makeup worn under a mask do not allow your skin to breathe properly and may even damage the mask fabric which creates a less effective barrier, according to Cassandra M. Pierre, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center.
Proper Mask Use: Everyone is focused on making certain they have a mask on but they aren’t aware of the type of mask they put on or how it will affect them. When it comes to disposable masks simply throw it away after each use. If you must wear one for a prolonged amount of time it’s best to use a new disposable every few hours throughout the day. If you’re wearing a cotton/fabric mask, wash it after each use because its surface contains dirt and oil and will become a breeding ground for bacteria in the area which your mask touches. However, when washing the mask make sure to choose a fragrance-free laundry soap such as ALL Free & Clear because fragrances may irritate your skin. It’s also important not to use fabric softener or dryer sheets as they leave a waxy chemical residue on the mask which is not only bad for your skin but harmful to breathe in while wearing it. If you have a silk mask, be sure to use a fragrance-free AND enzyme-free laundry detergent. If your job or activity requires you to wear a mask for prolonged periods of time, we recommend that you cleanse your face again during that period. Carry travel sizes of your skin care products with you and take 5 to 10 minutes when you have a break to re-do the previously mentioned prep routine. If you’re wearing a fabric mask (not silk), you can spritz it with alcohol and let it dry while you’re re-doing your skin care routine. This may all seem like a hassle, but your skin will thank you for it!
Incorporate these tips into your daily routine and watch your maskne become no more! For acne-safe skin care products, we recommend the following brands: Face Reality and ClearStem.