WHAT IS MASKNE?
Skin breakouts caused by COVID-19
You’re doing your part – monitoring your health, frequent hand washing, social distancing, wearing a face covering when out. As if adapting to this new “normal” weren’t enough, does it have to include skin breakouts? If you have noticed an increase in skin breakouts, especially in the area where you are wearing your face mask, you could be experiencing “maskne”.
Maskne or acne mechanica is a type of acne triggered by friction, heat, pressure, or when skin isn’t exposed to air. Different from common acne, acne mechanica is caused by friction. Skin that is pressed or rubbed for long periods irritates pores and triggers skin breakouts. It is commonly seen in athletes (sports equipment), students (backpacks), musicians (instrument placement) and now with the regular wearing of masks. Here are a few tips on how to combat maskne:
Mask On. Mask Off.
Consider the type of mask you are wearing. A lightweight mask creates less friction and has greater breathability. Keep it clean! A reusable fabric mask absorbs oil, sweat, dirt, sunscreen; a bacteria breeding ground. Wash your mask daily or have several and rotate them.
Wash Your Face.
Prevention is key, keeping your face clean and oil free can help minimize breakouts. Wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Use a gentle cleanser like SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser or SkinCeuticals Simply Clean, a gel cleanser.
If you are prone to acne, in the evening use a mild salicylic acid cleanser like SkinCeuticals Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser to dissolve pore congestion and promote skin clarity. You may also want to wash your face at home after removing your mask to remove any built up oils and sweat. If you are not able to wash your face, keep SkinCeuticals Clarifying Cleanser or Skinceuticals LHA Toner on hand with some cotton rounds. Swipe the skin when you get back to your car or your home and have safely removed your mask.
Sooth and Hydrate Daily.
Lay on the love! If your skin is feeling chafed or irritated, switch up your skin care products. Protect your skin with extra moisture using SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2. Extra moisture will help decrease dryness that can contribute to chafing and irritation. If you wear a mask for long periods, apply a thin layer of SkinCeuticals HydraBalm or Eucerin Aquaphor before putting your mask on, providing a barrier between your mask and skin.
If You Got it, Treat it Kindly.
Maskne is not regular acne; it can’t be treated in the same way. You still need to wear your mask; your skin still needs the love. Spot treat any breakouts with SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense, a salicylic acid acne serum.
- Avoid popping or squeezing which can spread bacteria and make flare-ups worse.
- Go make up free, one more way to prevent clogged pores.
- Instead of foundation, use a lightweight tinted sunscreen like SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50.