We’ve been required to wear masks at all times for nearly a year now. As responsible citizens, we must comply with this protocol in order to keep ourselves and our fellow citizens safe from the pandemic. But because our face is always in contact with the mask, we become more prone to acne and breakouts. A lot of us have been suffering from mask acne (a.k.a. maskne), or mask acne, so how exactly can you avoid maskne?
Cleanse and moisturize daily
The best way to take care of your skin is to wash your face and moisturize regularly. Your skin is breaking out because dirt is clogging your pores, and cleansing is a great way to remove all that dirt.
When you wash your face, use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser and rinse with lukewarm water. Use your fingertips to apply the cleanser and don’t rub your skin too hard. Pat your face dry with a soft towel, then gently apply moisturizer. Make sure to wash your face in the morning and at night before you sleep. You should also wash after sweating, as perspiration may irritate your skin.
If you can, make sure to put moisturizer before you wear a mask. This would give your skin some extra protection from irritation.
Skip the makeup!
Not only will no one get to appreciate your painted face, makeup, especially foundations and powders, will only get rubbed into your pores. Clogged pores will see an increase in bacteria and lead to more breakouts.
Wear the right mask
Are you already taking care of your skin but you’re still breaking out? That might be because of your mask. You need to choose the right mask for your skin and your face shape. To reduce acne and other skin problems, you need a mask that has a snug yet still comfortable fit, has at least two layers of fabric, and has a soft, lightweight, and breathable fabric (like cotton) for the inner layer.
A snug, comfortable fit not only helps protect yourself and others from the virus, but also helps you reduce your breakouts. If a mask is too tight, it would slide on your face often and cause a lot of friction and irritation. If a mask is too loose, you would be more prone to adjusting it more often than usual, which leads to more friction as well.
Take a mask break
Taking a mask break and letting your skin breathe a bit would do wonders for your skincare. A quick 5- to 10-minute break would do. Of course, you need to carefully choose where to take a mask break. Some places where you can do so are at home, inside your car, or a spacious outdoor area where you can stay a meter or two away from others. Just make sure to wash your hands before and after your mask break!
Wash your cloth masks
While you’re using your mask, it collects a lot of dirt and grime from the outside and sweat from you on the inside. If you wear your mask again without washing it, you’re just asking for more breakouts (and other health hazards). So always wash your mask after each use. You can wash it by hand or by machine — be sure to look at the mask’s washing instructions tell you. Use a gentle, fragrance-free detergent. And when drying, use a hot-air dryer or put it under the sun to air dry.
Don’t reuse surgical masks
If you’re using surgical masks instead of cloth masks, don’t bother washing them! There’s no proper way to clean them, and they’re designed to be thrown away after every use. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), you must discard it immediately in a closed bin without touching the front of the mask. Wash your hands right after.
Don’t touch your face!
Even before the pandemic, touching your face was already a big no. Touching your face does not only increase the risk of COVID-19 infection but also increases the risk of acne breakouts. Your hands have touched phones, tabletops, doorknobs, and other surfaces that are full of germs, so if you use those same hands to touch your face, dirt and grime may enter your pores and cause breakouts. If you really need to touch your face, wash it and use alcohol to ensure your hands are clean and germ-free.
Wash your face before and after wearing a mask
When you’re wearing a mask, a lot of natural dirt and oil can get trapped inside your mask, which could also lead to clogged pores and then breakouts. You can avoid this by washing your face before you wear a mask and cleansing gently but thoroughly after hours of wearing a mask.
Do you have any other tips to avoid maskne? Share them with us below!!