We get it, as easy it is to believe that Maskne is just another gimmicky stunt to promote new skincare products, we’ve got to tell you that Maskne is the very new member of the skin hoarders (acne) club we all hate.
COVID-19 is the new normal which brings all kinds of abnormalities into our lives. The virus takes a toll on skin health badly.
However, you do not need different methods and products to deal with mask-acnes. Isn’t it just acne? Well, No! Maskne(s) are not just pimples. They cause a lot of redness, puffiness and irritation to the skin.
WHAT CAUSES MASKNE
Now, let’s get scientific for a second and understand why maskne actually happens!
Breathing whit masks on leads to accumulation of hot air and sweat trapped under the mask accompanied by friction (because of the slipping and sliding of the mask). This creates a comfortable home for yeasts and bacteria which later anger the homeostasis of our skin. The unbalanced environment of our skin creates all sorts of problems, especially around the nose and mouth areas. This results in acne, rosacea flare ups, folliculitis (infection of hair follicles), dermatitis (skin sensitivity) and what not.
This all sounds a lot and frankly a little frightening, but don’t worry we got your back! Mask-acnes are treatable and preventable!
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT MASKNE
Check out how these simple tweaks to your skincare regime and masking help keep maskne at bay:
Mask is the new sixth element of life. So, take care of the hygiene part. Wash them regularly with a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic laundry detergent. This removes harmful pathogens and eliminates any possibilities for skin irritation. Strictly DO NOT REUSE disposable masks as the bacteria may cause skin issues. Avoid application of much products on your face while wearing N95 masks as they cannot be washed but reused.
Most people are ignorant of this but it is necessary to wear a mask of the right fitting – it should be snug yet comfortable to avoid rubbing.
Another essential tip is to remove your mask for 15 mins every 4 hours to prevent bacteria from manifesting on your skin.
SKINCARE REGIMEN for MASKNE
Before you worry, let us tell you that you don’t have to invest in a whole new skincare routine. All you have to do is a little quantity and ingredient check. Although obvious, but I’m really going to stress on the need of cleansing your face thoroughly using a fragrance-free cleanser and cold water. A skincare product that works wonders for maskne prevention is AHA and witch hazel toners – super gentle on sensitive skin yet amazingly efficient. Make sure you apply your lotions and sunscreen in a very light layer.
The new norm for mask skincare is feather like layers.
For my audience with facial hair – positively make sure to dry your hair thoroughly before putting on a mask. And KEEP YOUR MASKS CLEAN. All those who wear makeup don’t have to break up with it because wearing light make up is absolutely fine and will do you no harm. However, avoid too much layering of product especially on the area covered by the mask.
Lastly, do not go all Marie Curi(e)osity on your products and avoid experimentation with new formulas!
HOW TO TREAT MASKNE
Here are some little tide-bits to add in your skincare regime to treat maskne.
Step number 1 is of course cleansing your face twice a day. Make sure to use cold water and try to use medicated cleansers with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as their key ingredients.
In case, you already have acne prone skincare regimen, make sure to continue your benzoyl peroxide treatment. But use a 2-3% concentration ointment instead of 10% concentration one. Also dial down the usages of chemical exfoliants, retinoids and aftershave a little bit. It your skin is developing hyperpigmentation from the acne you can also use a topical treatment with glycolic acid in it.
A noncomedogenic sunscreen with zinc or titanium will go a long way in acting as a barrier against the friction and irritation. You could also apply lotions with ceramides, hyaluronic acid and dimethicone – these maintain the calm and balance of your skin. Also avoid putting on make-up. It will allow your skin to breath and heal quicker as makeup can otherwise clog your pores.
A rather odd but brilliant tip for fighting maskne is actually washing your face with an anti-dandruff shampoo once in a blue moon. A ketoconazole or selenium sulphide shampoo is a dynamo in getting rid of bacteria.
I am Tanisha Gupta, a fashion student and a major skincare-o-holic. Let’s sit back, relax and discuss some skincare over a glass of detox smoothie!