Have you noticed your skin getting more oily and irritated lately? Are you developing an unusual amount of acne on your face? You’re not alone. Many people are struggling with “maskne” (also called “mascne”), a term used to describe the acne-inducing side effect of wearing a face mask. For those whose professions require them to wear a mask, maskne has long been an issue. But for many of us new to wearing masks, we’re not used to this unpleasant side effect.
What is maskne and why am I getting it?
Although maskne may sound silly, it is a very real thing. Here’s how it happens: because face coverings hold in heat, they stimulate inflammatory markers in the skin that cause acne to worsen. Face coverings also absorb your skin’s natural oils, tricking your body into thinking that it needs to produce more oil. This increased oil clogs your pores, causing blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples to develop.
Are you sure it’s maskne and not a rash?
If instead of having obvious breakout signs (like blackheads, oily skin, and pimples) you are noticing itchy red patches on your face, your mask might be causing contact dermatitis instead of acne. Contact dermatitis is when your skin becomes irritated due to prolonged friction with a foreign substance or object, like a mask, and develops an itchy, red, stinging rash. In severe cases of contact dermatitis, your skin may even develop blisters.
Treating contact dermatitis is different from treating acne. Instead of using benzoyl peroxide-based acne treatments that may irritate sensitive skin, try applying a thin layer of hydrocortisone cream to the rashy area for a few days. If this doesn’t help, or if you notice your skin worsen, you should see a professional skincare provider.
How can I treat maskne?
Though maskne is difficult to avoid when you have to regularly wear a face mask, here are a few tips for minimizing breakouts:
- Avoid wearing a lot of makeup under your mask. Too much makeup can clog your pores and further trick your skin into producing more oil. A light layer of makeup is fine, though your mask might smear it.
- Wear a light layer of moisturizer under your mask. It may sound like applying a moisturizer would further induce acne, but wearing a light layer of moisturizer under your mask can reduce friction against your skin, which may prevent irritation and breakouts. Just make sure you don’t go too heavy on the moisturizer, especially if you have acne-prone skin.
- Make sure you are cleansing the skin at least twice a day with medical-grade skincare products, like those from SkinCeuticals, ZO Skin Health, and iS Clinical, and again after removing your mask for the day.
- Take your mask off frequently (when it’s safe) to allow your skin to breathe. This could mean stepping outside to let the fresh air hit your face or finding a private space to briefly remove your mask.
- Wash your masks often to remove built-up oils and pore-clogging dirt. If your skin is extra sensitive, you may want to try washing your mask with an unscented, all-natural detergent.
- Reduce stress. You hear it over and over, but stress wreaks havoc on our bodies, especially our skin. The added stress you’ve been feeling from the pandemic may be exacerbating your maskne, so try to incorporate some stress-busting techniques into your daily routine.
- Schedule regular facials with your licensed aesthetician. Getting a deep facial cleanse is so important to your skin’s health. We recommend scheduling regular HydraFacial treatments because they go way beyond what an at-home skincare regimen can accomplish. HydraFacials remove oil and dirt build-up from your pores and hydrate your face, but they also add key nutrients and healing serums to leave your skin looking firmer, cleaner, and more radiant.
Our licensed aestheticians treat maskne in Fort Worth
At Kalos Medical Spa, our licensed medical aestheticians have extensive experience treating maskne. Contact us online or call or TEXT us at (817) 292-4200 to set up your personal consultation to discuss maskne treatments. We look forward to helping you achieve healthy, radiant skin!