If you’ve been having breakouts from wearing a face mask recently, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Maskne, short for mask acne, is a newly founded umbrella term used to describe a whole range of skin issues caused by wearing face masks, such as rashes, rosacea, acne and contact dermatitis. Recent face mask mandates have meant the term is now plastered all over the internet, as the condition is now a side effect of wearing face masks for many people. But don’t worry, throughout this blog, we’ll be explaining exactly what it is, what causes it and what you can do to treat and prevent it.
What exactly is maskne?
First things first - let’s get the facts straight, what actually is it? Time to go back to school I’m afraid, as we’ve got a mini science lesson on the topic prepared especially for you. Let’s get stuck in. Well, maskne is the term coined for describing skin conditions caused by wearing a face mask, including:
- Contact dermatitis. Some mask-wearers can experience a rash called contact dermatitis, which can be an irritant or allergic reaction to the mask itself. Symptoms include an itchy rash, along with dry or scaly skin, bumps and blisters, and/or swelling and burning.
- Acne. If you’re prone to breakouts, you may experience an increase while wearing masks, which can trap acne-causing bacteria and sebum on the skin, leading to whiteheads, blackheads and inflammatory acne.
- Rosacea. Rosacea tends to affect the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose, and is characterised by flushing and redness, dilated blood vessels, small red bumps. Cheap and stuffy face masks tend to worsen symptoms, as they tend to heat up your face.
- Folliculitis. Added pressure to pores can cause folliculitis, a condition that occurs when hair follicles become inflamed and infected. This causes an infection of your hair follicles and causes bumps that look like an acne breakout. You might also experience itchiness or pain
Maskne is not an imaginary condition. Whilst it may be new to many of us, it didn’t come from nowhere. It has always been an issue in professions where you have to wear a face mask regularly, but now that the general public has to wear face masks, the incidence of it has certainly increased. Infact, according to a recent study, at least 83% of healthcare workers suffer from skin problems on the face. Now that face masks have gone from the margins to the mainstream, so has awareness of the maskne problem. The stress of the pandemic, plus the constant irritation from your mask, has made the issue unignorable.
What causes maskne?
So, what causes it? Another little science lesson for you I’m afraid. We want face masks to keep any coughs, sneezes and nasty diseases from getting into the air, right? Well, that’s exactly what they do, but this means that they trap moisture and bacteria inside, touching your skin. They create a seal that prevents moisture from escaping, resulting in a humid environment where bacteria is able to thrive and enter your pores, leading to all the skin conditions we mentioned earlier. Nasty stuff right? Well, we want to make sure none of that happens to your pretty little face, so read on.
How to prevent and treat maskne.
What’s the answer to this problem you ask? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a few tips and tricks that’ll keep your skin looking top notch:
- Keep it clean, folks. Treat your face mask like a new pair of undies and give it a wash every day. Check out our blog on how to clean your face mask if you need a helping hand.
- Wearing makeup? Try to avoid putting it on in areas that the face mask covers, as the humid environment may cause your skin to absorb the makeup, leading to clogged pores. Perfect time to focus your energy on your winged eyeliner, am I right?
- Wash your face both before putting on a face mask and after taking it off. Use a cleanser that will gently remove oils from your skin, or, if you have particularly oily skin, use a face wash that has salicylic acid so that the excess oil and dead skin can be removed.
- After washing your face, moisturise. Dry skin commonly causes problems with face masks, such as irritation and raw skin. Dermatologists often recommend choosing a moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid.
- Avoid new or harsh products. Wearing a face mask, even for a short while, can make skin more sensitive, so avoid exfoliants, chemical peels, retinoids, or aftershaves on areas that the mask touches.
- Wear the right face mask. Cheap and nasty masks are..well, just that - cheap and nasty on your skin. Wear a mask that is designed in a unique way to keep fresh and breathable, unlike the nasty ones out there that get hot and humid. Wear a face mask that offers unequalled breathability, with an injection-moulded frame that provides a flattering 3D contour, whilst also gently holding the face mask away from the mouth and nose. Wear a mask that has super lightweight, soft textured and smooth materials that are perfect for keeping the mask comfortable and cool. Wear a face mask that has a soft and sensitive guard material, the main point of contact with the skin, that is OEKO-TEX® certified and perfect for looking after your skin. Any idea what we’re talking about? You guessed it, wear the Masuku One.