It is not true that superheroes are the ones you see in a blockbuster Avengers movie. The real heroes are the ones we see in the hospital and other establishments. You are a real hero, too. Whether you are a frontliner or have only been wearing a face mask, you’re doing your best to protect the community. And for that, you are a hero. But our heroes are facing another challenge in maskne.
The term brought the words mask and acne together. As if that isn’t obvious already, right? It refers to the acne people get by wearing a face mask all the time. Face masks are made with polypropylene, which is a kind of plastic material. Surgical face masks, as you know, are more effective at preventing viruses than cloth masks or other types of masks sold in the market today.
If you noticed blemishes, peeling, and redness on your cheeks and jawline, those are maskne. The face mask causes these imperfections and impurities from appearing on your skin. You may also notice the sides of your mouth and chin suffering from maskne. The American Academy of Dermatology, in fact, said that complaints about maskne increased since the government started imposing its use.
Cleaning Your Face
The best thing to treat maskne is with a benzoyl peroxide cleanser. This gentle cleanser will remove the dirt and other toxins from your skin. Wash and clean your face in the morning and evening. A good cleanser should not irritate your skin. Instead, it will help prevent the build-up of bacteria, oil, and other pore-clogging elements.
After cleaning your face, put a type of gentle moisturizer on it to remove dead skin cells. Dryness of skin can also cause maskne, so make sure to moisturize your face as much as you can. Be careful with the type of moisturizer you use because you wouldn’t want it to trigger the other type of acne (the one from your sebaceous glands).
Stay Clear From Drying Products
It’s bad enough that you have to cover half of your face that the skin there gets a little bit chapped. But if you’re also using skin-drying products like facial scrubs, face masks, washes, and toners, then you’re adding to the problem. Check the products that you use on your face. Many of these might not help at this time, so stay clear from them.
Instead, simplify your cleaning routine. If you used to apply five to seven kinds of face products on your skin before, go down to the most basic-cleanser, moisturizer, and sunblock. Right now, these are all your skin needs.
Don’t Put on Makeup for Now
Yes, you don’t want to look like you’ve just gotten out of bed, but no one will see, right? The face mask plus the makeup exacerbate your skin issues further. Try to keep your routine as basic as possible. There’s no need for heavy makeup if half of your face is covered anyway. Mix with sweat, oil, and condensation from your breath; the face mask can make your skin issues more problematic than it already is. While you can go all-out with your mascara and eye shadow, give the lower part of your face a breather for now.
Wash Your Hands
This is the most basic but often forgotten skincare routine. Wash your hands with lukewarm water and soap before you touch your face. What would be the use of cleaning and moisturizing your face if you’re touching it with your unwashed hands? The oils and microscopic grime collect in your hands and can transfer to your face when you touch it.
Who Is More Prone to Maskne?
People who wear a mask all day are more prone to maskne. That means the health care workers who have to wear it for 24 hours or more. But if you are prone to acne, you will also likely experience maskne by wearing a mask for a couple of hours each day. The mask rubs on the skin and irritates it, which leads to those tiny blemishes you notice when you look at your face in the mirror.
How to Prevent Maskne?
Preventing maskne altogether might be impossible right now. The best thing for you to do is to find a face mask that is best for acne-prone skin. Silk and cotton masks will not only make you feel fancy but will also let air circulate better inside the mask. It will help reduce sweat and oil production and thus, protect your skin from acne breakouts.
Even if you are having problems with maskne, it’s important to remember not to forget to wear your face masks. There is a way for you to treat maskne, but not a way to prevent catching Covid-19 unless you wear a mask. You have to be practical and wiser with your choices.