Who would have imagined a year and a half ago that masks would be the new normal? We wear masks as a safety measure to prevent ourselves from contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Fear of this pandemic has made everyone wary of wearing masks every time they step out of the house, even for the most meticulous jobs. A mask has become an important accessory and no one can do without it, given the ongoing pandemic.
However, changing weather conditions and constant wearing of masks can contribute to acne and skin related issues. Mask acne is more likely to occur during the summer season due to the hot and humid weather. You can’t get rid of masks anytime soon, so it is important to understand what exactly mask acne (also known as Maskne) is as well as the causes, prevention tips, and ways to combat this problem. of skin.
What is Mask Acne?
You may have noticed that diligent use of a face mask reacts negatively to skin contact. Mask Acne or Maskne are pimples that surface on your skin in the areas where your mask touches your face. This happens when oil, sweat, or bacteria get trapped on your skin while you are wearing a mask, creating a suitable breeding ground for rashes. Not to mention that this acne differs from the usual hormonal imperfections that occur on your skin.
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What causes Maskne?
Basic acne develops when the pores on your skin become clogged due to various reasons such as dirt, makeup, oil, etc. This in turn leads to problems like blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. A mask, blocking the specific area of the skin and causing heat, friction and excessive pressure, results in itching and inflammation that results in a maskne. Wearing a mask prevents dead skin cells from spreading throughout the day, preventing them from staying in your pores. Since mask acne is becoming a common skin problem, we need to be aware of the proper skin care routine to follow on a regular basis. We may all be familiar with basic skin care methods like washing our face, wearing sunscreen, and applying moisturizer. However, there is more to this routine and other steps that we need to keep in mind to prevent mask acne.
Let’s take a look at the modified skin care routine to keep your skin fresh and healthy while wearing a mask and protecting yourself from COVID-19.
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How can you fight acne from mask or “Maskne”?
Mask acne treatment methods are not that different from how you would treat normal acne. There are different treatments, remedies and prescriptions from dermatologists to treat maskne. It is necessary to choose the right treatment for your skin depending on the intensity of the problem and the type of skin. For milder acne masks, products with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid (a chemical exfoliant that helps unclog pores) and benzoyl peroxide (kills bacteria with acne) should be your daily choice. It is good to use facial cleansers or facial cleansers that contain these ingredients. In case of severe mask, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist, who in turn might suggest treatments like retinoid drugs, anti-inflammatory creams with cortisone which will increase the speed of the natural renewal process of skin cells.
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Best Ways to Prevent Mask Acne
Here are some habits you should practice to avoid acne masks.
# 1. Select the right mask
The first step is to make the right choice of mask you are wearing. When selecting your mask, you should make sure that wearing the mask allows your skin to breathe while providing adequate coverage to protect you from the virus. The mask should sit comfortably on your skin and cover your nose and mouth at the same time. The fabric of the mask is another factor to keep in mind when selecting a mask for yourself. Cloth masks are not recommended because they do not protect against the virus! Wearing a clean N95 mask is recommended. If you wear a cloth mask, double it with a surgical mask for full protection.
# 2. Choose the right skincare and makeup products
It is very important to know the right products to apply to your skin under the mask. It’s best to use oil-free or non-comedogenic products as they might help prevent acne from appearing on your skin under the mask. It is always advisable to avoid applying heavy and multiple layers of makeup which can clog your skin pores and eventually lead to acne masking.
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# 3. Wash your face regularly with a cleanser
Whenever you take off your mask, be sure to wash your face gently with a cleanser to remove any dust, dirt, and oil that has accumulated on your skin. Washing your face at least twice a day is good for your skin. Not only will it help you clean your face from external dirt, but it will make your face look younger. The choice of your cleanser should be made according to the condition of your skin. A gentle cleanser can be used by all skin types.
# 4. Moisturize your face after washing
Using the right moisturizer helps maintain skin balance. It gives your sensitive skin the boost it needs to repair areas of dead cells and also helps to even out existing blemishes. It is a necessary product to protect your skin from impurities. Apply your moisturizer daily after washing your face. Here is a guide that will help you choose the right moisturizer for your skin type:
- For dry skin – Moisturizer
- For oily skin – Gel-based moisturizer
- For normal skin – Lotion
# 5. Use sunscreen whenever needed.
Applying sunscreen not only protects you from harmful UV rays, but also improves the health of your skin. Sunscreen protects important skin proteins such as collagen, keratin, and elastin. The better the health of your skin, the lower the chances of getting acne.
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# 6. Try not to touch your face
Many of us have a habit of stinging acne on our skin due to the irritation and itching. This leads to further inflammation of acne due to the dirt that settles on the surface of your finger. Touching your face can transfer the oil and impurities from your hand to your face. The mask puncture can lead to scarring later. Therefore, it is very important to resist the urge to fuss with your face.
# 7. Wear a clean mask and wash it properly
Since we know that mask acne is caused by constantly wearing a mask, we need to make sure that we always wear a very clean mask. It is recommended that you wash your cloth mask after each use, as this will remove dirt, oil and dead skin that collects on the inner surface of the mask. The correct way to wash off your mask is to use lukewarm water and a mild detergent that does not cause skin irritation. If you use a disposable mask, remember to change it every now and then.
This gives you a complete guide that you can follow to fight acne or maskne. Being aware of taking care of your skin is more important than ever. If you are having an uncontrollable mask problem, consider seeing a dermatologist at the earliest.