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How to Treat Maskne: Preventing Face Mask Skin Problems

Now that we’re all back in school together, wearing a mask all day long is not ideal, but it is vital that we all do it to protect ourselves and those around us.

Wearing a mask all day can cause a breakout on the skin, a 2020 term aptly named ‘maskne.’ Maskne is caused by the constant friction of the mask material on your skin and it commonly occurs in people wearing masks for a long period of time.

As well as the constant friction on your skin, maskne can be triggered by pores being blocked by sweat, oil, makeup and other bacteria which sits on your skin under your mask. Blocked pores like this can cause spot outbreaks, blemishes, irritation and redness.

But don’t panic! There are easy ways to prevent maskne as a result of mask wearing, below we list three easy ways to help protect your skin, whilst still keeping us all safe.

  1. Wash and Change Your Mask Regularly.
    Whether you wear a reusable cloth mask, or one you’ve made yourself, it is vital that all cloth masks are kept clean. Bacteria and dirt easily build up over time on a mask, so the last thing you want to do, to avoid irritating your skin, is to put a dirty mask back on your face. You should aim to wash your mask, on a high heat, after one full day of wear.
  2. Wear the right face mask for your face!A snug, comfortable fitting mask helps to protect you and others from the virus and reduces skin problems. If the mask its too tight for your skin, or is too big and slides around your face, it can irritate your skin. If your mask is fitted poorly you’re also more likely to adjust it, transferring more germs to your mask and your face. The type of fabric on your mask is also vital. Avoid synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester and rayon as these are more likely to irritate your skin and cause breakouts.
  3. Cleanse Your Skin (Properly) Twice a Day!
    It is essential that you wash your face both before and after wearing a mask if you want to avoid breakouts. It may be tempting to wash your face more than usual, but we recommend you stick to your regular AM and PM routine so as not to dry out your skin. If your skin is already irritated, look out for a gentle cleanser, or if you are prone to acne, use a salicylic acid cleanser to help keep your pores clear of build-up.

You can read more about maskne and how to prevent it, here.