maskne - what is it, and what to do about it

by Mohammed Raees Gani

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, face masks have become an essential part of our new normal.

As much as this protective gear has aided in reducing our anxieties about catching COVID-19, it has brought up a new problem we now have to combat — maskne.

maskne is the name used to refer to a breakout cause by wearing a face mask and it particularly occurs around the area the mask covers and where the mask causes friction, pressure and rubbing.

It is attributed to the heat from speaking through the masks which causes sweating that is trapped inside the area which the mask covers. This results in a buildup of oil and bacteria that sits on the skin for long periods of time.

The friction, rubbing and pressure caused by the mask weakens the skin barrier and makes us more vulnerable to irritation and absorption of the bacteria, causing breakouts. 

If you’re wearing masks often, it’s super important to take good care of your skin.

You can do this by using hydrating products to prepare, protect and repair the skin barrier. It is good practice to cleanse after having worn your mask to get rid of the bacteria and sweat buildup.

Try different types of masks, to find one that is comfortable, breathable but still protects you. Also ensure that it doesn’t tie too tight.

Wash the masks every time after use. You should already be doing this as it gets rid of the bacteria encountered throughout the day and you want to use a clean mask, because, coronavirus.