Wearing a mask helps keep you and others healthy when it comes to covid-19. But it can have a harmful effect on your face, leading to skin irritations or acne.
Breathing in and out under a mask increases the temperature and humidity of the covered areas of the face, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to breed. Wearing a mask causes constant friction against the skin, damaging the outer protective layer. The resulting vulnerable and damaged skin allows the bacteria on its surface to easily enter deep into clogged oil glands, causing increased inflammation and acne breakouts.
With all this mask-wearing, more people are beginning to complain about a skin condition nicknamed, “maskne” or “mask acne.” Maskne , or it’s proper name “acne mechanica,” is caused by the combination of rubbing from the mask, which irritates the skin barrier, as well as the hot moisture trapped inside, which dilates the pores and allows bacteria and oil to clog them up. Once the follicles are trapped with dirt and other build-up, they become inflamed, leading to breakouts around your cheek, eyes and nose.
If you are prone to acne, avoid masks made of fabrics like polyester that tend to trap sweat underneath. Using a mask with an inner layer made from an absorbent material such as cotton can help absorb sweat and is less likely lead to breakouts.
It might seem like a little bit much, but you should wash your face before and after wearing a mask. When doing so, choose a gentle skin cleanser that is free of harsh sulfates which can strip the skin of its protective oils. Nurrish Skincare & Beauty Boutique retails several gentle cleansers.
It’s also important to massage the cleanser in gently with fingertips only — no loofah or abrasive scrubs. Then you pat dry with a clean towel.
Follow up with a lightweight, fragrance-free moisturizer with ingredients like glycerin and niacinamide that help strengthen the skin barrier.