Maskne – the New, Unwanted, Skin Trend
The last few months have brought on extraordinary changes to our lives. COVID-19 has certainly made a huge impact on our everyday lifestyle – how we socialize, our work environments, and the way we navigate our personal health. The good news is, New Yorkers have done an exceptional job adhering to social distancing and pretty much everywhere you go, you see every person with a mask. The bad news? Wearing a mask every day can lead to unpleasant breakouts and what we like to refer to as, “Maskne.”
What is Maskne?
Maskne is the unfortunate result of acne due to wearing a mask. This type of acne can form as whiteheads, blackheads, or even deep cystic breakouts and typically appears in the chin, cheek, lip, and nose areas of the face.
Why does it happen?
All acne develops due to bacteria lingering on the skin and deep in the pores, or follicles. Add in the friction and pressure from wearing a mask, in conjunction with excess moisture, and you have a breeding ground for breakouts. Not to mention that summer months increase oil production too. All these factors combined can worsen existing acne issues or potentially cause new ones.
What can I do about it?
The best way to fight Maskne is to prevent it! More than ever, it’s important to be diligent and consistent with your skincare routine. Now is a great time to incorporate salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliant that attracts and removes oil-soluble bacteria, into your regimen. Our favorite is Skin Medica’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating cleanser. Another tip is to eliminate or minimize your makeup. Not only does this dirty up the mask, but adds to the collection of bacteria being pushed into the follicles on a daily basis. Lastly, treat your mask like you treat your underwear! Always wear a fresh mask, wash and completely dry your fabric masks, and be sure to only put a mask over clean skin.
While wearing a mask every day isn’t what most of us would like to be doing, it’s certainly one of the most effective ways for us all to do our part with minimizing the spread of COVID-19. This doesn’t have to result in unwanted breakouts! When you keep it clean and stay on top of your skincare, you can keep your skin looking healthy and clear.