Like it or not, we are currently living in an era where wearing face masks have become a norm. Wearing face masks are, of course, to help prevent and reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19. And while face masks prove to be an essential everyday item, therein lies another problem. A significant problem called “maskne” — a combination of words derived from “mask” and “acne”, where wearing a face mask can cause friction between your skin and the mask’s fabric. Coupled with the warm and moist environment that traps the skin underneath, it can lead to acne breakouts and clogged pores. So, here are 7 Tips To Prevent “Maskne” Problems.
1) A Clean Face Matters
Two words: dirt and oil. These are the main culprits that can cause breakouts. Put it this way, imagine putting on a mask for hours while you are outside, say running some errands. And because you have to wear your mask snugly from the bridge of your nose right down to yout chin, you’re basically smothering your face. Grime will eventually accumulate over time and more so if you are sweat. Which is why it’s important to wash your face first to get rid of the dirt and oil on your skin before wearing a mask. Also, make sure to wash your face again after wearing it.
2) Look For A Gentle Cleanser
Washing your face with water alone isn’t enough to prevent the dreaded “maskne” problem. Keeping a regular skincare routine matters too, starting by washing your face with a cleanser, preferably twice a day. Not just any cleanser will do since some of them (benzoyl peroxide comes to mind) can irritate the skin. Instead, consider using those mild but effective acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid. Not only it helps to remove excess oil but also gently exfoliate the skin and unclog the pores. Of course, we do understand that everyone has a different skin type, so exercise caution with skincare products!
3) Use A Mild Or Oil-Free Moisturiser
Moving on is applying a moisturiser. Everyone’s skin care routine may be different, but we still have to apply moisturiser at some point. A moisturiser acts as an added protective layer to your skin, which in turn, helps to minimise dryness. Look for a moisturiser that contains one of these following ingredients: ceramides and hyaluronic acid. And if possible, get a fragrance-free or oil-free moisturiser to prevent skin irritation.
4) Avoid Trying A New Skincare Product
Planning to try a new skincare product? Best to avoid it if possible, particularly if you find yourself wearing a mask on a regular basis. This is especially true if your new skincare product contains harsh ingredients, which might irritate your skin. Even if you insist on using it, consider doing a simple patch test as a safety precaution. All you have to do is apply a small amount of your new skincare product on your forearm. Wait for 24 hours and see whether your skin suffers from an allergic reaction. If it does, avoid using it at all costs to prevent breakouts or worse.
5) Change Your Disposable Mask After Use
Most of us wear a disposable mask while we are outside. The kind of 3-ply surgical face masks which typically come in blue or green. They are designed for single use, meaning it’s best to discard it after each use and replace it with a new one. Even if you are looking to save money, don’t wear the same disposable mask for more than a day. Imagine all the dirt, oil and sweat (see no. 1) accumulated all over the mask you’ve been wearing for hours. If you know you’re going to be out for the whole day, consider bringing an extra mask (remember to put it in a plastic Ziploc-like storage bag or a mask cover).
6) Pick The Right Fabric For Reusable Masks
Figured that wearing disposable masks do more harm than good to the environment? Consider switching to a reusable mask, which is typically made to last even after numerous washes. But keep in mind that not all fabric materials used to make reusable masks are suitable for every wearer. For instance, if you are prone to acne breakouts, consider getting a reusable mask made from natural cotton or other breathable material. Cotton is known for its softness and is breathable as well. Remember to wash your mask after use with warm water and a gentle, fragrance-free detergent.
7) Skip Or Minimise Your Makeup
Hate to break this to you but wearing makeup can potentially lead to “maskne” problems. Here’s why: When you put on makeup and wear your mask underneath, its residue can soil the fabric from the inside. This, in turn, can cause breakouts and clogged pores. Avoid it if possible and this also goes for both thick concealers and foundation. But even if you have to, keep it minimal and use makeup products contain “oil-free” or “non-comedogenic” on the labels.