Is your mask causing you to breakout? You are not alone. Here’s is an easy guide on how to prevent and treat mask-related acne breakouts. Masks have become our new normal, as we spend more and more hours in them.
How to Prevent and Treat Mask-Related Acne Breakouts
As lockdown restrictions are slowly relaxed in South Africa and the world at large, the wearing of masks has become mandatory in public spaces to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, wearing a mask regularly can also lead to acne breakouts.
My Experience with Mask-Related Acne Breakouts
I for one am not prone to acne breakouts, but wow! These masks are showing me flames. Imagine being physically at work for about 8+ hrs a day and having to wear a mask throughout. Where walking around without a mask on is a serious offence. My mask only comes off to drink or eat, even that needs to be done in a very safe manner. Consequently my masks were starting to cause me to breakout.
I did my research and I want to help you too. So, here is how to prevent and treat mask-related acne breakouts. Firstly, let us understand what the cause is.
The LOVELEELERA Blog does its very best to provide accurate and helpful information. So, understand that we are not experts in this field. Also, please do not consider these opinions to be substitutes for sound professional advice. Do consult your professional healthcare providers before beginning any new regimes, please. For full disclaimer see our Disclaimer page.
What Causes Mask-Related Acne Breakouts
Managing the side effects of wearing a mask full time starts with understanding the root cause of these skin issues. Wearing a mask over prolonged periods of time inevitably creates a humid skin microclimate (microclimate: the climate of a very small or restricted area, especially when this differs from the climate of the surrounding area) which leads to maceration (macerate: To soften tissues after death by soaking of the skin to soften by soaking).This, together with the constant friction of the mask due to movement, causes damage to the skin’s surface and leads to hair follicles becoming blocked. So, this is the reason why acne tends to develop when we wear masks for prolonged periods of time. You could notice the same effect on your forehead from wearing beanies.
How to Prevent and Treat Mask-Related Acne Breakouts
Now that we know the cause of these mask-related acne breakouts let us look at the following 5 ways to prevent and treat them.
1. Minimize Skin Irritation
Firstly, to prevent mask-related acne breakouts start by minimizing skin irritation. The best treatment for this would be to completely stop wearing masks. Unfortunately, this is not an option in our current situation. As some kind of rule of thumb try avoiding excessively humid conditions (this may not be practical for everyone). Also, minimize the application of oils and fancy cosmetics to the already affected skin and refrain from picking or scratching at spots. Lastly, by avoiding abrasive skin treatments like face scrubs which can further aggravate acne.
2. The Correct Fabric for Your Mask
One of the most important things to pay attention to is the fabric that is used for your mask, because that can make a big difference. So, find the right fabric for your mask.
If you are prone to acne, consider avoiding masks made from fabrics like polyester, because they have a tendency to trap sweat. Using a mask with an inner layer made from an absorbent material such as cotton can help absorb sweat and is less likely to lead to breakouts. Similarly, for sensitive skin, avoid fabrics with a rough texture that can cause irritation.
3. Just Right Cosmetics
Using cosmetic products that are too occlusive (close, seal or block pours) might make your acne worse. Instead, look for products that are indicated for oily skin or are described as “will not cause blackheads” by blocking the pores of the skin. Wash affected areas twice daily using the 60-Second Rule with a very mild cleanser and water, after that apply an oil-free moisturiser (only if the affected skin is obviously peeling).
3.1. New Night-Time Routine
Your new night-time routine should consist of washing followed by pat drying your face, then medicating affected areas and lastly moisturising (only if required).
3.2. Use of Acne Products
Acne products would have to be applied to all areas that are affected by acne, rather than just on individual spots. (If applicable to you)
4. Go Makeup-Free
Skipping your makeup, such as foundations and concealers. As well as other skin-care items that could cause irritation should also be skipped. This is because it could clog pores and lead to breakouts or uncomfortable build-up. The same goes for our fancy skin care products.
Unfortunately, now isn’t the time to experiment with beauty moments. If you’re itching for the creative release of a beauty moment. Play with the parts of your face that are not covered by the mask. Like your eyes. You can however, bring out your makeup bag the second you’re home and off the clock.
5. Alternate and Wash Masks
Lastly, reusing masks can negatively impact the skin, it is also essential to avoid reusing the same mask to stop the spread of germs. For your reusable fabric/cloth masks, frequently (after every wear) wash them in hot water. Also get several masks so you can rotate them. Washing masks on a regular basis is important since they are going to collect sweat and microbes that are sitting on your skin. Avoid detergents with a fragrance and additives when washing your masks, because that could also irritate the skin.
Need more masks? Get Your Masks from Banike Here!
If You Were Wondering…
What is the 60-Second Rule?
The 60-Second Rule is a face-cleansing technique where you are cleansing your face (with your fingers) for 60 seconds straight.
Where Does This Trend Come From?
It all started when aesthetician Nayamka Roberts-Smith tweeted about the need to wash your face with your fingers and cleanser for at least 60 seconds, noting that most people only do this for at most 15 seconds.
Why the 60-Second Rule Is “DaGirl”?
Cleansing your face (with your fingers) for 60 seconds allows the ingredients in the cleanser to actually work. The cleanser gets to do what it claims it can do. As a result, the technique is claimed to soften the skin and the cleanser is able to dissolve sebum blockages better. The texture and overall skin evenness should improve.
That is how to prevent and treat mask-related acne breakouts. Let me know about your experience and challenges with wearing masks. How are you handling the challenges? Leave a comment below.
Please Stay Safe, Wear Your Mask Correctly and Wash Your Hands Frequently.
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