You may be familiar with the term “maskne” (mask + acne), which is the acne caused by wearing face masks and face shields. For many of us wearing a mask can cause or worsen existing breakouts, rashes and other skin problems. And while mask-ne is real (we see all of your DMs) there is so much more havoc that face masks can cause on our skin, such as bumps, rashes and overall sensitivity, especially if you are prone to rosacea, acne, dermatitis, and eczema.
“I am seeing more perioral dermatitis, rosacea and eczema than ever before.” – Sonya Dakar
Here Are Our 5 Maskne Treatment Tips:
Mist Your Mask: One of Sonya’s best tips to stop face mask breakouts is to spray it with an anti-bacterial skin toner that will help turn the mask into a solution instead of the problem. “The mask is touching your skin directly, why not treat it with good skincare and allow it to heal and protect skin instead of the opposite?” says Dakar. Simply spray the inside of your mask with a nice amount of toner and allow to dry before placing on your skin. You should spray your skin as well, but spraying the mask is key. Choose a spray toner that is suited for your skin (acne, irritation etc.). Look for ingredients such as salicylic acid, niacinamide, and also calming ingredients like Blue Butterfly pea flower and gotu kola.
Sonya’s Picks: Green Energy Clarifying Toner, Blue Butterfly Calming Toner
Mask Skin Prep: Pre-protection prepwork is key here. If you create a physical barrier between the mask and your skin, you’ll reduce irritation and the spread of bacteria. We all know that you should avoid wearing makeup if you will be wearing a mask. The moisture, heat and bacteria of your breath combined with makeup is the perfect breakout breeding zone for maskne. So, right before you put your mask on add some extra love to your skin.
For Redness, apply a barrier balm to the areas that the mask would rub against your skin to protect your skin from the chafing and irritation caused by the friction. A balm is key as it will create the perfect barrier on the top layer of your skin, as opposed to a moisturizer that will absorb into your skin
Sonya’s Pick: Blue Butterfly Balm
For Breakouts, or pimple prone areas, mist with a clarifying toner to prep skin, and apply a small amount of a gentle acne serum on breakout prone areas to help prevent maskne. On existing pimples, dot a little spot treatment.
Sonya’s Picks: Super Clear and Blemish Buster
Lip Service: you may have noticed that your lips feel drier , more chapped and irritated that usual. That is because your mask is also constantly rubbing against your pout. And because your lips do not have any natural oil glands to protect them, a good lip balm pre and post mask are key.
Sonya’s Pick: Lip Shield
Aftercare: As soon as you’re home and can remove your mask, cleanse your face and apply a soothing treatment with soothing omega 3 fatty acids and ceramides to soothe any irritation, especially if you are prone to eczema, dermatitis or rosacea.
Sonya’s Pick: Blue Butterfly Soothing Toner + Organic Omega Booster
Mask Maintenance: Treat your mask like you treat your underwear. You would not wear the same pair without washing them. The same applies to your mask. Taking proper care of your mask and cleaning them is as important as taking care of your skin. A mask that is not properly cleaned and disinfected is the culprit of a never ending cycle of maskne and other skin issues.
For a fabric mask: hand or machine wash daily in hot water, You can air dry or machine dry. But the most important thing is to always wear a fresh clean mask at all times.
Disposable masks: It’s ideal to toss surgical masks and N95s masks after every use.
If disposing of your mask is not an option follow these tips. Inspect your mask: if it is dirty, torn, or saturated with moisture, you should discard it. If it is in good condition, Steam Clean it at 125°C (257°F) for five minutes. Allow to air dry and store in a clean breathable container between uses.
The fact is masks are a part of our reality and the sooner we take the right steps to treat our skin pre and post mask usage, the happier our skin will be.