How over hearing about how we’re living in unprecedented times are you at this point? It seems everywhere you turn on TV, satellite radio, or anywhere someone is selling to you it’s all about what unprecedented times we’re living in (as if we hadn’t all figured it out by now). Still, in these unprecedented times (sorry), new information about our health and safety comes to us almost daily, and media updates that seem like they are out of a sci-fi horror flick fills our feeds.
Yet the silver lining is that, in taking the precautions dictated by the pros, we can help ourselves and those around us. The single most important (and, frankly, among the easiest) precaution that has done the most good is the wearing of a face mask. As important as mask-wearing is, however, this act of safety and mutual respect has elicited less-than-desirable side effects in the form of acne. To help make your health + glowy complexion stay strong (without sacrificing protection) we have several tips to reach a happy medium.
First Things First: Why Are Face Masks Causing Acne Anyway?
While acne-prone skin is one thing, it seems that acne caused by the face masks is another thing entirely. Reports are showing that in some cases people who’ve never had issues with acne are experiencing it. So, what gives? While your first thoughts could be, “These people just aren’t washing their masks!,” or “Uhhh, it’s because they’re wearing the masks all day,” neither is the case.
The acne outbreaks are actually coming from the moist, humid environment that’s created from the mask trapping breath on the face. While there is no evidence this creates a respiratory issue it is a breeding ground for bacteria to have a field day, and, well... result in not-so-exciting acne.
The length of time a mask is worn also appears to have nothing to do with it; in some cases people who wear it only during daily shopping chores are also reporting cases of acne.
So How Do You Know If You’re Affected By It?
If you're used to the occasional breakout, but have been getting them more frequently, your mask is most likely the reason. The acne caused by face masks shows up as “rosacea-like pimples”. Little. Red. Rampant. Annoying.
Now That We’ve Sussed Out The How And The Why, Let’s Get To The Solutions, Shall We?
Make sure to wear a breathable fabric mask. This is key to helping eliminate some of the “breeding ground” occurrences. The government recommends snug, 100% cotton masks for people. So, make sure that yours matches up.
Yes, you should still wash your mask. While dirty materials aren’t the primary cause of the issue, it’s still a contributing cause of acne. For instance, if you don’t wash your pillowcases acne grows when bacteria, dirt, and grime build up and brush onto your face. Make sure to always wash and dry your masks after a few uses.
Be sure to watch your makeup. Breathability of the skin is another area that should be considered. If you’re wearing layers of makeup beneath your mask, it is only further exacerbating the issue.
Always wash your face before masking up. While we’re sure you all are great at your skincare ritual by now, it goes without saying that you should definitely be washing your face before putting your face mask on. Any trapped dirt and oil will worsen the issue. Use something gentle and nourishing, like our 02 Cleansing Balm -- Overnight Mask.
Don’t use heavy-duty detergent. On the same tip as making sure your mask is clean, make sure not to use anything too fragrant or fake. We prefer all-natural detergent solutions because they don’t have phthalates which are known to irritate the skin.
Use a good moisturizer. You’re probably not surprised to learn that irritation and snug fits can lead to acne. To help keep the situation below your mask moist, and clean, you should always use a great moisturizer. Try our 03 Midnight In Corsica Face Oil. It is loaded with antioxidants and bacteria-fighting ingredients. The perfect companion to abolish the dreaded “maskne”.
Make small breaks. Sure, if you’re grocery shopping you can’t exactly take a break from your mask, but if you’re out and about it’s okay to go into your car and remove your mask so your skin can breathe. To make the “mask relief” session even more productive, try spraying your face with a natural facial mist. This can help get rid of any buildup that accumulated beneath it.
Keep your skin nourished with water. Hydration is the key to keeping your skin moist and in balance.
That’s a wrap on what mask acne is, what causes it, and the top 7 tips for helping to prevent it. We hope that you found this post helpful. Stay safe, everyone!