If you still think that it’s only pollution, unhealthy eating habits and hormonal imbalances that invite acne to visit your face, you are highly mistaken my friend. Today, with the coronavirus living in such close proximity to us, its impact is felt in almost every part of our lives. With the COVID-19 pandemic came the mandatory need to put on masks for protecting ourselves from catching the infection. These masks though go a long way in keeping us safe, have had an adverse effect on our face skin giving rise to ‘Maskne’
Maskne (mask acne) is skin irritation, rashes, acne or clogged pores caused due to excessive wearing of masks. You may think this is another marketing gimmick to attract consumers to newer skincare products and I don’t blame you, but it isn’t. Maskne is a newer kind of facial acne that people have complained about especially the frontline workers.
What causes maskne?
Yes the masks do, but how and why? Let’s understand.
Our facial skin is already home to bacteria, body oil and dead skin cells. Locking this with a mask on the face for a long time causes them to increase in size which blocks the skin’s pores stopping the skin from breathing. Sitting of dirt on the skin causes acne and pimple. In addition to this, the mask’s fabric material causes friction which gives birth to rashes, redness and irritation. Further, the sweat that collects on the skins makes the irritation even worse. Leaving maskne untreated can further lead to leaving spots and scars on the facial skin.
The day when we get rid of these masks yet seems way too far, and till that day arrives, we need to find ways to protect our facial skin from maskne. You can surely invest in serums, toners and tonics to serve the purpose, but if you don’t want to spend an extravagant amount of money on these products, you can always embrace what is available naturally to us from nature.
Wash your face frequently
You must wash your face at least thrice a day, once after waking up, once after using your mask, and once before going to bed. This way you wash off all the accumulated dirt and bacteria from your face preventing it from causing any skin irritation. Washing your face will also keep the skin hydrated and fresh.
Aloe Vera to the rescue like always
Aloe Vera is by far the most powerful weapon to treat any skin concerns. It is a natural coolant and treats the toxins sitting on the skin. If you have an aloe vera plant at home, scrap out a little gel from it and apply it gently on the area that the mask covers. Let it stay for 15 minutes, then rinse with water.
Go easy on the use of makeup products
Make-up products are as it is heavily loaded with chemicals unless you are using organic ones. Layers of makeup products like primers, foundation, compact powders, etc can worsen the skin condition making it even more difficult to treat maskne. A simple foundation is sufficient to survive the day. Using make-up products always blocks the skin pores. Moreover, the mask on the face will further block any air from entering the pores. Thus, make sure you go real easy on using make-up products.
Make use of the right mask
Though doctors and nurses have no other option but to use double protection and surgical masks like the N95 masks, you on the other hand can use a simple fabric mask. Use a mask that is skin-friendly and lets the skin breathe freely. Dermatologists recommend using a 100% pure cotton mask as it is the best fabric for the skin.
Apart from using the correct mask, you must also use it correctly. Make sure you wash your mask after every use. Do not use a sanitizer spray after using the mask to ‘clean’ it. Wash the masks using detergents that aren’t harsh.
Allow your skin to breathe after every 4 hours
If you are out in a public place, you might forget that you have your mask on. Make sure you take out your mask for at least 5 minutes after every 4 hours. Let your skin breathe.
If your maskne still arises in spite of all these basic precautions and care, you should see a dermatologist and seek medical help.