Welcome to the new normal. Masks are now a part of all of our daily routines, and unfortunately, they can have some negative side effects for our skin. That’s why we asked our team of skin scientists to cover everything related to masks and the acne that’s caused by them- the good, the bad, and the ugly. You’re probably thinking… what could possibly be good about mask acne? Well, that’s not really where the good comes in.
The good comes from wearing your mask in public. We hope all of our readers are avid mask wearers- it’s the right thing to do. Protect those around you by wearing your mask anytime you are going to be in public around others. The pimples caused by masks are a small price to pay for the safety and well-being of those around you- plus, there is better to be talked about- the solution to the pesky little pimples that pop up around the areas where we wear our masks.
We have a lot of advice on how to care for your skin in this new age of masks, and we are going to lay it all out for you. But before we do that, let’s dive into what it is about our new fashion accessory that actually causes our skin to breakout.
One of the main drivers for acne related to wearing our masks is irritation. A lot of the time acne is experienced right along where the mask lies upon our jaw line and up and over the bride of our nose. Where the mask touches our face, it tends to soak up our skin’s natural oils, leading to dryness, irritation, and eventually acne.
The rubbing against our skin also causes a friction that leads to redness and other forms of irritation. The type of laundry detergent we use to clean our mask, along with the material the mask is made up of can also irritate our skin. Another issue with the mask that clogs our pores is lack of air circulation.
Trapping our breathe within our masks causes the area to become moist, leading to a buildup of bacteria that eventually causes acne. Don’t fret, though, there are solutions to the problems that masks may cause for our skin, and we are going to go through them with you, step by step.
Cleanse baby, cleanse
Cleansing our skin has always been important, but in the new age of masks, it’s more important than it’s ever been! Having clean skin when we put our masks on is vital to preserving the health (and clarity) of our skin. Remember that trapped moisture we talked about earlier?
Cleansing is how we can counteract the issues that trapped moisture may cause. It is absolutely vital to cleanse your skin directly before applying your mask, to make sure there is no buildup on your skin when you put your mask on. Even more important, cleansing directly after taking your mask off.
This is the first thing you should do when you take off your mask! You will have a ton of buildup on your skin from breathing in a mask throughout the day, so you want to make sure that you effectively cleanse the buildup off of your skin as soon as you possibly can.
We recommend double-cleansing after a long day of werkin’ it in your mask. Double cleansing is super effective in making sure that no bacteria or buildup is left behind on your skin. So, when you take off the mask for the day, give your skin a nice double-cleanse, and you’ll be a lot less likely to break out.
Protect the Goods
After cleansing your skin, you have to make sure that you are protecting your skin. Doing so will reduce the likelihood of mask irritation and acne. How can we protect our skin under a mask? A good moisturizer. Not only will a good moisturizer keep your skin hydrated and prevent it from drying, but it will act as a barrier for the skin, protecting it from your mask. Look for products that include protective agents like hyaluronic acid that will provide a handful of benefits to your skin while also keeping it protected from the negative effects of your mask.
Skip the Makeup
We love a good makeup day, and those days can continue, but we recommend foregoing the makeup where people can’t see it anyways. Wing that eyeliner and slay that shadow but try not to pile on makeup under your mask. This only adds to the buildup of bacteria that accumulates while we wear our mask, and it greatly increases your chances of mask-related breakouts.
Find a Mask that Fits
Listen, we love a cute mask as much as the next person but remember, function is more important than fashion (unfortunately). Wearing too tight of a mask can cause irritation, acne, and rashes due to constant friction. This can cause active acne to worsen. Be cautious of how tight your mask is around your jaw line and cheeks.
Clean Your Mask
It is extremely important to clean your mask, so it doesn’t get dirtied up with bacteria that ends up on your skin. It is equally as important to be mindful about how you clean your mask. Always wash your mask with a fragrance-free detergent. Using a detergent with a fragrance can be extremely irritating to the sensitive skin on our face, causing breakouts and a load of other skincare problems. Remember, most people aren’t used to having a facial covering and your skin could be reacting to your detergent.
Avoid Harsh Ingredients
Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and retinol can be more irritating when used under a mask and may cause breakouts. Try to avoid these ingredients while wearing your mask and opt to use them at night instead. When applying skincare products under a mask take a minimalist approach.