A face mask is a part of our lives now. Face mask skin care is now a part of our daily routines, hygiene and one more thing for us to worry about. They should not be a hindrance. While many are still not living with them unless forced too, some of us who are worried about safety and wear them daily are seeing a new problem. Breakouts.
I discussed this problem back in May but far too many women are suffering from face mask skin problems and wanted to discuss further and share some more tips. I think I’ve been spared this fate because I don’t have to wear them as often as some and I’ve incorporated some skincare routines that aid in keeping my skin clearer during the pandemic. First, let’s figure out what is causing this problem in the first place.
Face Mask Acne: What is it?
Face mask acne or mask acne is due to the humid and sticky environment your mask creates around your face when you are wearing it. Masks can cause irritation through friction, chaffing and rubbing. These tightly fitted masks can rob the skin of its natural moisture and cause dryness. By keeping them clean from frequent washings with detergents and fabric softeners, we are rubbing them all over our faces and can also cause irritation. Also, pores can get clogged and can turn into pimples or acne cysts.
“The acne people are experiencing due to face masks is small pimples, like rosacea,” says Northwestern Medicine Dermatologist Walter J. Liszewski, MD. “Some people have never had acne like this in their lives.” nm.org
Wearing the mask can also cause your skin to sweat and with these high temps this summer, many of us are sweating a lot! This becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and this can lead to acne.
The best tips are here! Check out these simple tips that will allow you to decrease your chances of irritating your skin and fight off the acne.
- Clean your face, tone and moisturize BEFORE putting on your mask. Make sure to wash, tone and moisturize after wearing your face mask as well.
- The best material for a face mask is good old cotton. 100% cotton is effective, yet gentle on the skin. This can reduce chaffing and rubbing. This can also deplete your skin’s natural oils so make sure to moisturize before and after like mentioned above.
- Wash those masks regularly. Yes, you can wear them repeatedly but i would advice if wearing them for long periods of time or during a very sweaty workout to wash them before wearing them again. This is why you need quite a few of them or you will be washing A LOT!
- I let them air dry and let dry in the sun but you can use the highest heat setting to dry, and leave it in the dryer until the mask is completely dry.
- Only wear a clean mask every time you put one one. A pain for washing, but your skin will thank you so make sure to stock up on them so you don’t have to wash too often.
- If you can, try and skip wearing makeup under your mask. Trapped makeup can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Also, residue from makeup can dirty your face mask and require washing anyway.
- Don’t reuse the surgical masks. They are not intended for more than one use and you can usually find them pretty cheap like on Amazon.
- Keep extra masks in your car, purse, backpack and around the house so you always have a clean one when you are ready to head out.
- Make sure they are loose enough around your ears or they may start to hurt them. Face masks with adjustable ear loops are the best to get so they can fit just right around your ears.
- If all else fails, hit up your doc or dermatologist for some medical advice.
The bottom line is to use a clean mask before every use, clean the mask between uses, and wash your face before and after use. That will cut down on a lot of the problems. Also, these few steps are also helping you stay safe and as you can see, there are a lot of beautiful face masks that you can wear and stock up on that won’t break the bank.
Stay safe, ALWAYS wear a clean mask and enjoy the rest of the summer acne free!