Maskne, mascne, or, as dermatologists call them, acne mechanica are different kinds of skin breakouts caused or triggered by the facemasks we all have to wear at the moment. We all have to wear face masks due to Covid19 so it makes sense that we learn to live with them as best we can.
There are two main causes of this type of acne.
The first one is the friction or rubbing between your skin and the face mask. The friction irritates the surface of your skin and starts breaking down your skin barrier, which then makes it much easier for dirt, oil and makeup to get into your skin and block pores and cause them to get clogged and blocked. The other cause of mascne is the moisture and humidty from underneath a mask causing blocked skin and pores. Masks can also cause rashes if your skin is sensitive or prone to irrittation.
I have got used to wearing my mask for shopping and other things, but now I am slowly easing back into being back at work, I need to wear one for longer in the day. I don’t enjoy wearing a mask and they have their pros and cons but needs must and we do what we have to do.
When I first started wearing one I found my skin got a bit spotty and irritated, and I spent some time tyring to work out what helped and what didn’t.
So hear are my tips and tricks for avoiding mascne…
Wear less make up under your mask. I don’t tend to wear much makeup, other than an SPF and sometimes a BB cream, but if you are wearing a lot of product on your face, it’s just another layer of substance for the mask to rub against, and block pores and congest your skin. Skip make up, or heavy bases and skin cover and if you do want to wear some sort of make up, keep it lgiht, and oil free.
Change your mask often. You should be doing this anyway and not wearing the same mask all day, but they get damp and hot, and this isn’t good for your skin.
Take your mask off when you can. You don’t need to be wearing your mask when you are outdoors and not near people so let your skin air. When I am at work and am alone in the office, or in spaces when people aren’t around, I take my mask off for a bit. I put it on when around people, of course.
Wash your reusable masks after every wear. Masks are there to catch germs and viruses and they also get naturally dirty. They should be washed after every wear if they are washable, or discarded if single use. Re wearing a mask is risky from an infection control point of view as well as being pretty disgusting but it’s also bad for your skin.
Wash your masks with a good laundry detergent. There are plenty of eco friendly but still effective detergents that will get them clean. Air them dry and don’t wear them if they are damp.
Up your skincare game. Take off your makeup when you get home, and make sure you are keeping your skin clean and letting it breathe.
If you can take your mask off, use a facial spray to soothe and cool your skin and remove sweat and dirt and oil before you put your mask back on. I find that spraying my face and wiping it helps a lot.
If you do get some mascne, DON’T use harsh cleansers and spot treatments. Regular cleansing, and using a gentle face mask to help unclog your pores will help. Don’t strip your skin, that just makes it produce more oils and clogs pores.
At some point we won’t have to wear masks, and we will all breathe a sigh of relief, but for now, we have to, so looking after your skin whilst you helps.
Have you got any mascne tips?