Though almost everyone I talk to doesn’t love it, they’re wearing masks these days. That’s because wearing a face mask has proven to be effective in reducing the risks of contracting COVID-19. But it hasn’t been successful in protecting the state of our skin. In fact, the term coined ‘maskne’ has become increasingly popular as it relates to the acne we get as a result of wearing face masks.

So, the question is, how do we overcome this? If you’re experiencing blemishes and breakouts on account of your face masks, don’t worry!

Here’s five tips to help you combat ‘maskne.’

One – Keep Your Mask Clean

Despite the fact that your skin under the mask is not being exposed to the dirt, germs, and other impurities within the air, it’s still accumulating sweat and oil underneath your mask when you’re using it. Failure to remove the build-up of grime on both the inside and outside of your mask can wreak havoc on your skin. And contribute to the cause of your ‘maskne.’ So it’s crucial that you keep your mask clean at all times.

Regardless of the type of mask you wear— whether it be paper or cloth— keeping it clean is essential for maintaining your health and preventing ‘maskne’ from occurring. Disposable masks are meant to be just that— disposable. When you’ve finished using your paper mask, discard it, and replace it with a new one. If it’s cloth, be sure to learn how to wash your mask and try to clean it at least once a day or as often as possible to ensure it remains germ-free.

Two – Cleanse & Treat Your Skin Daily

Besides keeping your mask clean, it’s also necessary to keep your skin clean by cleansing and treating it daily. A fresh face can do a world of good in combating ‘maskne’ and other skin issues such as irritation or inflammation. This is where your skincare regimen and treatment products will come into play.

If you’re already struggling with blemishes or normally have oily or acne-prone skin, it may be a good idea to invest in some additional acne-fighting products during this time. This will help you target breakouts more easily and improve the look and feel of your skin. Look for treatments with active ingredients like retinol, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide as these works to treat acne more efficiently than most over-the-counter skincare products.

For more severe mask related acne, however, consider speaking with a dermatologist about receiving your own prescription-strength acne products. Their expertise is a sure-fire way to get you back on track to clean, healthy skin in no time!

Three – Wear Little to No Makeup

I am a BIG fan of wearing make-up daily because it can boost your confidence. But piling on the foundation, concealer, and other skin cosmetics is unnecessary while wearing a mask.  Wearing a mask with make-up will transfer cosmetics to your mask.

And wearing make-up under a mask can also be hazardous for your complexion. The additional layer of beauty products can add more oil to the skin, which clogs pores and ultimately, leads to ‘maskne.’

So, while it may be frustrating to look at, it’s important to let your blemishes breathe when you can. It’s bad enough they have to be covered up by a face mask, but with more makeup comes an ever greater chance in experiencing ‘maskne.’ That being said, try to limit how often you wear makeup and wear as little as possible when you can. If you do want to spruce up a little before you go out in public, try only doing your makeup from your mask up! After all, that’s all anyone is going to see anyways!

Four – Double-Cleanse Your Skin at Night

Whether you have a dry, sensitive skin type, or an oily, acne-prone skin type, double-cleansing your skin at night is a great way to give your skin the impeccable wash it deserves after a long day of mask-wearing. This gold-standard cleaning method works to remove all of the makeup, sweat, and bacteria from your skin, allowing it the chance to breathe and rejuvenate overnight.

In order to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils, it’s vital that you choose gentle cleansing products for this step in your skincare routine. No matter what skin type you identify with, start by using an oil-based cleanser cleansing balm, or micellar water to break down any makeup, SPF, and bacteria on your skin. Then, follow up with a water-based facial cleanser suitable for your skin type and unique concerns. This second cleanse will help to deep clean your complexion and eliminate any additional impurities the first cleanser missed.

Five – Find the Right Mask for You

As the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, so does the face mask fashion. Between the distinct fabrics, colors, shapes, and sizes, face masks have provided a new frontier for retailers and businesses everywhere! Because of the variety of face masks out there and the high consumer-demand, however, finding the right mask for you and your skin isn’t as simple as it once was.

Purchasing an elastic, cloth mask may look more attractive and match your outfit, but it may be contributing to your ‘maskne’ as well. Wearing face masks that are too tight or are made out of a heavy fabric can be extremely damaging to the skin as it tends to be too constrictive, making for a moist, hotter environment under your mask. That’s why the American Academy of Dermatology recommends, “Wearing a mask that offers a snug, but comfortable fit [that] helps to protect you and others from the coronavirus.”

Aside from reducing your risk of catching COVID-19, this will also further serve to support your skin and avoid the development of ‘maskne.’

Love the Skin You’re In

The coronavirus pandemic has posed a lot of challenges to our health and our everyday lives. From social distancing to wearing masks, it can be hard to feel in control of anything. Luckily, by following this guide, you don’t have to let the state of your skin be summoned to the negative effects of COVID-19. As you move forward, remember to practice good skincare and follow these tips to avoid and overcome ‘maskne.’ And of course, love the skin you’re in!

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