If your day-to-day life requires you to wear a mask frequently, you may be experiencing more side effects than simply smelling your bad breath. A new phenomenon associated with Coronavirus’ mask mandates is commonly termed “mascne”. It’s the concept that people, many of whom haven’t had a pimple in years, are suddenly having breakouts all throughout their lower face. What could be causing this issue and what could you do to stop it?
What’s causing the breakout?
Most people are unused to wearing masks on a day to day basis. They find it weird, uncomfortable and unusual. Well, your skin feels the same way.
A common misconception when talking about mascne is that it is simply due to dirty masks. While we should frequently wash our masks, this is most likely not the cause of the acne.
Typical mascne is weird, little pimples that most people have never had before. This type of breakout is usually caused by the mask’s humid environment around your cheeks, chin, mouth and nose. The bacteria in the pimples thrive in humidity caused by your breath. That’s why people almost never experience these sorts of breakouts: the hot, humid environment of a mask is brand new.
As opposed to a mask’s moist environment, they can also create breakouts through dryness and irritation. The material of your mask absorbs your skin’s natural oils. This causes dryness and sensitivity, in turn causing your face to breakout. While most people associate oily skin with acne, dry skin can actually cause breakouts just as much as oily skin can. I personally have been experiencing these types of breakouts due to masks.
Finally, masne could be caused by irritation from the mask rubbing on your skin. A mask can cause chaffing, aggravating your skin. While this would not directly cause acne, over time it could make you more prone to breakouts. Chaffing would most affect your chin, the bridge of your nose and behind your ears.
How do we fix this problem?
Let’s start with the fabric of your mask. The best option is 100-percent tightly woven cotton. It is
effective for keeping germs out, but is also very gentle on the skin. And yes, have replacement
masks and wash them frequently.
Your skincare routine is also vital. Make sure you are always washing your face morning and night. You want to wash the oils off of your face to allow a clean canvas for your mask to sit on. A gentle cleanser is a good option because it removes dirt and oils while not being too harsh on the skin. However, if you have oily skin, a cleanser with salicylic acid would benefit your skin type and target the breakouts.
Next, apply a moisturizer. This will help especially if your mask is causing your skin to be dry. I suggest using an oil-free moisturizer with Hyaluronic acid in it to provide intense, lasting hydration.
When looking for skincare to help with acneic skin, look for “non-comedogenic” on the bottle. This means it will not clog your pores. Another option to consider is a topical acne medication. Some examples of that are benzoyl peroxide, differin gel and adapalene. One of my personal favorite products is the ZO correct and conceal pen that MeiRai carries. It allows you to spot-treat any breakouts, killing the bacteria with salicylic acid as well as concealing the area. I apply it to each breakout and keep it on all day under my mask.
MeiRai also offers treatments that can immensely help your skin with breakouts. I personally would suggest having a HydraFacial. It thoroughly cleanses your skin, applies a glycolic and salicylic acid peel, extracts debris from your pores, and saturates your skin with antioxidants and peptides to protect your skin from free radicals, as well as deeply hydrating with Hyaluronic acid. This is great because it helps with the dryness problem as well as cleaning out your most vulnerable mascne areas.
Also, if your skin is oily, a good option is our ZO stimulator peel to deeply exfoliate and help with skin rejuvenation. Another treatment we offer is Dermaplaning with an enzyme peel. This treatment removes peach fuzz as well as the top layer of dead skin, and the enzyme can be customized to your skin type. Again, both of these treatments will remove the dirt and grime clogging up your pores due to mask usage.
If you have any questions or concerns, our staff here at MeiRai would be more than happy to help you in any way we can. Give us a call or come on in for a free consultation today!
Aesthetician, MeiRai Medical Aesthetics