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  • Debbie Safra, MS, RDN, LD/N

Maskne - How to Avoid it.

There’s a new term going around in the skincare and dermatology world called “maskne,” meaning acne caused by wearing a face mask. As an aesthetician for many years, I knew it would only be a matter of time before people started to have breakouts, rashes, or other irritations from wearing face coverings for extended periods.

Why? There are a few reasons to justify this. One is that people tend to touch their faces more often when wearing a face-covering versus not wearing one. You touch your face to put one on; you’re adjusting it, and so on. Friction against the skin also irritates. It’s hot outside, at least here in Florida, and wearing a face covering can cause a moist environment around the nose, mouth, and cheeks. Some individuals that suffer from skin issues such as acne or Rosacea can make it worse. Heavy make-up can transfer onto the mask, causing bacteria to build up.

Some people are wearing cloth masks, and if you are not washing them daily, bacteria can build up on the fabric and your face. I also read online where some people are spraying their cloth masks with disinfects and then wearing them- a big no-no. Yes, the cloth will be cleaned, but at what price, a trip to the dermatologist or physician for breathing in heavy chemical smells.

What do we do to keep our faces free from breakouts or other irritations during these times of mandatary masks in public places? Using lighter consistency moisturizers containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides will help with protecting the skins’ barrier.

If you’re using a cloth style mask, it may be a wise choice to have several on hand and change them throughout the day if they get sweaty or dirty and wash them daily. If you’re using disposal masks, dispose of them at the end of the day (in a trash can, please!). Wash your face and let your skin be free of make-up to breathe.

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