It looks like the coronavirus has changed everything, and it even applies to the way we go about our beauty and grooming routines. But it goes beyond not being able to get a haircut, facial, or pedicure. The final side effect is maskne, the cute term for not-so-cute acne caused by wearing a face mask. Maskne is caused by the tissue rubbing against the skin, which can trigger inflammation and irritation, resulting in rashes. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to take care of your skin.
If you’ve noticed that your mask has gotten worse over the summer, it’s no coincidence – when moisture from moisture and sweat gets trapped in the mask, it can make the effects worse. Masks essentially create a seal on the face, keeping everything inside. And that doesn’t discriminate, because it will happen no matter what type of mask you wear, whether it’s cotton, N95, or surgical paper.
Maskne could be caused by a number of types of reactions. For example, the type of fabric your mask is made from might trigger a reaction, so stick to breathable fabrics like cotton, which are less likely to make the problem worse. Since the masks sit directly on our skin, another possibility is sensitivity to laundry detergent or fabric softeners, which can cause irritation or dermatitis. For those with sensitive skin, it’s best to wash your masks in a fragrance-free detergent to avoid a reaction.
Another culprit of maskne could be not washing your mask or bandana frequently enough. If you wear the same one over and over again without washing it, it’s like putting on sports clothes, which will trigger rashes. It’s not just masks that need to be washed regularly, your face too. Always wash your hands and face before putting on your mask for the day, then wash them again when you get home and it is safe to take it off. Those who are already prone to acne should look for a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to unclog pores and prevent breakouts.
Skipping makeup is a good idea, as it’s just another thing that will mix with sweat and oils trapped under the mask, increasing your risk of breakouts. Additionally, thick makeup can affect the tightness of the mask, making it less secure. Play it safe and work on a bold eye or forehead instead of blush, lipstick, or foundation.
Step up your skin care regimen to fight maskne. If your skin is raw around the mask area, create a protective physical barrier with a cream designed for this, such as Avéne Cicalfate + Protective Repairing Cream, which treats and prevents irritation. It’s a good idea to always use moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated, as this instantly soothes it and reduces the chance of irritation. Look for simple, non-comedogenic formulas designed for sensitive skin that won’t clog pores.
Here are the best skin care products to treat and prevent maskne:
1. Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel
Microbiome-boosting skin care products have been all the rage lately and are now more important than ever. When bacteria build up on the skin, they disrupt the balance of the microbiome, leading to irritation and rashes. The skin under masks can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which is why Murad’s new oil-free clarifying water gel stops it in its tracks with its innovative technology that prevents bacteria from building up and forming a imbalance. Ingredients include sustained-release hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration, ginger root extract for soothing skin, salicylic acid for exfoliating and fighting acne, and pine extract. Korean red to prevent irritation.
Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel
2. Avéne Cicalfate + Protective Repairing Cream
A recently updated favorite, this multitasking has 45 uses and can treat irritations, dry patches, rashes, scratches, sunburns, cuts and eczema, to name a few. . Its active ingredient, a Postbiotic C + Restore Complex, helps the skin heal four times faster with improvement in two days by creating an optimal healing environment, making it one of the best skin care products for treating the mask and irritation caused by face masks.
Avéne Cicalfate + Protective Repairing Cream
3. Detox Serum Break
Its name sums it up: this serum works to detoxify the skin by unclogging pores and clarifying it, thus reducing rashes along the way. The clear, lightweight formula absorbs quickly and also removes excess oil, soothes inflammation, evens skin tone, lifts, brightens and hydrates, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A mix of vitamins, antioxidants and peptides does the heavy lifting.
PAUSE Detox Serum
4. PCA skin acne gel
This acne gel can be used as a spot treatment or it can be applied to the entire lower half of your face to combat the mask. It gives fast results, eliminates current rashes and prevents future ones with a combination of salicylic and azelaic acids and natural herbs. It also helps in controlling the oil production of the skin.
PCA SKIN anti-acne gel
5. Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil
Talk about restful sleep – this clarifying oil works overnight while you sleep to calm stressed skin and treat and prevent rashes. Retinol has a dual function in fighting acne and the signs of aging, including hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. Sustained-release retinol works in partnership with salicylic acid to show results in seven days. The formula also includes argan, rosehip seed and golden jojoba oils to minimize irritation and leave skin glowing.
Dermalogica Brightening Retinol Oil
6. Perricone ® Gentle and Soothing Cleanser
The gentle formulas are great for combating the mask because they get the job done without irritating your skin, as is the gentle, soothing Perricone ® cleanser. The non-foaming cleanser can be used morning and night to deeply remove dead cells and skin debris, reduce excess oil, unclog pores, and kill bacteria that trigger rashes. It contains squalane to hydrate and sucrose to stimulate the skin microbiome.
Perricone ® Gentle, Soothing Cleanser
7. Pai Skin care Perfect Balance Anti-Blemish Serum
Soothing skin is essential to keeping maskne under control and this balancing serum is a pro at that. Designed for acne-prone skin, it reduces sebum production by up to 65%, and its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory formula improves the appearance of rashes by up to 72%. It works to maintain a healthy moisture barrier so the skin stays naturally hydrated.
Pai Skin care Perfect Balance Anti-Blemish Serum
8. FAB Pharma First Aid Beauty White Clay Acne Treatment Pads with 2% Salicylic Acid
Slide these tampons along the mask area daily to treat rashes and stop future ones. Formulated with 2% salicylic acid, they also contain kaolin clay to remove impurities, evermat to decrease sebum and shrink pores, tea tree oil to exfoliate and willow bark to smooth the skin texture. Without alcohol, they do not strip or dry out the skin.
FAB Pharma First Aid Beauty White Clay Acne Treatment Pads with 2% Salicylic Acid
9. Clear Skin Serum Payot
This French skincare line recently landed in the United States, just in time to help you fight off the mask with its lightweight clarifying serum. Designed for combination to oily skin, it uses zinc extract to purify skin tone and prevent breakouts. It only takes a few weeks for the skin to clear up and have a smoother texture. The dropper doses just the right amount for each application, avoiding guesswork.
Clear Skin Serum Payot
10. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
In case you’re wondering what the duo in the title is referring to, this spot treatment is the only one with Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide (5.5%), a potent acne medication that sinks deep into the pores, and micro-exfoliating LHA that delivers exact cell-by-cell exfoliation to even out skin texture over time. The oil-free double action does not dry out the skin and is recommended for blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo