Updated: May 16
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All you need to know about MASKNE (MASK +ACNE)
We currently live in times where wearing a mask before you leave your home is mandatory. With the current pandemic, wearing a mask helps reduce your chances of contracting the virus by a huge percentage. Although the mask helps in avoiding the virus, it has resulted in consequences for our skin (for many of us out there) resulting in acne.
So today, let’s learn all about MASKNE.
What is ‘MASKNE’?
Is this the first time you’re hearing this term? Well, it has been around for around a year now. In simple terms, it is acne caused by consistent wearing of your face mask (MASK + NE). Many of us have seen skin irritation or acne with the use of a mask on a daily basis.
Why does it happen?
While wearing a mask, the air you exhale is trapped within the mask (which is exactly what is needed to prevent the spread of the deadly virus), this trapped air creates a warm environment around your covered skin under your mask turning it to be an ideal setup for yeast and bacteria to breed in …. resulting in acne. Not everyone faces this issue. There must be many people out there who haven't ever heard of this term nor have they dealt with any reactions with usage of the mask. The only way to face this challenge is to chin up and fight this the right way.
How do we fight this and get rid of MASKNE?
The norm of wearing masks is not going to go away for a long time from now, considering the current stats of the spread of the virus. But here are few tips and tricks which can be followed to help get rid of maskne.
Let’s take a look at them:
1. Always wash your masks: As this acne is caused by the wearing of masks, it is obvious that we need to make sure we wash our masks regularly. This is to be followed for the fabric and reusable masks (with cute, funky designs and patterns). Make sure you wash them after every use. If you use the disposable ones, discard them after 1 use as that is what they are meant for.
Remember to wash the masks with a normal detergent and avoid the ones with extra fragrances or chemicals as your skin could react.
An alternative which worked for me is when I switched to silk/satin masks. There is less friction caused by them and they feel light on the face and do a good job keeping the virus at bay. To be more protective, you could cover the fabric mask with a surgical mask to be sure you're protected well enough.
2. Skincare and makeup tips: Always remember to moisturize your skin with a daily light weight moisturizer and sunscreen. If you apply makeup, make sure you opt for a light layer of makeup - lightweight foundation, lip-tint or liquid lipstick. This will ensure you do not transfer any product onto your mask and your skin still looks prepped, as required. Also remember to wash your face regularly to get rid of any dirt or oil that might be accumulated while having the mask on.
3. Treating your acne: Although we follow the above steps to try to avoid getting the acne, it is always good to treat the acne you have at present. Start with a spot treatment for your acne, so that it doesn’t worsen by wearing a mask. Spot treatment with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinol and natural products like tea-tree oil can help regulate the growth of acne. These ingredients are available in various forms like cleansers and various drugstore products at a reasonable price. Make sure you know which treatment suits your skin type the best and then use it regularly.
It is suggested to get in touch with your dermatologist to help suggest the best product and treatment for your skin type.
4. Love yourself: With the spread of the deadly virus around you and the acne problem which you are dealing with, please do not forget to be gentle with yourself and your skin and LOVE YOURSELF no matter what. It is during these tough times that we ought to stay strong, be gentle on ourselves and each other and come out of this pandemic stronger.
P.S Please reach out to a doctor if the symptoms worsen over time. It is always best to keep your doctor informed about your issues and measure the progress.
This is a basic guide about maskne and how to prevent it. Hope this helps you gain a little knowledge and answer your questions. Do drop a comment and let us know what information you would require related to this topic or any other.
Nikita Ravela is a graduate of PSB Paris school of Business with a Master degree in Business Administration. An avid writer in the fields of beauty, health, and wellness, you can find her at https://www.instagram.com/nikita_ravela/.