Effects of Wearing Masks on Skin

“Maskne” a new term deemed in 2020 due to the corona virus. Though masks have become an essential part of our new normal they also bring on pimples, irritated skin, and dry lips. Maskne tends to manifest itself in a couple of different ways:

  1. Rosacea: Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes people to have skin that is susceptible to redness and produce small pus-filled bumps on the face.
  2. Acne:  Acne is a skin condition that is a result of hair follicle pores that are clogged by oil and dead skin cells.  Acne is a mixture of pimples, whiteheads and blackheads.
  3. Contact dermatitis: Contact dermatitis is a direct result of the skin’s contact with a substance or surface that causes an allergic reaction
  4. Folliculitis: Folliculitis is fairly common and can manifest as razor bumps. It usually is a result of inflammation and infection of the hair follicles in our skin.
  5. Extra Dry Lips: Constant friction causes our skin to lose moisture resulting in lips that are extra dry.

Now lets give you some tips on how to prevent Maskne: 

1)     Your masks’ material is key

Board-Certified Dermatologists suggest that the inner lining of your masks matters. The softer the material the better. Cotton is your safest bet, but any cotton-blend material would be better than synthetic materials. This would allow your skin room to breathe and would also be far gentler on your skin.[1]

2)     Wash your masks and with the right ingredients

 It is also essential that if you are using a cotton mask that you wash it regularly. Be careful though washing your masks with harsh detergents often leaves irritant residue in your masks which can inflame your skin. Opt for a detergent that is hyo-allergenic to avoid this. If you are using the disposable masks, then make sure to dispose of them after the day is over.

3)     Amp up the skin-care routine

Pay attention to your skin-care routine. Now more than ever, you have to take good care of your skin. Wash your face and moisturize your skin regularly with non-comedogenic moisturizers. Dermatologists recommend using a moisturizer with one of the following ingredients: Ceramides, Hyaluronic acid, Dimethicone, this will help in avoiding clogged pores but also make sure that your skin doesn’t lose moisture.

4)     Less is more!

Cut down on the makeup and leave in products. These only further contribute to clogged pores. Dermatologist Daniela Kroshinsky, MD, MPH, FAAD suggests steering clear of retinoids, Leave-on salicylic acid, and Aftershave.

5)     Lather your lips in petroleum jelly 

The American Academy of Dermatology does not recommend the use of lip products with camphor, eucalyptus, menthol, fragrance or flavors like cinnamon. Instead, it is highly recommended to use petroleum jelly as it is the thickest lip-product and lasts the longest. The petroleum jelly’s thickness prevents the skin from experiencing water loss and helps retain moisture.

6)     Take off your masks periodically

This tip should only be followed if you have access to an area where it would be safe to remove your mask, such as your house or your car or if you are 6-feet away from other people. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends removing your mask for 15 minutes every 4 hours in order to allow your skin to breathe.  

Concluding remarks:

Take care of your skin, wear a mask, stay safe!