“Maskne” or Mask Acne seems to be the new form of acne we are all suffering from. Mask acne comes from any kind of skin irritation, due to facial coverings, that happens from breathing moist air and having sweat around the mouth area be rubbed into the skin.
"Maskne is a catchall term for a few different real dermatologic conditions which can affect the face especially in the setting of heat, humidity, occlusion and friction," says dermatologist Jennifer Adams, MD (formerly Abrahams). "The conditions most often dubbed as maskne right now are periorificial dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, and acne mechanica." These skin conditions can lead to red rashes, acne-like bumps and flaking or scaling on the face where the mask is worn (What is maskne and how a skin care routine can help | Nebraska Medicine Omaha, NE, 2020).
One of my clients who is prone to acne breakouts came to me the other day and shared with me how much her acne has worsened since wearing the mandatory COVID masks. She asked me for suggestions to help prevent such unpleasant outbreaks and here’s my advice:
- Make sure to use a mask made of cotton with a tight fit.
- Wash your mask regularly!
- Moisturizing throughout the day with an Hyaluronic moisturizer can help to prevent such breakouts. At CURE, we carry our own moisturizer called HA Collagen Booster which is great for this.
- Most importantly: avoid skin care products which cause irritation and create skin sensitivity such as retinoids.
- It's best not to wear makeup under your mask, however if you are using makeup, be sure to use a non-comedogenic (pore clogging) or oil free makeup.
- Lastly, sunscreen is crucial with acne prone skin - your sunscreen should be silicone and fragrance free. Mineral sunscreens are the best for acne prone skin, especially with exacerbated outbreaks while wearing masks.
Written by Nurse Kim Gillespie, Medical Spa