As soon as the quarantine restrictions in our country started to lighten up, many people resumed their daily hustle. The only difference is the added physical distancing, face shields and masks. After using masks all day everyday, many people noticed that they’ve been breaking out more than usual. On social media, this phenomena was christened as maskne, which is short for mask acne.
Glow Skin Clinic medical director and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Karen Mabilin-Prieto, FPDS tells Preen.ph that maskne is a type of acne mechanica. It occurs when there is “repeated mechanical trauma, rubbing, friction, and/or occlusion of the pilosebaceous unit.” It also increases the temperature and humidity on your face. “The trapped moisture, sweat, oil or sebum and dirt may result in clogging of pores and comedo formation and may harbor bacteria (specifically, Cutibacterium acnes) resulting in inflammatory acne,” she explains.
To avoid getting maskne, here are some steps that you can follow:
Dr. Mabilin-Prieto advises to gently cleanse your face before and after wearing a mask. She recommends using “a mild, fragrance-free, non-abrasive, oil-free cleanser.”
Moisturize after cleansing
But not just any moisturizer. Dr. Mabilin-Prieto instructs you to search for products with one of these ingredients: ceramides, hyaluronic acid or dimethicone. Aside from that, keep in mind that there are different moisturizers for different skin types. For oily skin, use a gel moisturizer. For normal or combination skin, use a lotion moisturizer. And for dry to very dry skin, use a cream moisturizer.
Skip the makeup
They clog up the pores more and lead to breakouts. “If make-up is necessary, look for products that are labeled ‘non-comedogenic’ or ‘oil-free” and choose mineral-based makeups,’ Dr. Mabini-Prieto advises.
Avoid trying new skincare products
Your face isn’t a test subject. Wearing masks can already make your skin sensitive. Dr. Mabilin-Prieto tells us to avoid or cut back on using products that can irritate the skin like exfoliants or those with a high percentage of AHAs, leave-on salicylic acids and retinoids. She also tells us to do away with light devices, peels and scrubs.
Wash cloth masks daily
This goes without saying, but it pays to be sure. Be sure that you’re using a gentle detergent which will remove oil and excess dead skin cells that get trapped inside the mask. After that, make sure the fit of the mask is still comfortable and snug.
While we did consult an expert for this, always remember that every skin is different. What might work for us but it might not work for everyone. If ever you’re looking for a board-certified dermatologist, you can check the Philippine Dermatological Society’s website.
In addition to these, Dr. Mabilin-Prieto insists that your eating habits also play a role in acne breakouts. “In general, diet modification such as cutting down dairies and sugars and reducing stress may also help prevent acne break-outs,” she tells us.
In this new normal, mask-wearing is a must. Let’s keep in mind these tips to ensure our skin will be healthy and acne-free despite the trauma masks bring to it.