Maskne – It’s a Real Thing

If 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s that wearing a mask has become the new norm, at least for now.  Face masks have become part of our daily routine, and now are required in many public places as a barrier against the Coronavirus which is spread through respiratory droplets.

Unfortunately, with face masks we have a not so new condition that everyone is talking about, “Maskne”.   This frustrating condition in the past was more commonly seen in athletes, due to sweat, heat and friction of their helmets or straps that came in contact with the skin.

Now, with most of us wearing masks, Maskne has come to the forefront of skin issues.  In most cases, Maskne is the result of clogged pores. We all have oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells on our skin. But when you wear a mask, these substances can build up more and block your pores.  A face mask also traps humidity due to your breathing and sweating, which may increase the risk of acne.

Acne breakout due to mask wearing

The material of a face covering can rub against your skin, leading to chafing and irritation.  You may be sensitive or allergic to the material of your face covering. Some masks are pretreated with chemicals or feel rough on the skin. Similarly, wearing a mask that has been washed in a scented detergent may cause irritation.

Conditions Related to Maskne

Included in the Maskne related skin conditions are:

  • Acne. Acne happens when your pores become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and dirt. It can cause pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads.
  • Rosacea. If you have rosacea, wearing a mask may cause flare-ups. This can lead to pimples and redness.
  • Contact Dermatitis. Contact dermatitis occurs when you are allergic or sensitive to the material of your mask. It can result in a red rash, along with irritation and blisters.
  • Folliculitis. Folliculitis, or an infection of your hair follicles, causes bumps that look like an acne breakout. You might also experience itchiness or pain.

If you already suffer with one of these conditions, you may be more prone to developing Maskne.

How to Treat Maskne and keep your skin clear

If you start developing Maskne, first and foremost, be gentle to your skin, that means going easy on the aggressive skincare products you may be using. Overdoing on scrubs, masks and products that cause rapid exfoliation right now can compromise your skin's protective barrier, which we need in-tact to help protect against the face mask irritation. 

Instead, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, avoid products that are too drying and try using products that contain soothing and hydrating ingredients.  Look for Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides, Shea Butter and Probiotics, which help to balance and repair damaged skin.  

Here are a few of GLOWBIOITCS favorite Maskne fighting products: 

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