#MASKNE – Irregularities under the mask?
#MASKNE, when wearing a mask causes irregularities
It has become our daily life. Every day, tens of millions of people around the world wear masks to fight the transmission of Covid-19. This practice is bearing fruit and the virus is receding … but this is not without consequences for the skin!
Indeed, from the first weeks of use, many people noticed that prolonged wearing of a face mask created or accentuated irregularities on the face, precisely in the area under the mask. Whether it is irritation linked to friction or irregularities, this phenomenon seems to have become so generalized that we have even gone so far as to invent a new word to describe this concept: maskne: the mix between mask and acne.
As always, we are not equal when it comes to skin irregularities. Combination to oily skin is on the front line, as these skin types tend to develop irregularities more easily.
Who is affected by maskne?
Once again, we are not all equal when it comes to maskne! Potentially anyone can be affected by the phenomenon, but some skin types seem to be more sensitive to factors such as the daily friction of the mask on the skin.
Likewise, maskne can take on several different forms depending on the person: itching, small irregularities, skin that shines more in certain places, etc.
A study in China has shown that there is an association between an increase in flare-ups of skin irregularities in people who wear the mask for more than 4 hours a day for 2 months or more. In this case, sebum production would then rise by 10% compared to normal.
What to do against maskne?
To counter the harmful effects of maskne, let’s review our hygiene! Now is not the best time to skip a good hygiene routine. Morning and evening, remember to clean your face with products adapted to your skin type. Choose a cleanser with a pH close to the skin’s, so as not to strip it, it does not need that right now! It is fundamental to remove all the impurities and residue that have accumulated under the mask throughout the day.
If you naturally tend to have combination or oily skin, choose suitable hygiene products that can remove excess sebum and purify your skin.
Which skincare routine for maskne?
The whole difficulty in choosing a suitable skincare routine for maskne is successfully juggling a routine that is sufficiently moisturizing so that the skin regains its normal barrier function and at the same time, which prevents irregularities. In short, a cream that is neither too rich nor too light. Most important? Make sure that the cream used is non-comedogenic, that is, it will not create irregularities on the skin.
Should we favor one type of mask over another?
It’s very difficult to say. There isn’t really any hard data yet that would indicate that one type of mask is better for the skin than another. Once again, it’s all about testing and trying on different types of masks to see which one works best on your skin!
You can try wearing each type of mask on consecutive days to see which one is best for you.
Our top 5 tips to avoid maskne
- Wash your hands frequently – especially before touching your face (which you try to avoid as much as possible)
- Wash reusable masks at least once a day! Do not wear the same mask for several days in a row. If you use a disposable mask, follow the instructions for use written on the box. Generally, it is recommended that a surgical mask be worn at most 4 hours before disposal.
- When conditions allow for it, let your skin breathe.
- Do not touch your skin irregularities or imperfections, even under the mask, crushing them can lead to scars, which will be clearly visible at the end of the pandemic 😉
- If possible, try to apply your moisturizer at least 30 minutes before you have to put on your mask to give it time to penetrate the skin.