This morning I woke up with a giant whitehead on the bottom of my nose and apropos I am writing a blog post for Sealuxe about maskne today. While the word maskne is not yet in my Word dictionary, rest assured, it is very much a thing. I almost never get zits but lately they’ve been cropping up like dandelions in a lawn.
The medical term for this skin condition is acne mechanica which is triggered by prolonged wear of facial personal protective equipment. It doesn’t matter how clean the mask you’re wearing is, it causes friction, heat, and occlusion on the skin. Combine this with the moistness from speaking, sweating, or breaking – it’s Breakout City, a place none of us like visiting.
I consulted a dermatologist to see what could be done to prevent maskne and he gave me the following advice:
Wash your mask! While many of us are wearing washable, cotton masks these days as they’re a more environmentally friendly option than the disposables, many of us aren’t washing them enough. Ideally, we should wash them after each use as the fabric traps dirt and oil which is what builds the foundation of Breakout City.
Wash your face! This is a must before wearing a mask otherwise grime will settle on your skin and blam! A whitehead on the bottom of your nose that looks like ye ol’ booger. I had been using Sealuxe’s Goddess Grains Facial Cleanser which worked great. I stopped using it because I ran out. Sigh.
Bye-bye Makeup. All that hot, steamy air does not go well with makeup. So, ditch the foundation. Nobody can see yer purty face under the mask, anyway (maybe I’ll write a future post about how sad I am not to be able to wear lipstick).
Moisturize! The great thing about moisturizing, in addition to adding moisture to your skin that is, is that it also acts as a barrier between your face and mask. A good idea to avoid skin creams with synthetic fragrances as this will only add to further irritation.
Mask Up! The right mask can make all the difference. Make sure it is snug but comfortable and made of at least two layers of fabric. A soft, natural, breathable fabric on the inside of the mask is great as this is the part that rests on your skin.
And, remember, wear those masks and be sure to Santa-ize those hands whenever possible!