Whether you're heading to the grocery store or a socially distanced hang out session with friends, wearing masks has quickly become the new normal to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, wearing masks all the time does come with a downside, and it's called mask acne, or maskne for short. Masks can trap sweat, sebum, and saliva and lead to bacteria build-up, clogged pores, and acne breakouts even if you don’t have acne-prone skin. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent and treat mask acne and keep your skin looking clear and glowy. Below, find some mask acne dos and don'ts to follow.
Mask Acne Dos
Wash your mask after each use: The key to maskne prevention is good mask-wearing hygiene. Think of masks like underwear—you want to change them out and wash them after every use with a gentle detergent that won’t irritate your skin. Stock up on at least one mask for each day of the week. That way, you don't have to wash constantly, and you always have a fresh one to grab and go. Or, you can opt for disposable masks. Disposable masks tend not to retain as much moisture and sweat, which is what fosters the bacteria growth that leads to breakouts.
Cleanse your skin religiously: To help prevent maskne, it's definitely a great idea to step up your face-washing game. Wash your face before and after wearing a mask. As soon as you get home, head to the sink and use a cleanser with salicylic acid to remove makeup, dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that can all clog pores and create breakouts. Since you'll be washing your face more often, be sure to use a gentle cleanser so it won't strip or dry out your skin.
Wear a properly fitting mask: The way your mask fits on your face can also affect mask acne development. Ensure that the mask fits comfortably and gives your skin room to breathe, which will reduce friction and prevent irritation. Cotton and silk masks tend to be the most gentle on the skin. Disposable surgical masks are also typically lighter and have a looser fit than cloth masks, which reduces the likelihood of irritation.
Show the acne some love: If you have an active breakout, treat it as soon as possible. Rael's new Miracle Patch Spot Control Cover is perfect for dealing with maskne hot spots including your cheeks, nose, and chin thanks to its extra-large size. All you do is pop it on the area and let the hydrocolloid cover work its magic to remove pus and oil from the blemishes and minimize their appearance in just four hours. You’ll be saying “maskne who?” in no time.
Mask Acne Don'ts
Apply makeup: Given that no one will see the bottom half of your face anyway, avoid wearing makeup in that area to prevent clogged pores. Take it as an excuse to play up your eyes with a little eyeshadow and mascara. Plus, skipping makeup on the bottom half of your face will save you time and product.
Pick at the acne: Picking at maskne is a recipe for more breakouts. Do your skin a favor and avoid picking at the blemishes at all costs. Keeping your hands away from your face will help keep you healthy too, so it's a win-win. And if you just can't resist probing the pimples (we get it), the Miracle Patch Spot Control Cover can help with that too because you can’t pick at the pimples when they’re covered up.
Go heavy with the skincare: The less you have on your skin, the less likely breakouts will be. Resist the urge to pile on the skincare products and opt for formulas with lighter consistencies, which will help prevent pore-clogging. Aim for products that are labeled as non-comedogenic (aka non-pore clogging) and oil-free. Also, avoid using new harsh products or treatments that can make your skin more sensitive.
Forget the moisturizer and SPF: That said, definitely don't forget to apply moisturizer and SPF to the area. The SPF will protect your skin from the sun and the moisturizer helps lock in your skin's moisture and creates a barrier between your skin and the mask.