Many new words and practices have become common in our current daily lives. Here is another one: Maskne…the appearance of new or worsening acne partly as a result of wearing a facial covering. Other skin conditions can also be caused by wearing a mask: irritation, flare-ups of rosacea, rashes, and clogged pores. Masks, as they are designed to, trap moisture (droplets) which contain bacteria from exhaling through your mouth. Our breath is warm which, when combined with bacteria, is the perfect breeding ground for blemishes and rosacea. Masks retain dead skin cells and debris against our skin.
Here are some tips to help avoid the negative effects of wearing a protective mask:
- Choose a fabric that breathes, (like cotton) and does not have a rough feel against the skin. Masks that have a filter layer are recommended.
- Wash your masks to remove dirt, debris, and bacteria from the fabric.
- Wash your face before putting on the mask and, if possible, wash your face again after you take it off.
- Try to avoid wearing makeup. It occludes the skin even more.
- Keep up with your skin care routine. Potent, medical grade, skin care products contain acids, antioxidants, Vitamin A, and peptides to combat the lurking skin irritants.
Our skin is really taking a beating these days by stress, masks, complacency with skin care (and hair and clothes and perhaps hygiene). Now is NOT the time to slack off. Stay strong and motivated to maintain a customized regimen. Aging isn’t taking a break so your anti-aging efforts and caring for your other skin goals should not be on a break either.
If you develop new or worsening acne, the barebones skin care plan should include: an antibacterial cleanser appropriate for your skin type and an anti-inflammatory toner. Also crucial is a Vitamin A serum for rapid cell turnover, building collagen, unclogging pores, and increasing the barrier layer of skin to hold moisture. Rounding out the regimen are calming and hydrating products and, of course SPF. Depending on the severity of acne, the addition of benzoyl peroxide in a cleanser, toner or a Vitamin A serum can be used.
Do not surrender your goals of having clear, smooth, fresh, rejuvenated skin even though at the moment we have less opportunity to show it off. The joy of looking good and proud of our appearance comes from within. No mask, virus, or discouragement for our circumstances should interfere with staying the course. Keep it up. This will be over…someday.
Bethesda, Rockville, Potomac, Alexandria, skin care, mask, Coronavirus, acne, aging, vitamin A, dysport, Restylane