“Maskne” — How to Prevent and Treat Mask Acne

Newly coined “Maskne,” referring to acne caused by wearing a mask, is making its way across faces of Americans. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is plaguing up to 50 million Americans annually and costing more than $1.2 million in treatments. Correctly termed “Mask Dermatitis,” there are 3 stages of it: Mild, Moderate, and Severe. If you find your issues to be on the Severe spectrum, consider seeing a medical professional right away. Although acne is dominant, there are a few skin issues resulting from the impact of wearing masks.

Different Kinds of Skin Issues Caused by Masks

  • Dry skin/peeling: This is the first sign of mask irritation. Your skin can become prone to redness, dark marks, and breakdown over time. We carry ZO Skin Health’s Hydrating Renewal Creme that combats the dryness and peeling of the skin. This product temporarily relieves symptoms of severely dry skin while calming skin to soothe visible irritation and replenishing skin’s natural moisture to aid in skin recovery.
  • Redness/swelling: Icing the skin can help. Using ice or frozen peas, buffer with a towel and apply for a few minutes at a time. Another option is a ZO Skin Health product we carry called Rozatrol that can help control this issue. This is a treatment serum for red, sensitized skin that works to normalize skin by reducing excess surface oil. Exfoliating properties provide ultra-mild exfoliation to prevent the signs of premature aging.
  • Acne/breakouts: If you are getting breakouts, consider our ZO Complexion Clearing Masque. It is a great product to help clear those pesky breakouts. The Complexion Clearing Masque is a clay mask that purifies pores and absorbs excess oil that can lead to future breakouts, while also hydrating the skin to combat dryness. You can spot treat or do a full face. Avoid leave-on products that will end up trapped under the mask. If breakouts are severe or don’t get better, you may need prescription meds. 

Our facials help a lot with these issues. Consider booking an appointment with us if you wish to tackle them head-on. The best way to battle these skin issues is to take the steps to prevent them from forming.

How to Prevent Maskne from Occurring

To help keep the symptoms from appearing, take these few precautions. 

  • Wash your face. Doing so in the morning and evening is the best way to help prevent the above problems from sprouting. However, use gentle products. Your skin is already irritated by the mask, and too powerful of a cleanser could worsen it. 
  • Wash your mask.  It is a breeding ground for all kinds of microbes. With the fabric absorbing your sweat, makeup, coughs, sneezes, moisturizer, and anything else you may come in contact with, it is a good idea to clean the mask regularly. You can toss it in the washing machine or hand wash it with soap and hot water. Even having a few masks to rotate in your routine is recommended. Disposable masks are also a great option.
  • Choose light-weight mask material. Unless you’re a healthcare worker or first responder, choose a lighter material that will let your skin breathe more. Blocking airflow for your skin can cause major issues.
  • Don’t pop or squeeze anything. Although it is really tempting to pop that pesky pimple, it will actually make things worse. Not only does it take longer to heal, but it can also spread bacteria and make the flare-up bigger.
  • Skip the makeup. Removing make-up from the picture takes away one more thing that can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Since it is going to be covered by the mask anyway, consider skipping the foundation and concealer.

Considering we may be wearing masks for a long while, be sure to take the time to care for your skin. Mask acne is an irritable thing, but you are not alone in this fight! Paradise on Columbia is here to help in any way we can.