Face masks (and we’re not talking about the relaxing, spa-day kind) have become daily accessories for many of us. Unfortunately, the wearing of protective masks is often accompanied by an unwanted accessory of its own: “maskne”. The best defense against any skin issue is maintaining an effective skincare routine, but there are a few other factors at play with maskne, too. Here is a rundown of the maskne best practices that will help keep your skin acne and irritation-free.
Choose the Right Fabric
Healthcare workers obviously have their own protocols to follow, but the rest of us have some choice in the matter of what covering goes over our faces. By far the best option for optimum protection from the virus with the most breathability for your skin is tightly-woven cotton. Cotton is easy to sanitize and causes less irritation than other fabrics. If you’re looking to upgrade, there are plenty of cotton masks available for purchase and some great tutorials on how to make your own.
Keep it Clean
Cleanliness is the first and most important factor in keeping maskne at bay. Your mask traps oil and debris against the surface of your skin, causing irritation and acne. You can minimize breakouts by always wearing your mask over clean skin. Wash with a gentle cleanser and follow up with a non-comedogenic moisturizer to protect your skin from irritation and keep your skin barrier healthy. Good news: your Ance Intelligence cleanser and moisturizer are perfectly formulated for this. (Find yours when you download our app!)
The fabric of your mask absorbs moisture, oil, and bacteria from your skin and hands, so it’s a good idea to get in the habit of wearing your mask only once before washing it. Minimize skin irritation by using a fragrance-free detergent, and add some household bleach to disinfect your mask if it’s appropriate for your fabric. For other cleaning best-practices, visit the CDC’s help site on how to wash cloth face coverings.
Use Fewer Skincare Products
With skincare, it’s often the case that less is more. That’s why your custom Acne Intelligence routine recommends only the products that will be most effective for your unique skin and nothing more. When wearing a mask, this caveat is doubly important.
The fewer products that can get trapped under your mask and irritate your skin the better. Try to refrain from wearing makeup on the parts of your face that will be covered by your mask. Be aware that the heat and moisture that inevitably multiply under your mask can amplify the effects of the products you use. If you suspect that a product is causing undue irritation, consider using it only at times when your skin can breathe freely – this goes for makeup and acne-treatments alike. The products that go on your skin under your mask should be aimed at protecting and soothing your skin; anything else could just add to the problem.
Fight Lingering Acne
At the end of the day, acne caused by your face mask is much the same as any other type of acne and will respond to the same treatments. Since it’s already tailored to your specific skin type, your normal personalized Acne Intelligence routine is perfect for fighting the effects of maskne and keeping your skin healthy and clear. Download the app and complete your free consultation to build a routine that helps you achieve clear skin fast, even if you do have to wear a mask for the time being.