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How To Prevent Maskne

What is Maskne?

Spotting some unwanted visitors on your face as a result of wearing a mask out? You’re not alone.

Acne breakouts that arise from wearing masks, generally referred to as “maskne”, has become an increasingly common problem.

Used as an umbrella term, maskne encompasses several skin problems, ranging from pimples and bumps to redness and skin irritation. These tend to occur in places that are constantly in contact with face coverings, like the bridge of your nose, cheeks, or chin.

Those with sensitive skin might be prone to other more severe skin conditions, such as:

  • Rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition that can be identified through flare-ups that cause pimples and redness

  • Contact dermatitis, identified through a red rash, irritation, and blisters as a result of an allergic reaction to your mask

  • Folliculitis, or the infection of hair follicles on your skin, leading to bumps that look like an acne breakout, or itchiness and pain

So, What Really Causes Maskne?

Unlike other types of acne, maskne is attributed to external factors – specifically, the rubbing, squeezing, stretching, or application of pressure onto the skin.

Though factors vary from person to person, maskne is mainly caused by clogged pores. Since your skin already contains natural oils, bacteria and dead skin cells, trapping these substances leads to buildup and pore blockage.

Another possible cause is the friction caused by an ill-fitting or uncomfortable mask. The continuous rubbing can lead to chafing and irritation, especially if your skin reacts badly to the material of the mask used.

Our Malaysian humidity doesn’t bode in anyone’s favour either, as heat increases your skin’s natural oil production. Topped off with a face covering, it’s a regular trap for sweat and sebum to accumulate and trigger maskne.

How To Prevent Maskne?

It can be frustrating to experience these breakouts, especially since wearing a mask has become a necessity when out in public. However, now that we know why it happens, there are some easy skincare steps that can be implemented to treat maskne.

Aside from general hygiene practices, you should also account for your daily skincare routine and implement some simple, straightforward steps to prevent maskne:

  1. Wash your face at least twice a day. Be sure to use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t irritate your skin. If you need a medicated cleanser, choose one with benzoyl peroxide – a skincare ingredient used to kill bacteria – and salicylic acid, which is used to reduce oil production.

  2. Say no to exfoliating. Exfoliants, skin care products containing alpha or beta hydroxy acids, and facial products with scrubs or beads might be counterintuitive, as these might exacerbate skin irritation and inflammation due to their rough textures.

  3. Make sure to moisturise well. Dryness can also cause skin problems and sensitivity, so always keep your skin hydrated with a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser. Pick a moisturiser with ceramides, which are lipids found in the uppermost layers of your skin, to restore its natural barrier.

  4. Spot-treat when needed. As skin problems can cause discomfort or soreness in certain areas, you can alleviate these symptoms using acne treatments or cortisone creams. Be sure to pick those with moisturising properties to help rehydrate and replenish your skin.

  5. Use the right masks, the right way. If you find your skin reacting badly to a mask, it’s best to make a switch. Stay away from non-breathable face coverings that don’t fit your face and opt for masks made from soft and hypoallergenic materials to minimize negative skin reactions like NOVID’s disposable face masks. Prioritise cleanliness by washing cloth masks and discarding your disposable surgical masks after every use. Finally, always ensure your mask is sterilised and sanitised before putting it on.

Though everyone’s skin is different and will therefore react differently to treatments, skincare can be thought of as a therapeutic self-care habit. On top of allowing you some “me time” to focus on yourself, it promotes good mental and physical health.

For the best results, pair your new-and-improved skincare routine with NOVID’s range of disposable surgical 3-ply, surgical 4-ply or N95 respirator masks. Packed individually and UV-C sterilised, our masks are made of soft, hypoallergenic materials for minimal skin reaction, so both you and your skin can breathe a little easier.

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