Mask Acne

The Next COVID Challenge: Mask Acne

Ugh, are you sick of hearing and worrying about COVID?  I know I am!  Well, we’re not done just yet.   In the studio, I continue to focus on being hyper vigilant about cleaning so I can safely remain open.  You may not know this about me, but I’m a self-proclaimed germaphobe so I would never ask you to come in to an environment I wasn’t personally comfortable being in.  While it’s a lot of work to stick to such strict standards, it’s worth it when I hear clients tell me they appreciate the cleanliness of my suite.

So, I think I’ve got the cleaning under control, but a new COVID challenge is popping up…mask acne.

What in the world is “mask acne”?

Mask acne is a breakout or skin irritation that shows up on your face where your mask sits. With more and more people wearing masks and for longer periods of time, mask acne has become the next issue Estheticians are dealing with because of COVID.   I’ve had several clients mention it to me during their visit, so I thought it was time to address it in a post!

Why people are getting mask acne 

There are a number of factors that could lead to mask acne.  For starters, masks are meant to create a barrier between your mouth and the environment.  Great for keeping germs OUT but, not so great for keeping bacteria away from your face.  Basically, any bacteria that is on the inside of the mask can settle on your skin causing irritation, clogged pores and breakouts.  Which leads me to the fit of your mask.  If you’re wearing a really tight fitting mask, like the recommended N95, the tight fit could lead to irritation.

On top of these things, the material your mask is made from, the makeup you’re wearing and your mask maintenance, could all be contributing to breakouts and irritation.

Here’s what you can do to prevent mask acne

Obviously the easiest way to prevent mask acne would be to ditch the mask.  But, THAT IS NOT AN OPTION at this point, so please wear your masks.  Instead, let’s talk about how we can get proactive about managing our skin care to prevent mask acne.

Skin care routine – Be sure to stick to your skin care routine.  You should be cleansing morning and night as well as applying all the products you typically use even on days you aren’t leaving the house.  Consistency with your cleansing routine is your first and most important line of defense.

Don’t be afraid to add in an extra  gentle cleansing – If you’ve been wearing your mask for a long period of time, don’t be afraid to cleanse your face once you get home even if it’s outside of your normal routine.  If nothing else, you can use some toner to gently remove debris in between washes.

Go makeup free – If you’ve been sticking to your skin care regime and coming in for regular treatments with me you’ve probably already achieved makeup optional skin.  If you’re not there yet and rely on makeup daily, consider leaving it off on days you’re going to be wearing a mask.  Wearing makeup under your mask can clog your pores.  Especially now when it’s hot, we’re sweating and wearing makeup.

Mask maintenance – When you wear the same mask repeatedly you’re exposing your skin to the same dirt and  bacteria that is inside.  So, if you’re wearing disposable masks, toss them after each use.  If you’re wearing a washable mask, wash them after every use and be aware of the detergent you’re using when you wash them.  If your detergent is packed with harsh chemicals and fragrance, this could be contributing to your problem too!

Here’s how I can help

Now that you know what you can do at home, let’s talk about what I can do to help.  If you’re noticing breakouts, redness or dry patches, let’s talk.   We can either schedule a virtual consultation OR we can get you in the studio for a consultation and treatment.  Either way, I can take a look at your skin and make some product recommendations to help reset and re-balance your skin bringing it back to beautiful.