The COVID-19 pandemic brought unfortunate events to mankind, and people had no choice but to compromise with the situation to contribute to the community. Wearing a face mask is an important health guideline implemented globally to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 disease. While putting on a face mask is still a topic for debate for disobedient people, it’s undeniably essential for protecting yourself.
One of the few sacrifices that people had to make when wearing face masks is the appearance of the so-called “maskne,” a term for skin irritation and acne breakout on the face due to wearing coverings like face masks, whether it’s cloth masks, disposable masks, or respirators.
As you shouldn’t remove face masks in your daily routine, your best approach to maskne is to cover them up, or better, help them heal with these tips:
Don’t Cover Them Up With Makeup
First things first: never, ever attempt to cover your acne using cosmetic products! While it may seem like it will solve the problem temporarily, covering the acne with makeup will only make it more irritated and inflamed. Applying layers of foundation and concealer are more likely to clog your pores, helping acne-causing bacteria to grow during the entire day of wearing makeup.
Also, if you’re not experiencing any maskne flare-ups today, consider not wearing makeup anymore, especially if you’re wearing masks daily with no breaks like frontliners. Cosmetic products are one of the leading causes of maskne.
However, if you still love wearing makeup when going out, it would be best to avoid applying any cosmetic product on the covered part of your face, and focus on your eye makeup.
Use Hydrocolloid Patches
While you shouldn’t cover your breakout with makeup, hydrocolloid patches are very welcome. Originally, hydrocolloid dressing has been widely used in the medical industry to speed up wound healing. Today, it’s a popular skincare product that looks like patches meant to be stuck onto the skin. They typically exist as round patches, but some brands add a tweak and use other shapes.
Hydrocolloid patches absorb oil, pus, and dirt from your pimple, and give it a moist environment from inside and out to heal properly. It can also speed up the healing time of your pimple and prevent further scarring. Through sticking hydrocolloid patches on your pimple, you can stop yourself from picking on it as well.
Aside from hydrocolloid patches, there are also acne patches with additional ingredients than hydrocolloid, such as niacinamide for calming down inflammation, hyaluronic acid for hydration, tea tree oil for antibacterial properties, and many more.
Simplify Your Morning Routine
During your maskne moments, your skin is highly sensitive and easily irritated by different external stressors. While some people might think that using a variety of acne-fighting, moisturizing, and protecting ingredients are beneficial before wearing a mask, it can actually do more harm than good. Before putting on your mask to go out, simplify your skincare routine to at most three steps. The less products you use, the less possibility of skin irritation will occur. It would alsop help if you stick with skincare products containing natural ingredients.
A cleanser, moisturizer, and sun protection are enough during the morning. People with dry skin can skip cleansers and simply use water in the morning, and proceed to moisturizer and SPF. Alternatively, oily-skinned people can opt to skip moisturizers. Optionally, you can use an antioxidant serum before a moisturizer to further protect your skin from sun damage.
Clean and Treat During Your Evening Routine
After a long day of wearing your face mask, the most important skincare step in the evening is to cleanse your face thoroughly with a gentle, non-foaming cleanser. As oil and dirt have built up on your maskne, you’ll have to make sure that they’re out of the way before proceeding to the next steps. If your pores are clogged and oily, the oil cleansing method is helpful before your water-based cleanser.
Consequently, ingredients meant for treating your acne are best used during the evening. You can look for spot treatments that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, zinc, or sulfur. Since these ingredients tend to be drying, make sure to follow it up with a good moisturizer.
Wear Masks Made of Pure Cotton
The type of your face mask can also be the culprit of your maskne, as it prevents your pores from ‘breathing’ properly. They also transfer bacteria to your face when you put on and remove your mask. Therefore, using the right face mask made of 100% tightly woven cotton is more skin-friendly because of its balance of breathability and protection.
As much as possible, stay away from synthetic fibers like polyester. Canvas and denim are breathable, but they tend to be rough on the skin. Bandanas and scarves don’t have any protective properties, and make your acne worse.
As long as the pandemic remains unresolved, people will have to compromise in wearing a face mask regularly. Instead of covering up and restricting your maskne from healing, you can follow these tips on how you can properly treat them with the help of the right ingredients and practices.