Skin and Maskne. Best Tips to Care and Prevent the Use of Mask affecting your Skin.
After a year and more of a pandemic, the constant and prolonged use of masks has been essential when being outside the home and in closed places, so the skin has suffered the consequences.
Currently, using them is mandatory for health reasons, but their use in the near future may be necessary for other situations than the COVID-19 pandemic, so know the proper care to maintain skin health before and after using them it is important. Therefore: How does the use of the mask affect the face?
The use of disposable or cloth facial masks for many hours can cause the well-known maskne, which is a type of acne that appears or worsens the appearance of existing pimples.
- How does Maskne cause Breakouts?
The skin is a vital protective organ in contact with the external environment that performs multiple functions and needs to be "free" to stay in perfect condition. With prolonged use of the mask, the oxygenation of the skin is limited and it receives CO2 constantly through the breathing process, so that the area covered by the mask accumulates excess moisture and an increase facial temperature, causing the alteration of the normal skin ecosystem or microbiome.
This irregularity causes a favourable environment for the growth of bacteria in the dermis, such as the acne-producing bacteria, which become pathogens that alter and destabilize the skin, causing redness, clogging of the pores, excess oiliness production, and the appearance of breakouts and blackheads.
Similarly, it is common to see how the masks cause irritation, and allergies due to continuous friction and the manufacturing material (polypropylene) that cause alteration of the protective barrier of the skin and making it sensitive to the appearance of pimples.
- What are the Skins most affected by Maskne?
There are a series of steps that all skins must follow regardless of the use of the mask. In the case of sensitive and combination/oily skin that are easily affected by irritation and the appearance of breakouts, maintaining a well-cared-for skin and preventing maskne is achieved with proper hygiene, cleaning, facial hydration, and the intake of approx. 2 litres of water, being basic recommendations for healthy skin from the inside out. The types of skin most affected by the use of masks are:
- Sensitive skin with Eczema or Rosacea
Rosacea and atopic skins need special care and for these cases, the appearance of breakouts and other alterations can be prevented by using a gentle and specific facial cleanser and moisturizer for the skin type. It is ideal to take breaks from the mask several times a day, change it every 4 hours and apply thermal water to hydrate and refresh it.
- Combination or Oily skin prone to Acne or recurring Breakouts:
They are the skins that have the greatest impact with the constant use of the mask. The increased production of sebum in combination with the accumulation of moisture and bacteria accelerates the acne process and makes it worse.
It is recommended to use a Cleansing Gel with Salicylic or Glycolic acid, alcohol-free Facial Toner based on chamomile, aloe vera, hemp seed or green tea, fast-absorbing facial Gel Moisturizer, and apply Thermal Water with Zinc every 2 hours to maintain the hydrated and nourished skin. In addition, it is suggested to change masks every 4 hours.
- Is the use of makeup with a mask appropriate? And, if so, what products should be used?
Under the mask, makeup forms an impenetrable barrier that makes oxygenation of the skin even more difficult, clogging pores and causing maskne. Therefore, if you can avoid makeup when using a mask it is much better. The ideal option when using the mask will always be clean, hydrated skin and opt for makeup that accentuates the eyes and eyebrows.
If your option is to use makeup for work or important meetings, the skin should be prepared before makeup. The first thing is to start with a facial cleanser appropriate to the type of skin. Then, use Facial Toner to keep the pH balanced and hydrate the face with products that have antioxidant and moisturizing active ingredients, free of essential oils, and reserve heavy creams for night use. When applying makeup, it is ideal to use products labeled "non-comedogenic".
- Among the accepted masks, which ones allow the skin to breathe better?
To avoid the appearance of maskne, you must use:
- Tight-fitting but comfortable to wear masks.
- If it is made of fabric, at least two layers of fabric with a soft, natural, and breathable fabric such as cotton. Skin contact with synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polyester, and rayon should be avoided especially if they are worn for long hours.
- Surgical masks, being disposable, are very hygienic, but you should choose the most comfortable one and, in turn, evaluate the materials, especially if they are made of polypropylene since this material tends to irritate the skin.
- What are the Best Tips to avoid Maskne?
- Double facial cleansing using micellar water as the first step and then applying a facial cleanser is ideal to avoid maskne. The combination of these two facial care cosmetics helps to effectively remove impurities and dead cells that have accumulated throughout the day on the surface of the skin.
- Use moisturizing products that contain vitamin B5 and sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) that help restore the skin barrier and deeply hydrate the skin.
- The 15-minute mask breaks and changing it every 4 hours allow oxygenate and refresh the skin. Healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic have found that this helps save their skin. Of course, you only need to remove your mask after washing your hands and when it is safe to do.
- In the case of using fabric masks, washing is essential to eliminate bacteria, impurities, and skin cells that accumulate during the day. Washing should be done daily and using a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic laundry detergent.