The outbreak of Covid-19 has changed people’s lives in many ways. One of the most noticeable of these changes is the daily use of facemasks for preventing the spread of the persisting virus.
Fortunately, these facemasks are helping to control the pandemic that could have been much worse without them. However, there are always consequences when we change routines.
The bad news is that the prolonged use of facemasks has developed a new skin condition that is affecting a number of people; a type of acne that appears on the skin area covered by the mask. This new skin problem has been named maskne or mask-related acne.
The good news is that we can control it so, if you are one of those people affected, please don’t panic, and keep wearing your mask. Here, we will provide you with all the information and tools that you need to prevent and treat maskne.
MECHANISM OF MASKNE
Face masks trap some air from the exhalation that condenses and creates a humid and hot microenvironment in the area. This microenvironment favors skin transpiration and bacteria proliferation. These factors can lead to the formation of clogged pores, pimples, and, ultimately, acne.
This skin problem can be new for many people, but for others who were already suffering from oily or acne-prone skin, the use of the mask only causes a worsening in the chin and cheeks.
As we explained in our post Facing Your Acne, acne is a common condition that can be triggered and exacerbated by multiple factors like having oily skin, stress, diet, certain medications, and, the most important one, hormonal imbalance. Unfortunately, now we have to add a new one to the list, the use of a face mask.
Therefore, people with oily and acne-prone skin should pay special attention to their skin these days and follow the tips we give you in the following section of this post more carefully.
KEEPING MASKNE UNDER CONTROL
Here you have some tips that will help you prevent and minimize the effects of maskne.
Cleanse your skin frequently
We recommend cleansing this area of the face at least twice a day with a soft cleanser or a specific cleanser for oily skin to remove and prevent the excess of oil.
Make sure your hands are clean before touching your face
As mentioned above, the skin under your mask is a bacteria-friendly environment, so you should be especially careful not to bring any dirt into the area with your fingers.
Change your mask regularly
Using a mask properly will be more effective for both preventing Covid-19 and maskne. A filter in good condition traps less air and reduces the risk of creating a microflora under your mask.
- If you use a surgical mask change it every 4 or 6 hours.
- If you use a N95 mask, change it every 3 days.
- If you use a cloth mask, place two filters inside and change them every 4 hours. Wash the cloth mask every day.
Moisturize your skin with noncomedogenic products
For normal skin
Use an appropriate face moisturizer twice a day after cleansing your face. It will help you improve the health of your skin barrier and regulate moisture levels and sebum production.
For oily and acne-prone skin
People who already had acne-prone skin or are noticing that their skin is becoming oily should use specific sebum-regulating products.
For both normal and oily
Applying INNO-DERMA® MNF Tonic throughout the day enhances your Natural Moisturizing Factor and improves your overall skin health, making it more resistant to bacteria.
HOW SKIN EXPERTS TREAT MASKE
A mandelic acid peel is an effective tool to improve the appearance of maskne. It will exfoliate of the outer layer of the skin and purify clogged pores. Moreover, it helps regulate the excess of oil, and its antimicrobial effect fights and prevents the growth of bacteria.
Bear in mind that if you use a peel to treat maskne, the patient should wait until having peeled off completely before wearing the mask again.
INNO-EXFO® MANDELAGE is a soft but effective peel that is generally well-tolerated for most skins. We recommend this one for treating maskne as it is very gentle to the skin and desquamation only last one or two days maximum (in several cases only a few hours), so patients can wear the mask the next day, or during the weekend for the worse cases.
MESOTHERAPY OR TRANSDERMAL DELIVERY
A transdermal or intradermal solution for oily or acne-prone skin can also be used in-office to treat maskne.
INNOAESTHETICS proposes INNO-TDS® AKN-ID. This solution has been designed to control sebum production, prevent breakouts and pore-clogging. Furthermore, it reduces inflammation and fights bacteria. It purifies the skin, making it healthier, smoother, and softer to the touch.