Over the last few months as society has changed due to the Covid-19 outbreak we have seen a great deal of ‘mask-acne’. Why is this happening?
What causes it?
The condition that is being caused by these masks is what we call acne mechanica. This type of acne is caused by the friction and heat from wearing the mask for long periods of time, even if you are not prone to acne or have an existing condition. Also, when you wear a mask especially for extended periods of time the air you breathe out is breeding a moisture rich environment for bacteria to proliferate especially for those who already have an acne prone skin.
The friction of the mask on the skin, specifically with surgical masks, can cause trauma to the skin and the protective barrier which leaves the skin more prone to breakouts.
While you may not have noticed acne, some clients have noticed dry patches, stinging, burning and localised inflammation all signs of an impaired skin barrier.
What can you i do to help?
Our advice is don’t suffer unnecessarily, a few small skincare changes can make a great improvement. Google is not the best place for getting personalised recommendations. Any skincare recommendations would be best made on an individual basis as no two skins are the same.How your skin has reacted to mask wearing will be different i.e the type of breakouts, dehydration present, oil quality, sensitivity levels.
Also, If possible avoid wearing make up under your mask or change to a 100% pure mineral make up that will cause less congestion especially in a moisture rich environment.
Ideally use a disposable face mask. If you choose to wear a reusable mask then have several available that can be changed frequently. Wash in hot water with an anti-bacterial cleaner (skin friendly) and avoid using fabric softeners.
If you work in an environment such as the NHS where you have to wear a mask all day. Cleanse the skin mid way through the day rather than allowing things to build up over an 8 hour period.
If you would like personalised help or advice regarding your skin you can book an in-clinic consultation or online consult with our team.