Treating Maskne: Acne is undoubtedly the most common skin condition many of us face. Around 85% of teenagers experience breakouts along with 5 in 10 women and 4 in 10 men over the age of 25 are affected by this affliction.
So, what causes acne? Many factors, one being stress. Stress can increase a number of hormones (such as cortisol) that makes your skin produce additional oil. This, in turn, can create pimples, whiteheads and blackouts. It can also trigger other skin issues like rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.
Due to COVID-19, many of us find ourselves wearing masks. Unfortunately, this precaution can affect the skin. When you wear a mask, you’re protecting yourself and those around you. However, you’re also subjecting the skin beneath the mask to a very warm and humid environment, the perfect conditions for unwanted bacteria. Additionally, your skin is unable to shed dead skin cells the way it normally does, causing a build-up. This series of events can potentially lead to “maskne” — acne partly created by mask-wearing.
That may sound unattractive, but there are ways to fight back. It’s important to be consistent with some form of a skin care regime or begin with one if you haven’t. Regularly wash your face with safe, gentle cleansers when you wake up and before going to bed. Also, it’s vital to exfoliate your face on a regular basis.
When it’s safe to do so, take off your mask throughout the day and wipe/wash the skin beneath your mask to keep bacteria from growing. Otherwise, try to keep your hands away from your face as it can spread oil and dirt to your skin. Make sure not to pick at possibly pimples or whiteheads. Instead, use a topical cream or lotion that contains benzoyl peroxide or even salicylic acid.
For more information, check out the accompanying infographic. It provides ways to address this very common skin condition along with prevention tips.