Yup, we now live in a time when “maskne” is a thing. That’s a not-particularly-clever portmanteau of the words “mask” and “acne.” But putting aside what you may think of the name, it’s a very real problem that people are experiencing now as they wear a mask all day at work. And that’s why we wanted to offer some tips for preventing maskne for all you beauty, health, and wellness workers.
The problem is that masks accumulate condensation, oil from the skin, makeup and other cosmetic products, and dirt all day long. Combine this with the minor but persistent friction that masks cause and less opportunity for the skin to breathe over all the hours in a workday, and lots of people start to experience irritation and acne breakouts.
Fortunately, following some simple tips for preventing maskne can help you avoid this unpleasantness.
How to Prevent Maskne from Wearing a Mask All Day
- Clean your face with a gentle cleanser and apply moisturizer about half an hour before you put your mask on for the day. Wash your face again shortly after taking the mask off for the day.
- Refrain from harshly scrubbing your face when washing or drying it. Limit facial exfoliation to about once per week.
- Apply makeup as minimally as possible. If you’re susceptible to serious acne breakouts, you should just skip the powder or foundation.
- Wash reusable masks after a single day of use or throw away disposable ones at the end of the day. Remember all that buildup on masks mentioned above? That stuff is irritating and an ideal breeding ground for bacteria that contributes to breakouts. If you’re acne prone, consider even switching masks halfway through your work day.
- Take breaks throughout the day—preferably about every two hours—where you can take your mask off and let your skin breathe. Avoid touching your face. That’s not just good pandemic hygiene; your fingers can also transfer dirt, oil, and bacteria that contribute to acne formation.
- If you have naturally oily skin and/or are prone to breakouts, use a product that helps with oil absorption. Look for one with zinc for extra benefits.
- Get some effective nutritional support for healthy skin by eating foods like berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, avocados, foods high in beta-carotene, and nuts and seeds. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Keep your stress levels in check! This is especially important during these extra stressful times. Stress can contribute significantly to breakouts.
- Remember not to pop or pick at acne if you do get some! That just spread bacteria, damages your skin, and makes it take longer for acne to go away and for the site to heal.