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The Dreaded Maskne: Prevention and Treatment

As we enter into the final months of 2020, face coverings are now required at nearly all businesses across the country in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19, which has led to a new issue and era of skin concerns.


Individuals with regular flare ups and sensitive skin have now found themselves in a daily effort to slow the spread of regular skin irritation and acne.


A problem regularly affecting health care professionals has now plagued itself upon the vast population, and the question has turned too what is maskne? and how to treat and prevent it.


What is maskne?

The maskne phenomenon is nothing new, and officially titled "acne mechanica," which is the same type of acne a football player may get where the helmet rubs on the face.


Causes:

Maskne is caused by a combination of friction, heat, moisture, and bacteria on the skin. When wearing a mask constantly, the moisture caused by breathing, talking, sweating and not to mention the summer heat causes a hotspot for breakouts.

The now trapped dirt on the skin cause pores to rapidly become clogged, causing pimples and in some acne cysts.

In those with already dry skin, the prolonged occlusion can cause redness, ingrown hairs, along with itchy, raw skin.


Prevention:

  1. Disinfect your phone often - there are many options on the market today, including the UV light phone sanitizers. One easy tip for disinfection is the next time you use a liquidy hand sanitizer, wipe the excess with a paper towel, and use it to clean the phone screen. https://www.amazon.com/Sanitizer-Smartphone-Sterilizer-Disinfection-Aromatherapy/dp/B08BR9258S/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=phone+sanitizer&qid=1601920573&sr=8-4

  2. Avoid wearing makeup when possible - the addition of makeup under a mask causes pores to clog, and the additional layers of product and bacteria will causes breakouts faster.

  3. Wear an 100% cotton mask and wash frequently (if wearing a cloth mask) - removing the surface layers of oil and dirt can help keep the skin clear of excessive bacteria.

  4. Wash your face as soon as possible after removing the mask- the sooner the build up of dirts and oils from the day are removed, the easier it becomes to keep the skin healthy.

Treatment:

  1. Use a gentle cleanser in the morning and at night

  2. Exfoliate often- exfoliation will help remove dead layers of skin and unclog pores, helping to eliminate harsh breakouts. This can be done at home with our exfoliating wipes, or by receiving regular facials and/or chemical peels.

  3. Hyaluronic acid- creating a barrier between the skin and the mask is a great way to prevent the friction caused by the cloth against the face. Hyaluronic acid, a molecule that hold 1000x its weight in water, is a great way to keep the skin hydrated and protected throughout the day. Using either a serum or moisturizer with the ingredient will do the trick.

  4. Sunscreen/moisturizer - Again moisturizing the skin and keeping a barrier is going to be a great defense in keeping breakouts at bay. This will provide protection against harsh, acne causing friction, and keep skin healthy.

  5. Add in active ingredients - Adding in AHA's and BHA's to your regular skincare routine can help prevent and treat breakouts at the source. Using serums such as our "M:corrective," or "Revitalizing Booster Serum" allows for vitamins and nutrients to actively repair the skin, while preventing and treating stubborn breakouts.

Above all having the right skin care routine is going to be key in lessening mask related breakouts and irritation. As of now, mask wearing is the new normal, and learning to adapt the skin to this new environment is crucial in maintaining skin health and vibrance.

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