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Masked threat: ‘Maskne’ the latest nasty side-effect of pandemic protection

As if lockdown wasn’t tough enough when it comes to skincare, maskne, or mask acne, is another unpleasant thing to worry about in 2020.

mask acne maskne skincare beauty

Image: Canva

If you’ve been noticing your skin breaking out on your chin, nose or around your mouth because you are having to wear a mask, then you may be suffering from “maskne”.

Maskne is one of the new norms, unfortunately. It’s not a scientific word, but the colloquial name for a type of acne that frequent wearing of a mask can cause.

You can get acne at any stage of your life, just as you can get mask-related acne.

How do you get maskne?

When you wear a mask, two things are happening that can cause breakouts on skin exposed to the fabric or material of the mask.

  1. Friction: When your mask moves around on your face, it causes micro-tears in your skin. This means that your skin is now open to bacteria entering. These micro-tears allow dirt to enter your pores as well, leading to clogged pores.
  2. Temperature: When you wear a mask, you breathe into it constantly, causing hot and moist air to be trapped within the mask. This becomes the perfect environment for bacteria and other bad things you don’t want on your skin to grow. The hot air allows sweat and oil to build up, which are other perfect factors to clog your pores.

Solutions for maskne

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Image: Canva

One option to treat “maskne” is a gentle foaming cleanser to help calm and clean your skin. If your skin is prone to acne, it may be worth finding and using a cleanser contains salicylic acid.

More causes for these breakouts could be stress from the pandemic. Bad eating habits and changed lifestyle because of the lockdown are other factors. If you can improve your diet and de-stress then the acne may improve.

Men’s facial hair and women’s makeup could be causing your acne as well. Facial hair can get trapped in the skin, leading to  acne.

Makeup, on the other hand, can clog pores only if you do not wash it off after your day. This is normal when wearing makeup. However, wearing a mask on top of it can further clog your pores.

Makeup sales down, skincare sales up

According to BBC, maskne has caused a huge rise in skincare products needed. This is mostly related to an increase in cases of oily skin and acne. Although there are other factors, many of these can be related to wearing a mask.

However, although there is a boom in sales of skincare products, the BBC says that the makeup industry has suffered. Sales have been lower for makeup.

This is likely to be due to lockdown regulations all around the world. People are leaving home less often, and not wearing makeup as much.