We’re washing our hands 30 times a day with soap, coughing into our sleeves (remember, just like a vampire) and keeping 2 meters apart as best we can. Not to mention the new normal requires us to wear masks covering our face and chin any time we venture outside.
It’s strange times, to say the least. But what’s been extremely unexpected is a growing breakout issue directly related to wearing face masks, newly labelled as ‘maskne’.
Translation? The development of breakouts or acne as a result of wearing unclean face masks, according to medical professionals.
"We're seeing lots of flares of acne, especially a type called perioral dermatitis, which tends to happen typically around the mouth and in the areas around the nose," Dr. Seemal Desai recently told CNN, a board-certified doctor and assistant professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
That’s right, maskne isn’t imaginary, it’s a real struggle for many people who don’t know why their regular skin care routine suddenly seems to be failing them. Don’t worry, we’ve got some simple sanitizer face mask tricks you can implement right now (because you shouldn’t have to go this alone).
How Do I Know If I Have Maskne?
Adding to the discomfort of wearing a mask are some embarrassing side effects. If you’re not sure if you’re experiencing skin issues specifically related to face masks, check whether the breakouts are occurring around the mouth and chin.
If yes, then it’s likely the mask is the dirty culprit. It’s keeping in unnecessary heat and sweat, a petri dish for bacteria, yeast and other flora to develop.
Before you put a flame to that mask, we have 3 easy quick fixes to try first.
How To Rid Yourself Of Maskne Once And For All
Step 1: Keep A Clean Mask With A Powerful Sanitizer
As the temperature rises and you sweat, you’ll need to keep the mask squeaky clean. When you don’t have time to wash it, a good sanitizer is essential for defending yourself against bacteria - and 2020.
We hear a lot of questions around why sanitizer is important, or which sanitizer is safe to use. That’s why we felt passionate about creating a powerful sanitizer like the Germaphobe Hand & Surface Sanitizer designed to sanitize and refresh your face mask.
Just spritz it once and you’ll have a clean mask, cleans hands or a disinfected surface. Plus, you can forget that hospital disinfectant smell - this black tea scent has a natural blend of geranium, clary sage and lavender to fully relax you.
If you're wearing a reusable mask, the alternative is to throw it in the wash each day with fragrance-free soap. Fragrance in harsh detergents or soap is another cause for irritation that might be making your breakouts worse.
Step 2. Consider the Type of Face Mask you Wear
Wearing 100% cotton masks allows your skin to breathe and sit fairly comfortably on the skin. If you’re dealing with crazy itchy, painful skin, making a homemade mask from silk is popular because its the softest possible material. You’re also less likely to readjust the mask if it’s comfy, which means a far less chance of touching your face and spreading bacteria.
Pro tip: Check your skin products, conditioner, shower soap and your toothpaste for sodium lauryl sulphate - this makes so many people itch and break out like crazy and they don’t even know it! You don’t need that on top of maskne.
Step 3: Update Your Skin Care Routine
Now that you’ve found yourself a good sanitizer and checked your face mask material, it’s time to zhuzh up your skin care routine to heal your skin. There can be a tonne of steps depending on who you talk to (some routines going all the way up to 10) but realistically, all you need is a super simple one - a cleanser, a moisturizer and SPF.
A cleanser rids your face of nasties like dirt, oil and makeup built up from the day. An occlusive moisturizer, something that’s petroleum-based, is going to shield you from developing super dry, flaky skin, while an SPF shields your skin from pollution and UV rays.
You got this. Let us know how your results go! Keep in touch @everydayhumans