September 03 2020
My reusable face mask is giving me ‘Maskne’!

It’s official – reusable face masks are the new fashion statement. They come in multicolours and fancy designs. These face masks offer a certain level of protection and are more sustainable for everyday use. However, donning on this face-covering silently welcomes the invasion of acne widely known as maskne. 

“Wearing a reusable face mask indeed protects me from the virus, but can I be protected from maskne too?” – Dennis Sim

Maskne is caused by heat, friction and occlusion. The warm and moist environment creates a perfect opportunity for bacteria to grow. Combined with occlusion and friction from our face mask, our skin feels irritated, dry and itchy, leading to maskne. What a way to ruin our good skin.

Whether you DIY or purchase a reusable face mask, put the brakes on maskne with the material used as the inner layer. Avoid synthetic materials as they are stiff and rough on the skin. Instead, pick something soft and natural such as cotton or silk. They are said to be the prime material as they wick away moisture and are less likely to irritate our skin. Furthermore, a recent study shows that combining these two materials provide adequate protection from the virus.  

Besides material, the fit of our face mask can shut the door on maskne. Ensure that your face mask fits snugly over the cheeks, nose and chin with no gaps at the sides. For guys with facial hair, keep it short or tuck it in so that the mask covers your chin. With the right fit, there is lesser friction and cracks on our skin as the constant movement of our mask is reduced. The goal here is to minimise skin irritation while being adequately protected.

To kick it up a notch, we have prepared some skincare tips that helps strengthen your skin barrier and protect your skin from maskne.

1. Less is really more.
Stick to the basics – cleanse, tone, moisturise and sun protection. Avoid going overboard with experimenting with new skincare routine as it may lead to further skin irritation.

2. Moisturise
A gentle and hydrating cleanser works great in retaining our natural skin barrier. However, moisturising your skin regularly helps soothes irritation and keeps the skin calm while you wear a face mask. Always moisturise in light layers.

3. Limit exfoliating your skin
With such fragile skin, frequent exfoliating can cause backfire. We recommend using a gentle exfoliator, so your skin barrier is well taken care of.

4. Get ready earlier
Apply your skincare at least 30 minutes before you head out. This allows your skin to fully absorb the goodness and form a barrier before you put on a mask.  

Most importantly, leave the pimples alone. Resist the urge to pick at them! Instead, dap a cotton bud soak in alcohol on the pimple once in the morning and once at night. It should dry up and “drop” off in 3 to 5 days. Alternatively, you may want to carry around a pack of acne patches with you.

If you are already practising these skincare tips and still experiencing painful maskne or other skin irritations, consult your medical doctor at the earliest opportunity.

Disclaimer: The content and information in this article is the opinion of the author and property of LinC Aesthetic Clinic Pte Ltd. It is for educational purposes and not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any results mentioned in this article may differ and vary between individuals. Kindly contact your medical doctor with questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Relying on information provided by this content is done at your own risk.

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