Today’s Solutions: December 08, 2023

Mask-wearing helps keep us and everyone else safe and healthy, but we can all agree that mask-wearing-induced skin irritation and acne (otherwise known as “maskne”) is not ideal.

The two types of maskne that people get when wearing face masks are: contact friction and breakouts. While they aren’t mutually exclusive (meaning that, unfortunately, the same person can suffer from both types simultaneously), they do have specific triggers and require different treatments.

What to do about mask-induced breakouts

Breakouts could happen for a multitude of reasons, including stress and diet, however, “the occlusive nature of a protective mask creates a humid and warm environment under the mask, which can lead to increased sebum and sweat,” explains Hadley King, M.D., “and this can lead to irritation, inflammation, and breakouts.”

The nose, mouth, and chin areas tend to be most prone to breakouts already, so if you know you have particularly sensitive skin already, it’s even more important to take extra precautions.

“I recommend washing the face before and after wearing a mask. A gentle cleanser is adequate, or if your skin is particularly oily or acne-prone, consider a cleanser with salicylic acid, which can penetrate into pores and gently exfoliate and remove sebum,” King says. “And use a light moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic, to support and bolster the skin barrier without clogging pores. Avoid heavy and potentially comedogenic products under the mask area.”

Another tip is to include spot-treating in your nightly skincare routine on areas that need it. Focus on the areas that are affected by masks by applying exfoliating and oil-balancing ingredients such as lactic acid, glycolic acid, green tea, niacinamide, and retinol. You can be selective with topical treatments, which makes regular spot-treating particularly helpful for people who have dry skin elsewhere.

What to do about mask-induced skin irritation

According to King, “any areas that are tight or rubbing can irritate the skin. Minimize this as much as possible by making sure the areas that contact your skin are smooth and not abrasive and not tighter than necessary to achieve a good seal.” If you notice that your skin is irritated once you take off your mask, “wash the area with water and a gentle cleanser, and apply an ointment,” she adds.

Unfortunately, irritation may occur no matter how many precautions are taken, so the best thing to do is to soothe it as much as you can. Some ingredients that have great soothing properties are aloe vera, colloidal oat, oat oil, and ceramides and fatty acids.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

7 ways to support your sober/non-drinking friends this holiday season

Holiday celebrations often involve alcohol. This can make things difficult for non-drinkers, whether they're sober for life or are pursuing sobriety for health or other ...

Read More

Canada’s new 988 suicide crisis helpline aims for hope and healing

On November 30th, Canada launched the 988 Suicide Crisis Helpline, providing a quick and accessible lifeline to persons in mental health crises. This three-digit ...

Read More

This eucalyptus-based hoodie can be composted in your garden

Just over a year ago, we wrote about Vollebak, a Dutch clothing startup making T-shirts that you can bury in your backyard once you’re ...

Read More

Your future rooftop could be made out of easy-to-install solar shingles

The roofs of the future may be made entirely out of solar panels. At least that’s the goal of GAF Energy, which has recently ...

Read More