Have you noticed those little bumps, pimples, red spots or patches of irritation after repeatedly wearing a mask to work or – in my case – even after one trip to the grocery store? Most likely it’s maskne – something new that’s popped up (literally) during the global pandemic. Dermatologists have said that mask rubbing, or even sweating underneath a mask, can lead to skin irritation. Here are a few great tips and tricks we’ve pulled together so you can stay safe and keep your skin in good shape:
Strengthen Your Skin’s Barrier
This is one of the most important steps you can take for your skin’s health. Our skin’s primary job is to protect our body, and a healthy skin barrier (the outer layer of the skin) will shield against potential maskne, irritants, the sun, and also pollution.
Gentle cleansing and toning is key. Healthy Beauty Award Winner Soft Sweep Micellar Cleanser + Toner gently wipes away dirt, oil, sweat and impurities without stripping your skin. Here’s why:
- It’s formulated with Green Tea Extract to soothe so skin never feels tight or dry (which can lead to breakouts).
- And it includes Willow Bark Extract (a gentle, natural exfoliating agent that aids in cell turnover) to help clear pores.
- Licorice Root Extract also helps reduce surface oil and calm the skin.
Hydrating is essential to a healthy skin barrier, too. All Care Skincare products are formulated with Hyaluronic Acid, a super molecule your skin naturally produces that helps lock in moisture. Amazingly, it holds up to 1,000x its weight in water, which makes it an important ingredient in skincare.
Easy does it. Try to treat your skin as gently as possible – no abrasive foaming cleansers or harsh exfoliants – to keep the skin barrier intact and strong. It’s tempting to scrub but it can often make the situation worse. Use lukewarm water when washing instead of cold or hot – your skin will be happier!
Here’s a tip we love. When you take a mask break, bring along a to-go Soft Sweep Towelette to sweep away dirt and oil and refresh your skin. It’s a great feeling, especially in the middle of the day!
You could also bring a spare mask and switch when needed. I do that sometimes if I’m out for extended periods of time since masks tend to get damp, especially when you’re talking.
Go Fragrance Free!
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), fragrances are considered the leading cause of allergic reactions on the skin, and over 5.7 million dermatologist visits every year list the cause as “contact dermatitis.” Added fragrance “creates an avoidable risk of irritant or allergic reaction to fragrance-sensitive persons.” This is the reason why all Care products are fragrance free – and why you may want to consider washing your masks or even pillowcases in fragrance free detergent since both of them come in direct contact with your face. For optimal mask maintenance, wash by hand with fragrance free soap.
Choose Your Mask Carefully
It’s been often said that dermatologists feel disposable masks can chafe and create more friction that cloth ones. Soft cotton or silk masks (also a more sustainable option) are breathable and can be less irritating to the face.
If you do get a breakout and want to treat it, we recommend proceeding with caution. Although it’s alluring to try something that will zap and dry out a pimple, you don’t want to compromise your skin or moisture barrier to create more problems down the line. Avoid picking, squeezing or popping too. Go with a spot treatment that gently helps deal with your skincare concerns.
Photography credits: third photo by Anton
Once an Estée Lauder Marketing Executive, Michelle is now a Care Skincare Staff Writer and a big fan of their simple approach to skincare. She lives with her husband and two small children, who keep her busy 23/7.