Can face masks cause acne?
Wearing a face mask has now become the new normal as a preventive measure for the coronavirus. And it might be the cause of your skin breakouts. Masks provide a layer of protection. But they can irritate the skin, clog pores and flare acne. Read on to learn how to deal with “maskne” (the term for breakouts caused by masks).
How face masks cause acne?
There are three main ways masks can cause breakouts:
Masks cause irritation through friction and rubbing. The riskiest areas are the bridge of the nose and behind the ears where elastic bands hit. Over time, tightly fitted masks put pressure on the skin and lead to breakout.
The mask fabric absorbs the skin’s natural oils. For some, this leads to skin dryness and sensitivity. Any residue from the cleansing agent and fabric softeners can get stuck beneath the mask. This causes irritation. When irritation becomes inflammation, it can lead to redness, dry patches, peeling or dark marks. If you have a skin condition like psoriasis, the inflammation can make it flare.
Occlusion from a mask can cause problems. Pores can get clogged to become pimples or acne cysts. Your breath will be trapped beneath the mask and this makes the skin surface moist. In addition to regular acne, this can lead to a breakout called folliculitis, which is when yeast or bacteria infect the hair follicles.
What’s the best material for a face mask?
Your mask material affects how well it protects you. It affects how well you can breathe through it and how your skin responds to it. The best choice for a homemade mask is tightly woven, 100% cotton. It is effective, yet gentle on the skin.
Skincare tips to protect your face from irritation
- Wash your face
Dirt and oil on your skin can get trapped under the mask and cause acne breakouts. Put your mask on over a clean face. Select a gentle cleanser that is fragrance-free and oil-free. Rinse with lukewarm water.
- Apply a good moisturizer
Skin dryness and peeling are the first signs of mask irritation. Over time, your skin can be sensitive, red, have dark marks and breakouts. Always apply moisturizer before wearing your mask. Moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated and acts like a barrier to the friction caused due to your mask. Choose one that is fragrance-free and oil-free. Avoid heavy products that clog your skin and cause acne breakouts. Look for something light that is non-comedogenic. This type of skincare products won’t clog your pores.
- Skip the makeup
Don’t wear makeup underneath your mask. Masks act like occlusive barriers. Trapped makeup leads to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Similarly, residue from makeup soils your mask.
- Wear only clean masks
Dirt and oil from your skin along with the germs from your mouth and nose can be there on your mask material. It’s always better to keep extra masks and wash them after every use.
- Stick to fragrance-free laundry detergent
Fragrance within the fabric can be an irritant. Choose a fragrance-free laundry detergent. After washing your mask, keep it flat to dry.
- Do not recycle surgical masks
Surgical masks are not meant to be recycled. This is because the masks are made up of multiple materials fused together to prevent the spread of virus droplets. Since these materials cannot be separated after mask use, the masks cannot be recycled.
- Ice your skin
Do you have redness and swelling once you take off your mask? Well, icing your skin can help. Use frozen peas or ice cubes. Cushion with a paper towel and apply to the skin for a few minutes at a time.
When should you see a doctor?
Spreading soreness or draining pus are the signs of an infection. If this happens, seek immediate medical attention. If your acne breakouts are severe or don’t get better, you might need prescription medications. Visit your nearest skin clinic and check with your skin doctor for an evaluation. He or she will be able to help you determine the best course of action for your skin type. This individualization is the main advantage of homeopathy treatment.
Homeopathy is a safe option to treat skin diseases as it treats without any toxic side-effects. It treats the root cause of the skin problem. It offers permanent relief for skin diseases. So, what are you waiting for? Book an appointment with an expert homeopathic doctor right away!