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Combatting Maskne: A Guide to Keeping Your Skin Clear Under Your Mask

Whether we like it or not, masks have become part of our everyday lives. They are integral to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and are required in most public spaces in the United States. However, more and more people are reporting breakouts from wearing a mask, also known as “maskne,” or mask acne

Why Am I Getting Maskne?

Wearing a mask does not allow your skin to breathe in a way that it can without a mask. This may lead to clogged pores, as a buildup of dirt and bacteria is more likely to accumulate underneath the surface of your skin, leading to pimples and blemishes. In addition, wearing a mask can trap humidity underneath the mask, especially after a long day of breathing and moving around with one on. Friction is also cited as a possible reason for maskne, as a mask rubbing against your skin for a long period of time may lead to irritation.

How do I Get Rid of Maskne?

  1. Wash your face regularly

While this may seem obvious, it’s more important than ever to maintain a consistent skincare routine. Washing your face before you put your mask on in the morning and after you take it off at night can help prevent your pores from being clogged by the oils trapped underneath the mask.

2. Wash reusable masks after every use

Cloth masks can not only trap dirt and oils underneath your mask, but they can also absorb some. Washing your cloth masks after each use is the best way to ensure you’re not putting a dirty mask onto your clean skin. If you’re using disposable masks, throw them away after each use to prevent the spread of bacteria on your skin.

3. Avoid makeup if possible

If your skin is especially sensitive to makeup, a mask may only worsen those effects. With oily makeup in your pores and the added humidity due to breathing, makeup underneath a mask can be the perfect recipe for a breakout. It’s not like you can see the makeup under your mask anyway, so it’s typically best to let your skin breathe under the mask as much as possible.

4. Pay attention to what kind of material your mask is made of

Not all masks are made equally. If you feel as though your skin is getting clogged by wearing a heavy-duty mask, opt to switch to one made with a lighter fabric that may filter out the air underneath your mask better. However, it’s important to note that heavy-duty masks are more efficient in stopping the spread of the virus than lighter ones. Stick to a reliable mask that causes the least irritation to your skin. Experimenting with different types of mask materials can also help you determine what’s best for you.

While wearing a mask can feel like a sacrifice, it’s a necessary one to make during a global health crisis. If you’re finding yourself suffering from maskne, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Taking the proper steps to prevent maskne can help keep your breakouts under control.

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