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5 tips to reduce skin breakouts while using masks

by Metrin Skincare July 06, 2020

Wearing masks because you care

Of course, you care! Not just about your own health, but for the well-being of others – your family, friends, all your loved ones, and for everyone in your community. During a pandemic, with Covid-19 infections abound, we need to care and protect. That’s why you wear a mask or a face covering, firstly to prevent any of your breathalyzed aspirations from possibly infecting others and aspirations from others reaching your mucous membranes more readily. Its just smart, considerate and respectful when physical/social distancing can’t be exercised with people who are not in your isolation bubble. 

Breakouts, “maskne”, skin irritation from masks and face coverings

You’ve seen the photos – the faces of our heroes, the front-line workers with skin irritation from prolonged mask usage. And now that you are wearing masks, you are seeing breakouts, “maskne” (Acne from masks), skin irritation or contact and allergic dermatitis on your face. Hate to say it, but ‘maskne’ is the new acne that’s going to stay for a while! Whether it’s the N95 grade masks, medical grade masks or non-medical grade mask, the material that comes into contact with your skin could be irritating to your skin and could trigger contact or allergic dermatitis. Most often, its not the mask material, but…bacteria growth…that causes the breakouts and skin irritation. 

On a side note – this type of skin irritation is similar to hat wearers. Often, the hat or the head band part that comes into contact with the forehead absorbs our natural sweat and sebum, combined with heat from our body, helps foster an environment for bacteria growth. 

It’s the same idea with non-disposable multi-use masks and face coverings. But unlike headbands inside a hat, mask absorbs more – as we aspirate into the mask (like breathing onto your bathroom mirror to fog it up) through our nose and mouth, transfer make up, sweat, sebum, and our dead skin cells into the inside portion of the mask. These accumulate and naturally foster increased bacteria growth. Of course, as we breathe in through the mask and touch the exterior of the mask as well, the exterior accumulates dirt and dust, as well as any of our aspirations that pass through it.    

How to reduce mask breakouts

1. Wash reusable masks as often as possible;

2. Expose mask to the sun (UV rays) to reduce bacteria growth; 

3. Choose mask material that is less irritating to your skin; 

4. Wear little or no make up when wearing masks – it’ll help reduce transfer of make up, with your aspirations, sebum and sweat to your masks;  

5. Wash and gently exfoliate your skin daily – this will help reduce transfer of excess sebum and dead skin cells onto the mask.

 We hope this blog post will help you keep your skin clean and healthy as you exercise your care. Please be safe and well. 

If you would like to learn more about caring for your skin, please follow our blog or complete a free skin care consultation. We’ve been helping people enjoy their healthy glowing skin for a lifetime – let us know if we can help you too.

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