Wearing a mask is becoming the “new normal” . We don’t know for how long it will be like this, but I suspect it’s going to be a while.
Like any intervention in health or medicine, wearing masks has it’s side effects. It’s difficult to talk through, and after a while, breathing becomes laborious.
And if that’s not bad enough, it also affects the health of your facial skin.
Face mask related acne, or “Maskne”, is breakouts caused by face mask suffocating our skin.
How does face masks affect our skin
The skin plays a great role in regulating our body temperature. As our temperature increases, we sweat. Air flow across our skin helps with evaporation of the sweat, as well as cooling of the skin.
Facial masks prevents this evaporative and cooling effect. This facilitates a damp and warm environment, which encourages bacterial growth. Bacteria on the skin surface gets trapped in hair follicles, causing inflammation and acne breakouts.
Poor fitting masks, and constantly fiddling with it, rubs against the skin and helps to grind in the bacteria.
Ways to help prevent “Maskne”
Remove mask every hour for a few minutes, or whenever it’s safe to do so.
Keep skin clean by washing it in the morning and evening with a gentle, non irritating cleanser.
Restore natural skin moisturizer barrier elements by using a gentle moisturizer.
Keep hydrated. 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
Have good quality sleep, as well as a healthy diet. This also helps with maintaining a strong and effective immune system
Add more anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Foods high in omega-3 like salmon, flaxseed, almonds etc, are good choices to help reduce inflammation.
Vit-A containing skin care are excellent products to help prevent and treat acne. Just remember to use sunscreen , because Vit-A increases the sensitivity to the sun.
Sugary snacks and refined carbohydrates, which worsens breakouts.
Wearing the same mask everyday.
Dr A Douglas