We are living in a new age of health and wellness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health officials now recommend wearing face masks or face coverings in public to help slow the spread of the virus, and as a result, people are experiencing a new kind of skin condition referred to as ‘maskne’ or acne mechanica. Here are some ways we can identify, treat, and prevent this condition.
Most face masks are made of cloth or non-medical grade material typically worn to be fitted to the face, covering both nose and mouth. As a result, sweat and oil build up quickly on the skin and cause sebum to build up on the pores. Once the pores become clogged with sebum, the skin will react in the form of tiny white bumps or a dermatitis referred to as ‘maskne’. Cleansing the skin with the Blemfree™ Primary System will help to keep skin clear and prevent further growth of bacteria and p.acnes.
Those who have oily skin types will notice increased oil production and sweat on the skin of the face under and around the face mask. This is particularly the case in warm climates and for those who must wear masks for extended periods of time. This warm, moist environment is ideal for bacterial growth. If the masks are not washed frequently, the cloth itself will become a breeding ground for bacteria in close proximity to the nose, mouth and delicate outer layer, or mantle, of the facial skin. Cleansing the face immediately upon removal of the mask with the Blemfree™ Primary System will help restore the skin’s natural pH, remove dirt and oil, and keep the skin feeling clean and comfortable. Applying the Blemfree™ all day lotion will prevent bacteria from growing on the skin and clogging the pores, while the gentle exfoliating beads of the cleanser help to remove dead skin cells and dirt.
Those with dry or sensitive skin may also experience ‘maskne’ in the form of a contact dermatitis or inflammation of the skin’s pores from the rubbing of material. Masks that are washed in detergents and fabric softeners contain perfumes and chemicals that may irritate the delicate skin mantle, again, disrupting the skin’s natural pH and causing a breakout. Friction causes skin to become irritated and even creates tears and breakdown in the skin’s outer layer, allowing dirt, sebum and bacteria to infiltrate the pores. The Blemfree™ Primary System can help treat and prevent this through properly cleansing, gently exfoliating, and moisturizing the skin. The added antibacterial properties of Blemfree™ further lend it to aid in the prevention of future irritation caused by these skin irritants.
Finally, the surge in mask-related acne is the underlying stress we are all under during this time. The added stress of navigating the changing, unsettled world we are living in, makes self-care, in any form, critical to reducing the stress your body is under. That stress often manifests in our skin’s health. Make time for yourself, if only a few minutes of maintaining a skin care routine with the Blemfree™ Primary System. Remembering to keep hydrated and to apply all day lotion before you mask. Doing little things to help you destress will help you feel better and prevent the occurrence of skin problems such as ‘maskne’.
By: Sara E. Goodwin