Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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MASKNE

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THE NEWEST NUISANCE

In the new normal, face coverings have become essential to daily life, whether you work 8-hour shifts in a  mask or simply mask-up for grocery shopping. However, as we prevent the spread of Covid-19,  you may have noticed a unique flare-up of acne under your mask. 

Welcome, the newest way 2020 is testing us all… maskne. 

THE CAUSE

Contrary to what you might think, these acne flare-ups are not caused by a dirty mask. The moisture from our breath trapped between the mask and skin is the perfect condition for acne production. You may notice these breakouts as small, firm pimples with a rosacea-like quality — these are called folliculitis breakouts. In a humid environment, especially when the environment changes rapidly (from mask on and mask off), 47 % of people experience breakouts and an additional 40% experience aggravated acne. Also, as our skin sheds from natural and chemical exfoliation, skin cells can become trapped behind the mask and 

THE SOLUTION

To treat this new, stubborn acne, keep your skincare regime simple. Use a low percentage benzoyl peroxide face wash or toner and a gentle moisturizer — we suggest Cerave or Cetaphil brand. Make sure to purchase tightly woven, reusable cotton masks, ensuring breathability and low retention of humidity. Although surgical and N95 masks are equally breathable, make the conscious effort to save these masks for healthcare workers! Always have three masks on hand, as they need to be washed daily after use, and use a fragrance-free detergent to avoid irritating your skin further. Don’t forget to always follow the CDC guidelines for mask maintenance. 

If you regularly wear makeup, you have likely encountered the dilemma of wearing foundation or contour with a mask. One solution is to wear foundation above and around the mask area. Full coverage foundations on the skin under your mask will further clog the pores and exacerbate folliculitis breakouts.  However, once your mask is off, a half-baked face looks rather silly. If you choose to wear makeup with your mask, we suggest considering a foundation that is non-comedogenic and oil-free or a tinted BB-cream. BareMinerals’ Complexion Rescue BB Cream has one of the largest shade ranges on the market. 

This month, take extra care of your skin and continue to care for our community by masking up.