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What is Maskne? Spots From Wearing Masks

When we’re talking about masks nowadays, it’s not usually our favourite sheet masks which are up for discussion. We’re all wearing masks a lot more in public places in order to do our part in slowing the spread of Covid 19.

It’s mandatory to wear one on public transport, and advisable to wear one in any social setting where it seems that social distancing will be difficult. They are available widely in shops, and online, and with amazing patterns, colours, and designs available, mask wearing can become a sartorial treat. We’re all about the silver lining.

However, as positive as mask-wearing is, it can provide some difficulties, too. Front line workers have been telling us from the very start that the increased hours behind the mask has led them to encounter skin complaints which they might never have faced before, or previously existing skin complaints can be exacerbated.

spots from wearing a mask

Getting spots from wearing masks is very common, and we’re hearing about it more and more. So, how can you care for your skin under the mask? I’ve started the conversation in my article in the Irish Examiner, but I have some further nerdie learnings to share with you.

Choose your mask carefully

The mask that you choose will need to be flush with your skin at times, so it’s important to consider the material which your mask is made from. Choosing a synthetic material can cause a bit of irritation if you have sensitive skin. I choose 100% cotton masks myself – I have gotten mine from healthmasks.ie, but there are options to suit every budget and preference now.

How to minimize spots from wearing a mask

If you’re wearing a reusable mask, it’s absolutely key to wash it regularly. This is to avoid spreading infection, but also to make sure that you’re not putting fabric back against your face which will have a good bit of bacteria accumulated. Washing your mask can prevent mold from forming because mold is definitely something we do not want getting acquainted with our faces.

Underneath our masks, we can easily build up oil and sweat, and this can mix with makeup and SPF to sink into pores. If we re-wear masks, we’re reintroducing vestiges of these things from previous days onto our skin, which can lead to what’s been dubbed ‘mask-ne’ - breakouts around the masked zone.

How to tackle mask-ne

Salicylic acid is often the friend to oil or spot-prone hooman. If you’re finding that you seem to be getting spots from wearing a mask, then it might be a good idea to introduce it into your routine regularly. Skingredients Sally Cleanse is suitable for use up to three times a week in the evening to dissolve oil, SPF, or makeup that might otherwise block pores and lead to breakouts. Or you could choose Environ Sebu Clear wash for daily use!

Don’t pile product on

You might be finding that your skin under your mask is feeling sore, dry, or irritated by the mask. The impulse might be to coat your skin in products with gorgeous textures in order to soothe skin, but keeping your skincare light under the mask is very important. Keeping skin hydrated is very important when it comes to protecting skin under masks. This might look like focussing on products which contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which help to draw hydration to the surface of the skin. Choosing a hydrating cleanser and serum option can assist in keeping as much hydration in the skin as possible. Our suggestion would be IMAGE Vital C Cleanser and Skingredients PreProbiotic Cleanse. We could also suggest following through with Vital C Hydrating Serum and Skingredients Skin Veg.

How to soothe chafed skin

Silicon is not your enemy in this situation. Using a product which has a silicon base can work wonders when it comes to providing a barrier between your sensitive skin and your mask. If your skin is particularly sensitive to rubbing, Dermalogica Barrier Repair (€48.50, selected salons and pharmacies) contains silicones to create that protective barrier on the skin along with anti-irritation ingredients such as oat extract, and nourishing oils like evening primrose oil and borage seed oil. If you have been diagnosed as suffering from contact dermatitis, then making sure you are diligent about barrier products is key. Anti-inflammatory ingredients are absolutely key as well, to give comfort to the skin, like niacinamide, chamomile, and green tea to name a few examples. You can find them in ASAP Skincare Super B Complex or Skingredients Skin Protein, both of which can be included in your daily skincare routine.

Do I need to wear SPF under my mask?

I would recommend wearing your SPF every day, and that doesn’t change with a mask. Given our current situation, the likelihood is that you aren’t wearing a mask through all the daylight hours in most workplaces. If you are wearing a mask throughout the day, then there is still a large portion of your face which is being exposed to light, and needs to be protected. If the argument for caring for and protecting your skin isn’t winning you over – would you not be mortified over a mask tan-line?

Consider skipping your makeup

If you’re going to be wearing a mask for an extended period of time, it might be an idea to skip the makeup for that day. If you find that you’re wearing makeup and breaking out in key zones under your mask, lay the foundation aside and see if that changes.

So, my best mask advice if you’re getting spots from wearing a mask or other uncomfortable skin complaints: choose a natural fabric, wash it regularly, keep your skin hydrated and use light skincare layers!

Bonus question: if anyone has solved the mystery of how to wear your chic face mask without fogging your glasses up like nobody’s business, PLEASE TELL THE NERDIE TEAM!

 

Products in this Article

  • Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50 PA+++ (50ml)
    Vendor
    Skingredients Ltd
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    €42.00
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    €42.00
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  • Skingredients PreProbiotic Cleanse 100ml
    Vendor
    Skingredients Ltd
    Regular price
    €25.00
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    €25.00
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  • Skingredients Skin Veg Serum (30ml)
    Vendor
    Skingredients Ltd
    Regular price
    €42.00
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    €42.00
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  • Skingredients Sally Cleanse (100ml)
    Vendor
    Skingredients Ltd
    Regular price
    €25.00
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    €25.00
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  • Skingredients Skin Protein Vitamin A, C + E Serum (30ml)
    Vendor
    Skingredients Ltd
    Regular price
    €42.00
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    €42.00
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  • IMAGE Vital C Hydrating Anti-Ageing Serum (50ml)
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    IMAGE
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    €56.80
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    €56.80
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    €71.00
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  • IMAGE Vital C Hydrating Facial Cleanser (177ml)
    IMAGE Vital C Hydrating Facial Cleanser
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    IMAGE
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    €37.00
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  • Environ Focus Care Clarity+ Sebu-Wash Gel Cleanser
    environ sebu-wash gel cleanser
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    Environ
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    €39.00
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    €39.00
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  • ASAP Skincare Super B Complex 30ml
    asap super b complex serum
    Vendor
    ASAP Skincare
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    €69.00
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    €69.00
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