Face Masks Are Here To Stay, But ‘Maskne’ Shouldn’t Have To

Nowadays, the use of face masks already seems the default option in countries around the world. Healthcare professionals even attest that face coverings are crucial to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, wearing such masks for extended periods also comes with its own set of challenges, including acne.

Acne Mechanica, dubbed "maskne" on social media, is a breakout caused by bacterial imbalances due to frequent mask-wearing. Even though athletes, who wear different types of headgear in sports such as football and hockey, are familiar with the issue, medical frontliners keeping the COVID-19 at bay are among the hardest hit.

The once trivial condition aggravates into an annoying problem as masks become a breathing ground for pore-clogging bacteria, which then grow and spread in the skin. Although a few pimples may seem inconsequential, we still shouldn’t overlook the blemishes and zits. 

To avoid acne flare-ups from masks that can intensify skin issues that already exist or breed new ones, Cottonique rounded up three essential tips to help you get away from breakouts. 

1. Check your mask 

In this aspect, comfortability sits atop luxury. You must make sure that your masks fit snugly against the sides of your face. It shouldn't be too loose to create a barrier that blocks as much air as possible yet not so tight to put pressure in your skin. 

In mask-wearing, it is highly recommended by dermatologists to use a pure 100% cotton fabric as a good compromise because it allows the skin to breathe more, giving much comfort to those who have sensitive skin. The more synthetic the material is, the more heat retention it would cause on the surface covered by the mask. 

A strip of non-woven fibers or even a layer of synthetic material like polyester can trigger skin reactions to some. Although these synthetics are smooth at the microscopic level, cotton fibers still offer better protection as they create additional restrictions for both outgoing and incoming particles.

Moreover, synthetic fabrics simply don't breathe. As the face mask will cover both your nose and mouth, the use of soft fabrics like cotton or silk appears to be a valid suggestion as these materials tend to be more gentle and breathable on the skin. 

2. Clean your mask 

By practice, you must keep your mask on until you have finished your trip, errand, or work shift. But when it's time to remove the masks, then it's time that you put them in the washer. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks should be washed after each use with regular laundry detergent. You can also soak them in bleach solution for five minutes and rinse it thoroughly using room temperature water.

John Hopkins University also gave the same advice, adding that you might consider using unscented laundry detergent to avoid inhaling strong perfumes. 

You can also hand wash your mask using hot and soapy water. Scrub the mask for at least 20 seconds, dry them on high heat in the dryer, and store them in a clean place when you are not using them.

It is crucial to make sure your mask remains contamination-free when you plan to reuse it. As healthcare professionals say, "You need to treat your mask like underwear." 

3. Cleanse your skin before and after wearing a mask

If you don’t want the oil, sweat, and dirt to sit on your face, then a regular skincare routine is needed. To prevent or relieve skin injuries caused by pressure from masks, you can use a thin layer of zinc oxide on the bridges of your nose or behind your ears to soothe and protect the skin. 

You can also try placing a bandage in the friction points between the skin and the mask to provide cooling relief. If a blister forms, clean it then apply antibiotic ointment. If you develop acne, use a water-soluble moisturizer to cleanse your skin regularly. Also, avoid popping or squeezing pimples for it would only cause inflammation and infection of the area.

Always be sure to wash your face before and after wearing a mask. If your skin is not clean and dry, your face remains a petri-dish of bacteria, so be sure to take those down too! 

Cottonique’s Pick:

With these simple tips, you can best protect yourself not only against coronavirus but also from the horrors of masknes. But if you want to ease further woes on the pandemic-induced pimple problem, it will all boil down to one thing: Finding the right mask matters.

Cottonique understands that masks should protect wearers from inside and out without compromising high-end fabrics, aesthetics, and the consumers' health. One notable example is the Elite Hypoallergenic Face Mask. 

Completely free from chemicals and latex, this mask gets the germ-shielding job done while ensuring your skin's safety from irritations, including masknes. It also fits snugly and protects the face from contact with the hands. 

Its 100% organic cotton fabric keeps wearers protected from contact allergies while the mask’s integrated pocket allows an additional filter of their choice. The soft cotton adjustable ear loops also ensure abrasion-free ears after each use. 

When it comes to minimizing the spread of COVID-19, a highly-efficient face mask remains the first line of defense. Head over to our mask collection to find products free from non-cytotoxic, non-irritating, and non-sensitizing materials.