As wearing masks continue to be our new normal, our skincare routine calls for a few adjustments. Warmer weather is on the horizon. Wearing face masks, plus the added heat and sweat, make our chin, mouth and nose area more susceptible to irritation and bacteria build up.
This is happening because of a phenomenon called acne mechanica, which is a physical type of breakout that results from excessive heat, friction, rubbing and more (aka, "maskne"). So how do you avoid whiteheads along the lines of which the mask sits: the bridge of the nose, chin and cheeks?
Dr. Dendy Engelman is a board-certified and nationally-acclaimed dermatologic surgeon. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and American College of Mohs Surgery. And here are her insights on how to stay safe during the pandemic as well as staying acne-free...
An added occlusive barrier will create an environment for healing and avoid bacteria spread. First moisturize with your regular moisturizer and then layer an occlusive balm along the area the masks sits.
It is very important to wear a mask every time you are in public for the safety of yourself and others – choose one made of softer fabric with a lower coefficient of friction, like silk. For homemade masks, make sure to wash regularly. Hand wash in hot water. Try to have a few clean masks on hand so you can wash between each outing. For paper masks, spray down with at least 60% isopropyl alcohol after each use in order to minimize bacteria that may be accumulating.
Wash your face immediately after removing your mask. Pat, don’t rub, your skin dry. Follow step 3 and add moisturize back into cleansed skin as dry, irritated skin is also more vulnerable to acne-causing bacteria and breakouts.