Wearing a face mask takes some getting used to – especially for your skin. Here’s how to protect your skin while protecting your health.
Even if you’ve never experienced acne as a teen or adult, you may be suddenly experiencing a bout of breakouts. What gives? No, it’s not the stress of this past year (although, that certainly doesn’t help). Your pimples may be a direct result of your very necessary face mask – a condition that’s been newly minted ‘maskne.’ Experts say that paper or cloth face covering is a must in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, but wearing it for long periods of time can be an adjustment, even for your skin. Breakouts, oily skin, rashes, redness, and/or dryness can easily erupt after wearing one every day, all day. Fortunately, there are ways to counteract maskne as you keep yourself healthy and safe.
Why Does Maskne Happen in The First Place?
We’re going to guess you get a bit hot under that mask, right? Well, your skin feels hot and bothered, too. All that trapped humidity and sweat make a pretty hospitable environment for acne-causing bacteria to grow, says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from A Top New York Dermatologist. And it’s not just acne. “People also get skin irritations and heat rashes from wearing masks for long stretches of time,” says Jaliman. If you’re prone to conditions such as rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis, you may even get a flare from wearing masks, too.
How Climate-Smart® Skincare Can Prevent Maskne
“The mask is creating a high humidity, tropical-like climate for your skin,” says Ulli Haslacher, founder and CEO of Pour Moi Skincare. That means, the best way to prevent mask-induced breakouts is to treat your skin as you would in a tropical climate. That starts with…
- Deep Cleansing: Always wash your face before and after wearing a mask, but performing a deeper cleanse with gentle exfoliation every second day will help keep pores clear of dirt, oil, and dead skin. “The shedding process is so important for your skin – and it gets compromised by all that humidity,” says Haslacher. All that debris gets stuck on skin’s surface, leading to breakouts. Pour Moi Clarifying Polish is a mild cleanser that contains sugar crystals to gently whisk away dead skin without being too harsh. Too-aggressive cleansing and exfoliation will only compromise your skin barrier (skin’s outermost layer), which will only lead to more irritation when wearing a mask.
- A Climate-Smart® Day Cream: Even though the mask is mimicking a tropical environment on your face, you still want to use a skincare cream that is formulated for the specific environment you’re currently dwelling in, whether that’s Polar, Desert, Mountain, Tropical, Temperate, or Marine. Pour Moi has tapped into cutting-edge medical research that shows that your skin is greatly affected by climate. Leveraging this science, Pour Moi has developed innovative, breakthrough formulas that include their geo-hydradynamic complex. Each formula uses a different size hyaluronic acid molecule to give skin the exact amount of moisture it needs, depending on the humidity levels in the environment it is in. The air that surrounds you does filter through your mask, so what you apply to your skin is crucial for keeping the moisture levels balanced. The end result is healthy, happy skin – even if you’re wearing a humidity-trapping mask all long.
- Moisture-Controlled Mask: You already know wearing a mask is smart, but have you considered wearing a smart mask? To help your skin adapt to this new accessory, Pour Moi has designed one that not only meets the CDC’s guidelines for an effective face covering, but also one that helps your skin stay happy. The Wearable Smart Masks are customizable by climate (there are six in all) and are made from material that helps control moisture. Each one also contains an anti-microbial agent. Plus, they’re designed to feel comfortable against your skin, cutting down on the friction-induced chaffing. Wash after wearing with a gentle detergent.
Learning to go about our normal lives while wearing a mask is a pretty big adjustment, especially for your skin. But with a few key product adjustments your skin can stay healthy, happy and balanced.