COVID-19 has introduced several new words into our daily language, and now we can add one more: maskne. Wearing a face mask can cause your face to rebel. The more often you wear a mask, and the longer it’s on your face, the more likely you are to develop problems. The mask is a must. So let’s talk about how you can minimize or correct the side-effects you’re seeing.
What Are You Seeing?
Health care workers were first to report skin problems – not surprising since they have to wear their masks for many hours at a time. That includes our team here at Eterna Cosmetic Surgery. But anyone can experience side-effects such as:
- Skin irritation and redness
- Flare-ups of acne, rosacea, or eczema
The most common issues we’re seeing here in San Antonio are skin congestion, clogged pores, and acne breakouts around the mouth and lower face.
Some masks can be abrasive where they touch the face. But much of the problem is lack of air circulation. Your mask is designed to be breathable, but air and moisture from breathing are still trapped between the mask and your skin. Now, the summer heat causes increased perspiration which exacerbates the situation.
What Can You Do?
- Washing your face twice daily prevents accumulation of excess oils, sweat, leftover makeup, and dirt particles within the pores. Guys take note: men’s skin is thicker and more resilient, which means you are more prone to oily skin. Simply washing your face morning and night will remove excess surface oils, and exfoliating once or twice weekly will help clear congested pores and prevent acne breakouts.
- Either manual or chemical exfoliation can address clogged pores. Manual exfoliation should include a facial wash with beads or a scrubbing pad. Chemical exfoliation can include chemical peels or using facial washes that contain alpha or beta hydroxyl acids, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid.
- Hydrafacials are another great option if you’re looking to clear clogged pores. This three-in-one treatment uses water infused with vitamin rich skin care ingredients, so it also exfoliates dull skin cells and nourishes and hydrates the skin.
- Calming Toner from ZO Skin Health can provide relief by soothing skin irritation and dryness.
- Washing cloth masks weekly or replacing disposable masks frequently can reduce acne breakouts and congestion. Masks with a 100% cotton layer next to the skin are best.
- Considering going without makeup when you’ll be wearing a mask, or apply it very lightly so there is less to potentially clog your pores.
We Can Help
Your face may not be entirely visible these days, but that doesn’t mean you have to forego skin rejuvenation treatments. Whatever your age or gender, we know you want to look your best. And a face that looks smoother, healthier, maybe even younger when you take off that mask is sure to boost your spirits. Think of it as a reward for all the things you are giving up just now, doing your part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We should note that wearing a facial covering following microneedling, Morpheus8, or a chemical peel may cause some discomfort, but it will not affect the healing process or your results.
Facial skin can suffer from all sorts of imperfections in addition to maskne. When you schedule a personal consultation at Eterna Cosmetic Surgery, we’ll evaluate your skin and help you determine the best treatment plan to address all your improvement goals.