One of the most responsible things to do during COVID-19 is to diligently wear a mask in public settings. Wearing a mask, even the non-medical grade, has been recommended by the World Health Organization because not only can it help protect yourself and the people around you, but it can also help slow down the transmission of the virus.
Now that masks are part of our daily essentials, "maskne" is also a unfortunate possibility. Maskne, or acne mechanica, is a skin irritation caused by the wearing of face masks. According to Dr. Ife J. Rodney, board certified dermatologist in Fulton, Maryland, those with oily skin, the combination of sweat, oil, and moisture from breathing under the mask can clog pores which eventually causes maskne. For those with dry skin, the friction of the mask against the skin can cause the hair follicles to break open, which then allows acne-causing bacteria into the skin. Maskne breakouts occurs where the mask usually is, on the nose, cheeks and chin. In some cases, masks can also trigger other skin conditions like rosacea, perioral dermatitis, irritant dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and skin breakdown explains New York City-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D.
The number one recommendation to prevent maskne is to consider the type of mask you wear. Choose masks made from breathable materials like pure mulberry silk so it won't trap moisture and heat. Pure mulberry silk is naturally soft and it's smooth texture won't cause too much friction and irritate your skin. Pure mulberry silk is also hypoallergenic.
Dermatologists also suggests to always keep your masks clean and wash it frequently to remove oil, sweat and dirt. It is also best to wash your face before and after using a face mask. Simplifying your skin care routine and using less make up while wearing masks will also help.