“Eh, do you know that soooo many pimples have popped up on my face, especially around the area covered by the mask? Why ah?”
Does this sound familiar to you?
The pandemic has changed much of our lifestyles – including the fact that we have to wear a mask every single time we step outside our homes. However, wearing a mask almost every day causes irritation to the skin, otherwise known as ‘maskne’.
‘Maskne’, or acne mechanica (a result of mechanical friction of a fabric against the skin) has seen an increase in reports, especially during the COVID-19 season. This type of acne has been around for ages and is most common among those who wear sports headgear.
So, how does ‘maskne’ come about?
Dermatologists have speculated that wearing a mask everyday, combined with stress from the pandemic, causes a moist environment for bacteria to breed on your face.
Humidity + Bacteria = A recipe for acne disaster.
Here are a few tips to help you deal with ‘maskne’:
1. Wash or disinfect that mask!
We’re all so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives that we tend to forget that our masks are the number one breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. The first step in preventing maskne is to change or wash your masks daily, as you wouldn’t want germs to accumulate on the very thing that is in contact with your skin.
If you have the regular surgical masks or the N95 mask, try your best to swap the used ones for new ones daily. However, if your mask stash is growing small, you can always disinfect them using a UV light or a germicidal disinfectant. For reusable cloth masks, wash them at night and let them dry before you wear them the next day.
The best thing to do is to change your masks on the regular. If you sweat or exercise during the day with your mask on, swap it for a fresh one immediately. Sitting in a sweaty mask just breeds more acne.
2. As much as you’re tempted to, stop picking at those pesky pimples
Sometimes, we just can’t help it. Looking at the mirror and seeing a bulbous spot of acne can be very tempting to squeeze, but try your best to fight that urge.
Picking at pimples does more harm than good to your skin. It can cause inflammation, infection, and even permanent scarring. Now, that sounds bad, doesn’t it? So, keep your hands to yourself (and away from your face!)
3. Streamline your skincare routine
If you’re a skincare junkie, the products you use for your self-pampering and skin maintenance routines probably include active ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, or even retinol, just to name a few.
However, these kinds of ingredients have the potential to cause irritation to your skin and damage your skin barrier. With the constant use of a mask everyday, it will further aggravate your skin and can even cause eczema, dry patches, or a stinging, burning sensation when you apply other products.
Cut out actives from your routine and be gentle with your skin, using only soap-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic products (products that clog pores).
4. Moisturisation helps reduce mask friction against skin
Skin hydration is very important as it could help reduce friction and chafing from the mask towards your skin. Look for ingredients like glycerin and even non-comedogenic oils in products to lock in that moisture and quench your thirsty skin.
Don’t shy away from facial oils if you have oily skin! Sometimes when your skin is stripped of its natural oils it begins to produce a lot of sebum which then causes acne. Just look for oils that won’t clog your pores and you’re good to go.
At the end of the day, maskne isn’t something that you should stress over. It can be prevented by keeping your skin clean, hydrated and most importantly, by using skincare that isn’t harsh.
For gentle skincare that will not aggravate maskne, Cetaphil is a dermatologically-tested brand invented not just for sensitive skin, but all skin types.
Their Gentle Skin Cleanser formula has stayed the same for over 70 years and remains a worldwide favourite. Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser with a ‘clean’ list of ingredients and a lack of harsh chemicals will be extremely useful in nurturing your skin barrier back to health as it would cause little to no irritation. Cetaphil is also very useful for those with dehydrated skin as you could just wipe it off with a clean, damp towel – leaving a thin film of cleanser on your skin that can act as a moisturising agent! Cetaphil’s moisturisers and lotions are loaded with oils and glycerin, too!
Better yet, the month of July is filled with a plethora of amazing deals on Cetaphil skincare, exclusively at Watsons, both in-store and online!
Keep your eyes peeled for these discounts:
Promo: Get up to 25% off on Cetaphil products!
Date: 23 June to 20 July 2020 (West Malaysia) ; 30 June to 27 July 2020 (East Malaysia)
Free Canvas Bag worth up to RM25
Promo: Get a free Canvas Bag worth up to RM 25 with the purchase of Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser 500ml twinpack (banded onpack)
Date: Whole month of July 2020, while stocks last.
Watsons Member Extra 5% discount
Promo: Watsons Members get an extra 5% off on Cetaphil products!
Date: 27 July to 2 August 2020
Click here to take advantage on the awesome deals and stock up on Cetaphil products! Maskne-free skin awaits you.
This story was originally published on SAYS.