How to prevent and treat “maskne” now, and in the future months ahead.
By: Agoo Azcuna-Bengzon
The wearing of masks and face shields has been mandatory for quite some time now, and although we’re all probably well aware of their life-saving benefits, there is one condition that these protectors have been contributing to: maskne. Maskne is often referred to as the condition when one’s skin, particularly the area surrounding the lower half part of one’s face becomes problematic and riddled with visible signs of irritation, acne, pore-blockage, oiliness, unevenness and the like. The most obvious culprits? Chafing caused when the fabric of the mask repeatedly hits your skin, lack of air circulation, and trapped bacteria. To address these concerns, it’s important to first identify the problems you’re experiencing. Here are some signs and symptoms with their corresponding solutions as well as recommended products to help repair the damage and also prevent the same problems from recurring.
If you’re noticing flare-ups or overall irritation and redness, it could be one of these 2 conditions:
- Contact Dermatitis. This occurs when you’re allergic or sensitive to the material of your mask
- Rosacea. The cause of Rosacea is unknown but it could be due to genetics or environmental factors. If you have Rosacea, wearing a mask may cause flare-ups because there is poor circulation of air, and the area covered tends to feel warm.
The Ordinary Multifunctional Brightening Formula, P899
A 1-2 punch formulation that protects skin from free radical damage, brightens tone, improves texture and minimizes the appearance of blemishes.
Estée Lauder Perfectionist Pro Multi-Defense UV Fluid SPF45 with 8 Anti-Oxidants, P2,970
Advanced barrier fortifiers help skin seal in moisture and help strengthen it against infrared and other environmental assaults. This can also help prevent dehydration, especially from causes such as heating and air conditioning.
Acne happens when your pores become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and dirt. It can cause pimples, whiteheads or blackheads. You already have oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells on your skin. But when you wear a mask, these substances can build up more and block your pores. A mask also traps humidity due to your breathing and sweating, and bacteria thrives in humidity so this may exacerbate the problem of acne.
Laneige Perfect Makeup Cleansing Water, P1180
SPF and makeup are the most notorious pore-clogging products, and it’s a must to use an effective makeup remover like this one to get to deep seeded debris in our pores. Double cleansing is highly recommended to fight maskne. Start with a makeup remover then follow with a good foaming cleanser.
Innisfree Green Tea Foam Cleanser, P590
Armed with Jeju green tea extract, this cleanser will wash away all the bad—dirt, makeup, and grease but will leave your clean skin feeling supple.
Over-washing can also be harmful to one’s skin. If you’re constantly washing your face, you want to make sure that you’re also replenishing your skin’s loss of moisture by following with a light moisturizer. Undernourished or dehydrated skin ironically tends to produce more oil, and more oil production can lead to acne. Making sure your skin is perfectly balanced is key.
Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, P3350
Made from 100% pure plant extracts, it contains Clarins’ exclusive blend of Rosemary, Geranium and Lotus extracts, which purify the skin, tighten pores and refine skin texture. It also contains Hazelnut Oil which softens, soothes and seals in moisture to prevent fine lines and moisture loss.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil, P1,110
This perennial bestseller is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that intensely hydrate skin.
Although maskne can be frustrating, it’s important to keep wearing face masks and shields for the time being—at least until we know that COVID is no longer a threat to us. All we have to do is remember to be religious about applying the right products every day so that we can keep maskne away and under control.