For those who suffer from any kind of skin condition, including Psoriasis, Acne, Pigmentation, Dry Skin, Oily Skin or Rosacea, wearing a face mask is highly likely to exacerbate the condition known as Maskne. Worse still, even for those who do not suffer such conditions, frequently wearing a face mask may cause one to develop, and especially where digestive health is an issue.
The skin below a face mask is subject to an increase in humidity and warmth which are the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria; oil production is stimulated, sweat and dirt become trapped and the skin’s integrity deteriorates.
For those with an existing skin condition, I recommend beginning a personalised programme to handle the condition as a matter of urgency. This may include Nutritional Therapy that focuses specifically on gut health because it is the common denominator in all skin issues; a new, more natural, and more regular skincare regime, laser, LED, or IPL treatments, which are super-effective at destroying bacteria, viruses and yeasts for Maskne. Following a diet that is recommended for that particular skin condition will also benefit.
For everyone, no matter your current skin health, the frequent wearing of face masks is an unnatural habit and good hygiene should be followed by paying great attention to every detail below:
- Only wear a face mask where required to do so (in closely shared public spaces)
- Ensure several hours of the day are mask-free, in a well-ventilated environment
- Cleanse your face before putting on a face mask, and immediately after taking it off to minimise the amount of lingering bacteria
- Change the face mask frequently, either use disposable masks and discard them after each use or carry several cloth masks with you for changing throughout the day. As soon as you remove a mask, discard it or put it aside for washing. Once you remove a mask, the bacteria continue multiplying!
- Avoid the use of make-up wherever possible; if you must wear make-up go light on the area that will be under the mask. This is especially relevant to the foundation because it traps bacteria into your pores.
- If you experience chafing under the chin, behind your ears, or on the bridge of your nose, applying a thin layer of Zinc Oxide to those areas can help.
A final note for those with Rosacea, follow your usual skincare regime, use a fragrance-free moisturiser to reduce the potential for irritation or abrasion from a face mask, and only use face masks made from 100% cotton. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is highly recommended for Maskne in these unusual times.