Face masks may be a mandatory accessories that we do not step out with but it has also brought with it a skincare worry in its wake. If you've noticed a sudden crop of pimples over your chin or breakouts along your jawline, you aren't alone. Thousands across the globe are facing a novel skincare problem in the wake of Coronavirus and it's being termed as maskne. As the name suggests, this new form of acne is rearing its head with prolonged face mask usage. To understand it better, we no one better to speak to than the skincare experts. Dr. Simal Soin is Founder at AAYNA Clinic and is a leading Aesthetic and Cosmetic Dermatologist trained at Cambridge University. NDTV Swirlster spoke to Dr. Soin on how maskne occurs and how we can prevent it.
Swirlster: Why is maskne occuring today?
Dr. Simal Soin: There are various reasons why wearing a mask over a long period of time could affect the covered portion of our face. A tight mask can cause rashes on the bridge of the nose and behind the ears due to friction. Rough fabric can rub skin the wrong way. The material of the mask should be soft - ideally 100% cotton. Make sure you use a mild detergent as it also cause skin irritation. Though one must not take off the mask in a public place or when in company, you could remove the mask when isolated or at home to allow your skin to breathe. The weather can also aggravate the condition. Excess dryness or humidity could adversely affect skin. If one has any existing underlying skin conditions such as rosacea, acne or psoriasis, they tend to worsen with a mask.
Swirlster: What precautions must one take for the mask before wearing it?
Dr. Simal Soin: Firstly, make sure you have a few masks handy so you don't end up re-using only one mask. Cleanse, tone and moisturize your face before and after wearing a mask. Always wear a clean, fresh mask. To avoid rashes, use a mask with a soft fabric that is neither too tight or loose.
Swirlster: How does one treat maskne?
Dr. Simal Soin: Many are reporting acne eruptions, irritation and rashes on their face because of continuously wearing masks. You can avoid this by washing or disinfecting a mask each time you wear it. Make sure you clean your face before and after putting on a mask and don't forget to use a gentle moisturiser so that your skin doesn't dry out. Apply any calamine lotion on your rash after you have removed the mask and cleaned your face.
Swirlster: How does one keep their skin healthy when wearing a mask?
Dr. Simal Soin: Here are a few healthy skincare tips to follow when wearing a mask.
Wash your face regularly and apply light moisturizer at all times. If you have dry skin, use a rich cream.
Apply a light sunscreen lotion or cream, preferably mineral-based. Be aware that there are certain chemical ingredients in sunscreen that may wear down the integrity of rubber or elastic materials on the mask
Avoid wearing heavy makeup like foundation under your mask. This may cause break outs.
For those wearing cloth masks, make sure you wash them daily as per the guidelines to minimize bacteria growth that can cause acne.
Swirlster: How does one prevent maskne?
Dr. Simal Soin: Follow all these above tips to prevent maskne. Cleanliness is absolutely essential. Choose the right mask that fits you well and is soft on the skin. Take care of your face by regularly washing and moisturizing.