Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Face masks are here to stay this year, and for a good reason - they prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, keeping everyone around you safe! However, if you’ve noticed increased or worsened acne breakouts, you’re not imagining things: there are legitimate reasons that wearing your mask can spark breakouts. Firstly, the mask material can rub against the skin, causing chafing. Resting fabric on your face can also absorb natural oils in the skin, disrupting your skin’s equilibrium - this can lead to irritation, inflammation, and vulnerable skin. Finally, because the mask traps your breath in an enclosed space, your pores can become clogged.
The good news? Mask acne isn’t permanent, and there are steps you can take to bust the breakouts once and for all.
1. Keep it clean.
The first prevention technique is also the simplest! Be sure to wash your face before putting your mask on. Any dirt or oil left on your face will be trapped by the mask, leading to clogged pores. It is also important to avoid re-wearing your mask as bacteria can get trapped in the material - use a new disposable mask every day, or wash your cloth masks with fragrance-free soap and hot water after each use! Try: YovinoMD Ideal Enzyme Cleanser, formulated to provide a thorough, gentle cleanse.
2. Don’t leave your skin vulnerable.
If you’ve noticed that certain areas (like the bridge of your nose) get red and raw from the mask material, moisturizing will make all the difference. Raw skin is vulnerable skin, so protect yourself with a good moisturizer. Try: YovinoMD Intensive Recovery Cream, made with clean ingredients to help soothe irritation and protect the skin.
3. Skip your makeup routine.
One underrated benefit of wearing a mask every day? You can cut your makeup routine in half - no one can see underneath your mask! Avoid applying foundation, base, powders, and other similar products that are unnecessary. Most makeup is comedogenic (pore-clogging) as it is - wearing it under your mask will only compound these effects.
4. Use lower-concentration glycolic or salicylic acid to treat current breakouts - sparingly.
Glycolic acid and salicylic acid are naturally occurring hydroxy-acids. They are both effective at treating current breakouts, and preventing them from reoccuring in the future by gently exfoliating away dead skin cells. However, be sure that you are not using any products with a high concentration of these ingredients - combining a high percentage of hydroxy-acid with the heat that gets trapped under your mask can cause a reaction. Try: YovinoMD Acne Defense Pads (glycolic acid concentration of 5%) and YovinoMD Acne Defense Serum (glycolic acid concentration of 5%, salicylic acid concentration of 2%).
5. Don’t touch the front of your mask.
The front of your mask traps bacteria and dirt, so it is important to avoid touching it - otherwise, you run the risk of contaminating your hands and fingers, and therefore anything else that you touch (including your skin). Handle and adjust your mask by using the ear loops only.