Are painful blemishes and irritated skin hiding behind your mask? If you’ve suddenly found yourself struggling with acne this summer, you may be dealing with a skin condition called Acne Mechanica. Acne mechanica specifically refers to the skin irritation that is formed by excess pressure, heat, and rubbing against the skin. When the skin is constantly rubbed, it initially becomes rough and then starts to develop acne-like bumps with continuing irritation like sweating or more friction.
If you are on social media, you may have even learned the non-scientific term for this called “maskne”! The combination of hot weather, dirt, and dry skin can be very unforgiving to your skin when wearing a mask for a prolonged period.
As a plastic surgeon, wearing a mask comes with the job. On any given day, I can spend multiple hours continuously in a mask while performing surgery. As COVID-19 lingers as a widespread public health issue in our country, continually wearing a mask and the skin problems it causes are no longer exclusive to medical professionals. Searching for a skin solution for what may seem like the new normal is not uncharted territory. Over the years, I have managed to reduce breakouts by relying on good hygiene and using ingredients that help prevent dryness and irritation. My clean, medical-grade skincare line features many of these beneficial natural ingredients.
Expert Tip: Wash your masks often, or replace disposable ones if possible. Your mask can quickly start to collect dirt, sweat, and bacteria with each use. Wearing a clean mask every day will help prevent these impurities from becoming trapped under your mask! Also washing your face daily with a quality cleanser is key, so read more below!
Step 1: Cleanse
Keeping your skin clean is crucial in helping prevent maskne. That means avoiding makeup and washing your face before and after wearing your mask! Avoid drying cleansers that strip the moisture from your skin and try a gentler option. My Alpha Hydroxy Acid Exfoliating Cleanser helps prevent your pores from becoming clogged by removing dirt, oil, and dead skin cells with organic, soothing ingredients. Niacinamide, Cucumber Extracts, and White Willow Bark Extracts offer your skin a splash of hydration that helps promote the feeling of smooth, soft skin.
Step 2: Treat
Dry skin often is the culprit of maskne. Instead of looking for heavy, thick creams to target dry, irritated skin, keep your skincare routine light while wearing a mask. Don’t be fooled by this thin layer. The Hyaluronic Acid and complex vitamins in my rose-scented Pro-Repair Serum helps provide your skin with deep, long-lasting hydration. Capable of holding 1000 times its weight in water, Hyaluronic Acid is known for replenishing your skin and helping give it a plumper, more youthful appearance.
Step 3: Hydrate
Mask overuse can also cause uncomfortable rubbing that results in skin irritation. Protect yourself from the friction caused by tight masks by keeping your skin hydrated! My Brightening Hyaluronic Acid Milk Lotion is a lightweight moisturize great for everyday use that helps act as a protective barrier. Clean, natural ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Bisabolol, Vitamin C, and a complex blend of Rhaponticum Root Extract help restore softness, reduce redness, and nourish your skin without clogging pores.
If you are looking for more hydration in your skincare routine, I recommend using natural ingredients that provide your skin with intense moisture like Hyaluronic Acid! Wearing your mask during the pandemic is essential to protecting you and the community against COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part, and please continue to stay safe.