Maskne: all you need to know about acne caused by wearing a mask.

Wearing a mask is important, but the side effects for those who suffer from acne as a result can be cause for frustration. Luckily, Dr. Suzanne Gagnon has a few tips to share…so keep reading!

The article in reference below was only published in French, however, here are the key takeaways:

If putting on a mask seemed harmless at first, the rashes caused by wearing it have become so common that they now have a name: maskne, a contraction of the words masks and acne.

The phenomenon actually occurs because of an occlusion of the pores and hair follicles of the face caused by the pressure and friction of the mask on the skin leading to so-called mechanical acne.

“Debris tends to accumulate and thus worsen the occlusion. […| There is also moisture, so bacteria proliferate rapidly on the skin. It all adds up to a beautiful blend that’s perfect for acne,” says dermatologist Dr. Loukia Mitsos. You also see a lot of this type of mechanical acne in people who wear sports helmets or in violinists who have their chin constantly resting on the instrument.”

It’s preventable.

To avoid it, aesthetic dermatologist Dr. Suzanne Gagnon recommends cleansing the skin twice a day with a gentle, hypoallergenic, acid-free, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic cleanser. Then rinse the face and let it dry completely.

This is followed by the application of a light hypoallergenic moisturizer, again acid-free and fragrance-free, but also oil-free and non-comedogenic. This cream will help strengthen the skin barrier. Make-up, overly rich anti-ageing formulas or night creams which can be irritating to the skin, thus weakening it to all aggressions, including wearing a mask, should be avoided at all costs. On the other hand, mild serums, mineral, fragrance-free sunscreens and moisturizing mists should be well tolerated.

If it is difficult to control the maskne with the N95 mask, the one worn by medical personnel that offers the most effective filter against coronavirus, Dr. Gagnon advises at the very least to remove the mask for 15 minutes every two hours, if possible, in order to let the skin breathe.

If our skin is generally not sensitive, she says that we can try to apply a salicylic acid-based cleanser with a maximum concentration of 2% in the evening, before bedtime, to remove all the impurities that have clumped to our skin when we wear the mask for a long time.

It is also strongly suggested to clean our mask after each use with a mild detergent.

Click here for the full article written by Philippe Lépine.

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