As 2020 comes to a close, you’re likely filled with a variety of emotions. You may be excited to see the year-end and you’re looking forward to new beginnings. Or, you may be cautious as the new year approaches due to all the challenges we’ve faced in 2020. One of the things we’ll likely have to carry into the new year is wearing a mask. If you’ve noticed that your face is breaking out more due to wearing a mask for long periods, here is some important information for getting rid of face-mask acne in 2021.
How Do Face Masks Cause Skin Issues?
Face masks can irritate your skin by rubbing on the lower half of your face constantly. You may notice that your face has marks that are similar to rug burns due to the constant chafing and friction. You may notice more irritation behind your ears and on the bridge of your nose since this is often where the elastic bands are placed in the mask. You can also develop dark marks, peeling, redness, and dry patches on your chin and cheeks.
Wearing a mask for long periods of time can also cause occlusion. Occlusion occurs when the pores become clogged and you develop acne cysts or pimples. Since your breath is trapped in the mask, the surface of your skin is moist and warm. Even if you have regular breakouts, you may also develop folliculitis, which happens when bacteria or yeast infect the hair follicles on your face.
Choosing the Right Mask Material
The CDC states that N95 masks and surgical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers. You can find several types of cloth masks to protect yourself in public. The material of the mask determines how much protection it will provide you.
Make sure your mask is made of 100% cotton that is tightly woven. Cotton offers an effective barrier of protection but is gentle on the skin. Smart Air, an air filter company, conducted a study comparing mask materials. They discovered that cotton is both protective and breathable. Cotton is also a better fabric for masks than polyester, but it’s important to get a fabric that is made into a mask instead of just using a bandana or scarf. While canvas and denim are breathable fabrics, they are too rough on the skin and will cause redness and rashes.
How to Protect Your Skin
To protect your skin when you have to wear a mask daily, be sure to wash your face before putting the mask on. The oil and dirt from your face will collect under the mask, which causes acne. To clean your face, choose a cleanser that is oil and fragrance-free and rinse your face with warm water that isn’t too hot.
Remember to apply a quality moisturizer to your face after cleansing. A moisturizer provides a barrier between your skin and your mask to prevent breakouts. Select a moisturizer that is free of oils and fragrances. Check the ingredients to make sure your moisturizer contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramide to nourish the skin.
If you can, don’t wear makeup under our mask. Masks trap oil and impurities and increase the chances that your pores will fill with bacteria. Makeup can also stain your mask. If you have to wear makeup daily, make an appointment for a professional facial once a month. If you live in the Fort Collins area, visit a medical spa in Fort Collins to have your skin thoroughly cleansed and your pores extracted.
Make sure that you only wear clean masks, since the oil and dirt on your mask will end up back on your skin and lead to blemishes and acne. Purchase a few masks so you can wash them after use and always have a clean mask on hand. Make sure your laundry detergent is fragrance-free. Once the mask is clean, lay it flat to dry. The fragrance in the laundry detergent can aggravate your skin. If you decide to use a surgical mask, make sure you dispose of it after one use since there is no effective way to clean surgical masks. Have a few of these masks on hand if you need them so you’ll always have a clean mask available.
These suggestions can keep your skin protected and healthy when you wear your mask. Since the mask is a safety precaution when you’re public, it’s important to know how to care for your skin so you can reduce the chances of irritation and breakouts.