Maskne Explained and What You Can do to Prevent it

Maskne Explained and What You Can do to Prevent it

As we slowly enter a new way of normality in society; there are a few changes happening around our day to day routines. Social distancing & hand sanitising everywhere you go and the latest announcement; it will become mandatory to wear face masks when shopping in public from the 24th July. 

Whilst it has been clinically well-advised that wearing a mask across your mouth can help protect yourself and others from COVID-19 in a public place. The material on the masks worn by the public are not designed to be worn for long periods of time, they can prove to be quite harmful on the skin causing irritations and breakouts. Resulting in what the Urban Dictionary has now christened - Maskne.



“Virtually all skin types will see some form of irritation from wearing a face mask if they are wearing them for extended amounts of time each day,” says New York based, dermatologic surgeon Dendy Engelman,. “Many people will see irritation from the physical friction and/or pressure of the material on their skin, while others will see acne pop up.”

Luckily, here at Give Me, we have thought ahead and created a survival pack to help with your Mask-wearing ordeals! 

The Maskne Pack boasts products that will help tackle the unavoidable irritations that excessive mask-wearing can have on the skin. 



Why do Masks Cause Maskne?

Just a masks guard us from any airborne virus’, they’re also guarding us from the fresh air and moisture that helps your skin to breath. The mask traps in moisture, sweat, dirt and oils that develop in our skin. Resulting irritations such as blemishes, acne, small bumps, inflamed hair follicles, irritation, pressure sores, broken blood vessels, contact dermatitis and rosacea.


Small actions such as rubbing your face, adjusting the mask to talk and also moving the it from your face to under your chin to eat/drink can create frictions and cause irritations. Even the simple act of breathing can become problematic.

“When we breathe or talk into the masks, we increase moisture, which ends up changing our skin’s natural PH,” Says south Florida face plastic surgeon, Jacob Steiger.


 “This can result in an overgrowth of bacteria, which can create acne, inflamed hair follicles and a flare-up of rosacea.”


It’s unavoidable to wear masks in this current situation but to avoid blemishes, you need to alter your skin-care routine and consider what kind of mask you are wearing.


Changing your Skin routine



It is more important than ever at the moment to look after our skin, especially if you are in a job that requires you to wear a mask on a daily basis.


  • Removing your Makeup Properly

It may seem like a mundane thing, especially if you are working long shifts as a carer or NHS worker but simply wiping your makeup off with a face wipe will only smudge the bacteria across your face and covering more area with dirt and oils. By using a makeup removing cleanser, the formula will dig deep to remove any bacteria from the skin in a thorough cleansing action.


(Give Me’s Grapeseed Makeup Remover not only cleanses away stubborn makeup and unclogs your skin's impurities but the gentle formula also quickly absorbs into the skin and locks into pores, leaving a moisturised & cleansed complexion and restoring your skins natural moisture - Partnered with our soft non-toxic microfibre Eco pad for the ultimate gentle and healthy makeup removal)


It is important to cleanse away any fibres, dirt and bacteria that collects from the entrapment of the mask, you may not see them, but they are the elements that lead to acne & inflammations.


(Give Me’s Bubble Mask will soak deep into the pores, lifting unwanted dirt and oils from the root. Leaving a thoroughly cleansed and detoxed complexion.


  • Hydrate the Skin


As the mask blocks the skin from breathing, mixed with touching your face with chemically sanitised hands, it can cause serious dehydration. This can lead your skin to suffocate and became very dull, dry and rough. Always remember to hydrate your skin. – Quick tip, some creams can be very heavy on sensitive skin and clog pores back up again.


(Give Me’s Ultimate Face Fix Sheet mask range from collagen to Hyaluronic Sheet Masks; they are specifically designed to restore your skins natural hydration and elasticity for a nourished and brighter complexion)




Consider the Type of Mask



The type of face mask you’re wearing is also key, especially if you’re prone to acne.


But in some cases — if you’re a NHS or Keyworker, for example — you might not be any choice in the matter and specific PPE (personal protective equiptment) is mandatory.


N95 masks, which can filter out more than 95 percent of small particles that could contain viruses, are considered essential protection for health-care workers who are in close proximity of their patients.


The Mask contorts to the shape of your nose and mouth for a maximised sealed protection. However due to the tight fit around the face, NHS workers who wear these masks for long hours often experience pressure ulcers and irritant rashes in addition to breakouts.


Surgical masks are a loose-fitting mask and so they don’t perform as much damage to your face. With that said, they protect from droplets, but not small particles in the air that can be picked up in close range.


Cloth Masks’ effectiveness all depends on the material, fit and layers sewn into the mask.


When it comes to your face, cloth masks can absorb natural oils, which may trigger your skin to overcompensate and build up excess oils causing a greasy complexion and encourage acne.


The best option to protect your skin is a silk mask as silk has antimicrobial properties and has been shown to be better for people with sensitive skin. With this in mind, it may be beneficial for your skin but not against the protection of Coronavirus droplets in the air.


A good alternative cloth mask is, cotton. The layers will create a lightweight breathable feel which will cause less irritation. The more air- tight the mask the better the protection but with this will increase facial sweating.


Washing Your Mask


Regardless of the material, the mask needs to be cleaned often — both to protect yourself from the virus and from encouraging skin irritations. (Oils and any dirt on the mask will affect your skin). If possible, wash it after every time you wear it. Try to avoid washing with high perfumed washing detergents to prevent sensitive skin.


In addition, avoid (if you can) wearing foundations, heavy creams & lip balm/stick underneath the masks as the continuous contact with the mask can lead to irritated skin.



Enjoy this Blog? 

Check out - Why Self-care is so important During Lockdown


Melissa Bowker

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