Although cities and states have eased up on masking mandates, ‘maskne’ – skin irritation or breakouts underneath your face covering – can still be a chronic skin problem.
“So many of my patients come in complaining of maskne due to the face coverings they wear to prevent COVID-19,” says Dermatologist Melda Isaac, MD of MI Skin Dermatology Center in Washington, D.C. “Masks can help prevent the spread of this contagious illness, but they do cause some collateral damage to your skin, namely maskne.”
Skin can become inflamed from rubbing against the mask, and then there’s trapped breath, sweat, and oil, the perfect recipe for breakouts. With summer coming up very soon, warm weather and humidity make maskne even more common. The longer you wear your mask, the more friction, sweat, and oil that collects, and the greater your risk for maskne, Dr. Isaac says.
Mask wearing is not the only cause for clogged pores and breakouts. Stress can contribute to this condition, she says.
A proper skincare regimen can help to clear up your maskne and prevent it from coming back, she says. This starts with daily cleaning with DefenAge’s 1-Step Multi-Cleanse in the morning and at night along with the use of the 2-Minute Reveal Masque once or twice a week.
“It’s that simple thanks to the defensins that power these products,” says Dr. Isaac.
Defensins are regenerative molecules that activate dormant LGR6+ cells below the skin's surface, waking them up and putting them to work. “Defensins thoroughly cleanse your pores, minimizing them, so you'll notice fewer breakouts and blemishes over time,” she says.
When pores are clogged, blackheads, whiteheads, and acne can occur. Defensins also decrease redness, irritation, and sensitivity, all of which contribute to acne and these symptoms also can be caused by some types of acne treatments,” she says.
Retinoids also unclog pores, but they can be irritating and may cause sun sensitivity. “Defensins are a safer alternative to retinoids, which is one of the reasons that my patients prefer the DefenAge line of products," according to Dr. Isaac.
If your maskne isn’t improving, schedule a visit with a skincare professional to see if there is more you can be doing.