What can you do to prevent “MASKNE” and other skin irritations from masks?

We know that you’re experiencing it- day after day wearing a mask is wreaking havoc on your skin. 


Masks have always been worn by those in the medical field, but now we are all masking up. Whether you’re wearing anything from a homemade cotton mask to an N95 mask, you will likely experience skin issues that you hadn’t previously encountered. We are nearing a full year of mask wearing, and many people have still yet to understand how to properly take care of their skin during this time.

Mask, Masne | skin irritation

What happens to the skin while wearing a mask?

The impact that consistent mask-wearing has on the skin barrier is important to understand. Similarly to when you wear tight fitting clothing, wearing a mask for an extended period of time can lead to irritation of the skin. This also significantly interferes with the dryness of the skin. Research has shown that transepidermal water loss greatly increases while wearing a mask. This can impact overall hydration and texture of the skin. Nurses and other healthcare workers specifically have been speaking out on the rashes, irritation and cuts that mask wearing has caused. On top of issues of hydration and irritation, the presence of bacteria underneath the mask is a major concern. The humidity levels underneath the mask are a breeding ground for bacteria. Not only this, but similarly to when you do not wash your pillowcase frequently enough, wearing a mask can eventually lead to acne. 

What can be done to prevent this?

Luckily, there is so much that can be done to save your skin, even if you are a frequent mask wearer. First and foremost, it is absolutely essential that you are either frequently washing your reusable masks or regularly switching out your disposable masks. The bacteria that grows underneath the mask needs to be dealt with at the source, and this is how you do that. The following are steps that can be taken to ensure your skin is best taken care of during this time.

If you know you will be wearing a mask for a few hours/ whole day it is important to follow your skin type’s skin care routine before and after wearing a mask and  skip makeup! 

 

  • Cleanser: It is best to clean skin with a gentle cleanser, ideally one with a pH level of 6 or lower. The PH level is very important as to not worsen the irritation that your skin is already experiencing. It is known that pH of the skin is going up from wearing a mask. Link to: Gentle Herbal Cleanser. Make sure to wash it off well and pat dry.
  • Toner: The next step should be the application of a toner. Again, the PH level is quite important therefore we at Arboretum recommend the Liposomal Toner as it has a pH of 5.5.  Link to the Our Liposomal Toner is a multifunctional product, it tones the skin while providing much needed hydration and small amount of oils.
  • Serum: Applying a serum is an important part of any skincare routine. This is especially important if you are struggling with mask related skin issues, as this can be a vital step in repairing your skin barrier. If you have noticed that you are struggling most with dryness and irritation underneath your mask, you can opt for extra hydration during the serum step. It is critical that you identify exactly what skin concern it is that you are trying to correct most in order to most effectively choose a serum.
  • Arboretum’s Herbal Vitamin C serum is suitable for all skin types! 10% Ascorbic acid in the formulation will add radiance. People with normal to oily skin can stop there, but if you have dry skin -follow with the moisturizer on top. Layering your skin care products is especially essential during winter months when our skin need moisture more than ever.
  • Moisturizer: As previously stated, the skin gets severely dehydrated when you have your mask on greatly due to transepidermal water loss. If this moisture is not returned to the skin, it can lead to a plethora of other issues. It can lead to premature aging, general irritation, and even an overproduction of oil caused by the skin overcompensating for the lack of moisture. For people with dry  skin it is critical that the moisturizer that you use is without emulsifiers! These can further damage the skin’s protective barrier. Always moisturize before putting on a mask to prevent irritation.
  • Acne treatment: If you have been one of many to develop “maskne” it is best to spot-treat it appropriately. Use the Problem Skin Lotion to help treat any active acne. The lotion is packed with antibacterial and antiinflammatory substances like salicylic acid, extracts of calendula, burdock root, plantain leaf, tea tree oil, zinc oxide, and a therapeutic essential oil blend. Lotion for Problem Skin can be used not only on acne but on any skin irritations, on the delicate skin around the nose and mouth, It is especially needed if you have rosacea or prone to acne or any other “maskne sufferers”.
  • Tea Tree oil in the Lotion for Problem skin is an essential oil that fights acne-causing bacteria, and herbal extracts of calendula, burdock root and plantain and zinc oxide calm down inflammation and redness and provide gentle natural alternatives to harsh chemicals.
  • Always wash your face right after wearing a mask!

Listen to your skin, and what it is telling you. It is important now more than ever to do so! Thank you for doing your part and for wearing your mask.