Thanks to the Covid-19 Virus, new skin issues have arisen due to the wearing of protective face masks. This is especially true for medical professionals, or others that must wear masks their entire work period due to the nature of the job.
People are finding that wearing a protective mask creates problems of irritation, inflammation, redness, and acne blemishes. This is due to the increase in humidity, sweat, and lack of exposure to fresh air causing the mask-wearing to radically change the skin’s microbiome, unfortunately in a bad way. Summer heat makes things even worse. Some have labeled this negative reaction – maskne.
When you wear a protective face mask you are covering the skin, a living, breathing organ, that takes in oxygen and expels carbon dioxide. Moisture in your breath and carbon dioxide upon exhaling does not escape as readily due to the mask. In addition, sweat and skin debris build up in the mask. All this creates a breeding ground for acne causing bacteria that lead to acne-like breakouts, irritation and inflammation. In addition to the discomfort, this can be a very negative appearance issue. If you wear a mask all day you are especially in trouble.
In a mask you no longer have open exposure to the air. Oxygen and open air inhibit the Gram-positive bacterium Cutibacterium acnes (previously Propioni¬bacterium acnes), which is the culprit in acne. Between the hot, moist, excess CO2 environment inside your mask and the loss of help from oxygen to kill bacteria, your skin under the mask is especially vulnerable.
Besides these problems, stress could also be to blame. Stress, and resulting hormonal changes, can encourage acne breakouts and these are certainly times that are stressful and difficult.
Here are some things you can do to prevent the resulting negative issues from protective masks …
- Before putting on your mask, wash your face with a good pore-cleansing wash and lukewarm water to remove makeup and bacteria and open the pores. Stemology Foaming Facial Wash is an excellent choice to remove impurities and cleanse pores. Do not use makeup under your mask; instead use a good moisturizer to hydrate and protect with plant oils that sooth inflammation and kill bacteria. Both Stemology Moisture Complete and Stemology Facial Oil are outstanding choices for this purpose.
- During the day, whenever possible, give your skin a “mask break” by removing it and exposing to sunlight if you can. The oxygen and the UV light will help kill breeding bacteria.
- When you take off your mask at night, it is a perfect time to relax and give yourself a Stemology Ageless Mask treatment that cleans out pores, kills acne causing bacteria, reduces redness and inflammation, and provides vitamins and antioxidants for healthy skin. It also has no benzyl peroxide which causes excessive dryness and can be harmful.
- At bedtime, you can moisturize, repair and restore overnight from the day’s environmental challenges with the very popular Stemology Hydroplus Nighttime Repair Cream. This will prepare you for the new day ahead.
With whatever protocol you choose, you will find a great deal of help from these excellent products that will help reduce the negative impact of protective face masks, or “Maskne.”