FREE Standard shipping on orders >$89* (T&Cs apply). Order before 2pm Mon-Fri for same day dispatch

Have Skin Problems from Wearing Face Masks? Here are the Tips to Overcome Them

Have Skin Problems from Wearing Face Masks? Here are the Tips to Overcome Them

, by Aussie Pharma Direct, 6 min reading time

“Maskne”. You might have heard about this term more times than you remember throughout the recent years. Coined by combining the words "mask" and "acne," this term encapsulates the skin issues that have become increasingly prevalent with the widespread use of face masks.

The correlation between mask-wearing and skin problems is not at all surprising when considering the prolonged contact of the mask with facial skin. While the use of masks is crucial in preventing the spread of viruses like COVID-19 and protecting against environmental hazards such as bushfire smoke, it has inadvertently given rise to a surge in common skin disorders. Many individuals, after regular and extended use of face masks, have reported issues ranging from facial acne to rashes and even eczema.


Why do you have skin problems when you wear face masks?

The primary culprits behind mask-related skin problems include the occlusive nature of masks, which can trap moisture, sweat, and bacteria against the skin. This creates a fertile ground for acne-causing bacteria and exacerbates existing skin conditions. Additionally, the friction from the mask, especially during prolonged wear, can lead to irritation, redness, and chafing.


In the next section, we will explore tips on finding a balance between effective mask usage and skincare.


Create a proper skincare routine

And no, it doesn’t have to be a 7-step skincare routine. Sometimes, it is as simple as regular cleansing, hydration and sun protection. 


1. Gentle cleansing


Initiate your routine with a gentle cleanser to rid your skin of accumulated impurities without causing undue irritation. Opt for a cleanser that suits your skin type—whether it's oily, dry, or combination. Harsh ingredients like sulphates, alcohol, and strong astringents can strip the skin of its natural oils, potentially leading to increased dryness and sensitivity, so it’s best to avoid them.


2. Hydration with moisturisers


Despite the humid environment created by masks, moisturising is still important here. While the air under the mask may feel damp, the constant contact with moisture, sweat, and friction can disrupt the skin's natural barrier. This can lead to a paradoxical effect where the skin loses essential hydration, especially for those with naturally dry or sensitive skin. Using a non-comedogenic moisturiser helps maintain a balanced and well-hydrated complexion, preventing the potential consequences of dehydration, such as increased sensitivity and discomfort.


Extra tips:

If you have pre-existing skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis, we recommend exploring Allay Organics. Their Calm Cleanser and Calm Cream are specifically formulated with natural ingredients to cater to sensitive skin.


3. Sunscreen


Even when masked up, protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is non-negotiable. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and apply it generously to all exposed areas but with the harsh sunny weather in Australia, it’s best to use SPF 50 sunscreens just like the ones by Cancer Council. Sunscreen not only shields your skin from the sun but also acts as a barrier against potential irritants present in the environment.


Choose the right mask material

Selecting the right mask material is an important aspect of mitigating mask-induced skin issues. Cotton masks, a popular choice for their breathability and hypoallergenic properties, are gentle on the skin, reducing the risk of irritation. Similarly, silk masks offer a smooth and soft texture, minimising friction against sensitive skin. Despite these benefits, it's essential to note that while cotton and silk provide comfort, they may not offer robust protection against pathogens or particles from smoke and other environmental hazards.

Now, there is another type of face mask in Australia that you should consider—the AMD P2 respirator. Made with nano-filters, these P2 respirators, comprised of nano-fibres, deliver superior filtration efficiency compared to standard melt-blown filters. What sets them apart is their ability to maintain functionality even after exposure to moisture, unlike typical filters that lose their electrostatic properties when wet. Notably, they are soft, lightweight and highly breathable, ensuring comfort during extended wear.


Maintain hygiene and cleanliness of your face mask

Disposable masks, whether they are made of cotton, silk, or employ advanced filtration like the AMD P2 respirator, should be treated as single-use to maintain optimal hygiene. While there is a temptation to reuse masks, especially in situations where resources are limited, it's crucial to note that reusing masks may compromise their effectiveness and increase the risk of bacterial contamination.


Understanding when your face mask has reached its lifeline is also key to maintaining hygiene standards. Signs such as visible wear and tear, loss of elasticity in ear loops, or noticeable dirt and moisture saturation indicate that it's time to dispose of the mask.


Incorporate skin-friendly makeup

For the ladies, we use makeup for a number of reasons, from expressing our personal style to enhancing our features, however, the necessity of mask-wearing in certain situations has added a new layer of complexity to our beauty routines, potentially compromising the condition of our skin. 


Here are some tips to make your makeup routine mask-friendly:

  • Choose makeup labeled as non-comedogenic, meaning it's formulated to avoid clogging pores.
  • Select lightweight formulas that provide coverage without feeling heavy on the skin. Opt for breathable alternatives like tinted moisturisers or BB creams.
  • Opt for long-lasting formulations to minimise the need for touch-ups, reducing the chances of transferring makeup onto the mask.
  • Establish a robust skincare routine for well-moisturised and properly prepped skin as a foundation for your makeup application.


It’s okay to take mask breaks every now and then

And so, we’ve established that wearing masks for extended periods can have negative effects on the skin. Masks can create a warm and moist environment, which may contribute to the development of skin issues like acne, rashes, or irritation. Taking breaks allows for better air circulation, helping to reduce the humidity and minimise the risk of these problems. Plus, it allows the skin to recover from these pressures, reducing the risk of irritation, redness, and pressure sores.


In conclusion, while taking breaks from wearing masks is beneficial, it's essential to strike a balance. Follow recommended guidelines for mask usage, especially in situations where masks are necessary for protection against infectious agents. Additionally, maintaining good hygiene practices and choosing masks made from breathable materials can also contribute to skin health. If skin issues persist, it's advisable to consult with a dermatologist for personalised advice and solutions.


© 2024 Aussie Pharma Direct, Powered by Aussie Pharma Direct

    • American Express
    • Apple Pay
    • Google Pay
    • Mastercard
    • PayPal
    • Shop Pay
    • Union Pay
    • Visa


    Forgot your password?

    Don't have an account yet?
    Create account