Dealing and coping with ‘maskne’

Illustration by Ariana Camille Maralt. Photo courtesy Manila Bulletin

As the global pandemic takes the world by storm, masks have become a common accessory and necessity for many. There are many types of masks being used like bandanas, cloth masks, masks with filters, disposable surgical masks, cone-style masks and N95 masks. Unfortunately, many people are also battling maskne, a play-on word combining mask and acne, which is derived from the constant use of masks.

Amanda Peterson, a fourth year psychology student, says that she noticed her skin was a little different a few weeks after she began wearing masks.

“At first, I was making my own masks at home. But I noticed that bumps would appear on my cheeks. I have breakouts every now and then, but it would only be in the area that would be covered up,” Peterson said.

Like normal acne, it can be challenging to find out exactly what is causing the skin to react. Brianne Pate, a licensed esthetician and FAMU graduate, gave skin care advice for dealing with maskne.

“I advise that maskne will decrease when we throw away disposable masks after daily use and wash cloth masks after 1-2 days of wear,” Pate said. “I would also suggest to not apply makeup underneath the portion of the face that is covered by the mask.”

Pate also encourages others to determine what will work best for them when building a routine for the health of their skin.

“I would recommend that students do not follow trends or use a product simply because an Instagram or YouTube influencer uses it. Doing research, using products that align with their skin type, and consistently using those products will positively impact overall skin health,” Pate said.

London Averyhart, a second year pre-nursing student at FAMU, has her own all-natural skincare line, Pretty Glow Essentials. Motivated by her love-hate relationship with her skin growing up, she seeks to help others that may be dealing with the same issues.

Averyhart agrees that disposable masks are the way to go. For those facing Maskne, she says that consistency is key.

“I prefer to use the disposable masks to ensure that there isn’t a bacteria build up that will cause my skin to break out. I’d suggest being very consistent and to give your skin the extra care that it needs. Use correct products 2-3 times a day and spot treat the skin at night on the areas you feel are most affected by wearing masks,” Averyhart said.

Both Pate and Averyhart believes that maskne can be combatted with effective routines, living a healthy lifestyle, and using all-natural products.

Averyhart offers three products that she believes could help with Maskne.

“Pretty Glow Essentials has a variety of products that can help deal with this problem. We have a glow toning mist to give a deeper clean after cleansing, an illuminating facial cleanser, and Golden radiance, a moisturizer. These products are tough on various forms of skin conditions including maskne.” Averyhart said.

Maskne can definitely be a hassle, especially when masks have to be worn often. However, there are many resources and solutions available to help get through it.