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If the pandemic wasn't enough to bring on acne breakouts, the use of prolonged facial masks sure enough did. In the last two years I have definitely seen an influx of clients suffering from mask-induced acne when they never suffered from it before.

AKA "Maskne", is basically acne caused by pro-longed use of face coverings that trap oil, sweat, make up and bacteria beneath it. Constant friction from mask can irritate small hair follicles, which triggers inflammation and generates acne. This condition also known as acne mechanica and is very common in athletes or workers that wear helmets with straps.

Surgical masks and N95 respirators can trap a good amount of moisture and humidity and lead to skin problems, but even cloth masks can be irritating to the skin. In addition to the acne caused from friction, I am also seeing rashes on the rosacea spectrum that occur around the mouth and nose area. The following tips can help prevent or minimize mask related skin problems.

  • Use gentle chemical free cleansing and skincare products. Take a break from using acid creams, or serum exfoliants that could further irritate the skin. Do not over-cleanse as this will also aggravate the condition.

  • Avoid sun exposure to the sensitive areas which may lead to pigmentation changes to the skin.

  • Using a soothing moisturizer and opt for a zinc oxide or titanium oxide sunscreen.

  • Avoid make up if you can, if you can't then opt for a mineral based powder foundation.

  • Take breaks from wearing your mask throughout the day if you can. Wash your re-usuble cloth masks daily and disposable masks should not be re-used.

  • Regular Professional facial regime is also essential to deep cleanse the skin and balance excess oils and expel toxins from the skin via lymphatic facia lmassage.

  • Don't forget to eat clean and avoid excessive sugars and processed foods.

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