By Erica Chowning, APRN, FNP-BC, Owner Vibrant Med, Louisville, KY
Most of us have experienced a lot of changes to our daily lives over the past few months. Unfortunately, some of those changes have a negative effect on our skin. Not only have many of us have been limited or unable to get our routine beauty treatments, but we now have to wear masks…pretty much everywhere.
Have you noticed more acne breakouts, redness, or irritation on your lower face lately? Is it a coincidence that it all started after frequent mask wearing? I think not. Don’t get me wrong, masks are very helpful in preventing the spread of illness and should absolutely be worn where appropriate to help keep yourself and others safe. Sadly, however, they’re not so good for the skin. “Maskne” is the new term for acne and other skin issues associated with wearing a mask. Don’t despair! I’ve put together a few tips for overcoming the negative effects masks can have on our skin.
Here are some helpful hints to keep your skin looking its best:
- Change or wash your mask daily. Combined with the heat of your breath, masks harbor all the germs from your face and mouth and become a breeding ground for bacteria. A regularly cleaned mask makes a big difference!
- Give yourself breaks from wearing your mask throughout the day – when appropriate and safe, of course. Doing so will allow more oxygen to your skin cells and cut down on the amount of time your mask is rubbing against your skin, creating friction and irritation.
- Don’t wear makeup when wearing your mask, especially for long periods of time. Makeup adds to the bacteria and build-up in your pores. Instead, opt for tinted sunscreen or mineral powder. Tinted sunscreen will also protect you against harmful sun exposure. We have researched and found the best options for SPF, and our top picks are available at Vibrant Med. We even have a fantastic tinted mineral powder that contains SPF, so it’s the best of both worlds!
- Use an exfoliating cleanser. We have several great options for cleansers formulated for all skin types that work very well at removing dead skin cells, debris, oils, and makeup residue. This will help prevent acne from flaring up.
- A good moisturizer that restores the skin’s barrier while still allowing it to “breathe” is key. Masks rub against the face and can irritate the skin. A moisturizer that’s too heavy will further clog pores and add to the acne problem. But one that is properly balanced is perfect to prevent irritation without contributing to the issue. Again, we are available to offer our favorites and help you choose the perfect moisturizer at Vibrant Med.
- It is more important than ever to include medical-grade facials (like our Hydrafacial) as part of your monthly skincare routine. Hydrafacials use patented technology to deeply cleanse, exfoliate, extract dead skin and debris, hydrate, protect, and infuse peptides and antioxidants for a beautiful, healthy glow. We recommend having one Hydrafacial treatment every two to four weeks to keep your skin in optimal condition.
- Finally, keep face wipes handy for those times when your face feels excessively dirty or oily. A midday wipe-down can help tremendously. Obagi® created some amazing facial cleansing wipes, including versions for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin. Our patients love these, so we keep them in stock at all times!
Masks are likely going to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future, but maskne doesn’t have to be! Give us a call (502) 618-0995 or visit our website www.vibrantmed.com to schedule your complimentary skin consultation. Above all else, stay safe and healthy!