How To Prevent Acne Breakouts From Wearing Surgical Masks

Your face might begin to itch unbearably after donning a mask for a tad too long, so much so the temptation to simply rip it off altogether just to scratch around and breathe properly overwhelms - ever felt like that before? Well you are not alone, obviously.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to intensify in many countries around the world, wearing surgical masks to guard against infections has become quite necessary. In fact, legislation requiring all individuals to do so whenever he/she is patronizing public spaces has since been enacted in Singapore.

Surgical masks no doubt are to a large extent effective in curbing the spread of the virus, then again uncomfortable side effects associated with prolonged use could give rise to Maskne, a novel form of acne caused by constant masking up.

1. Sensitivity

For starters, your skin may be sensitive to the fabric from which the mask itself is constructed. Constant friction between mask and face also damages the outer protective layer of your skin, consequently causing pimples to form more easily. Adjusting your mask regularly over the day also contributes to further irritation as your hands might have unknowingly touched your face, in the process introducing dust and bacteria.

Separately, wearing fabric masks that contain bleaching ingredients (used for whitening/coloring purposes) can deplete the skin’s natural oils, unfortunately. Fabric softeners and detergents commonly employed in washing reusable cloth masks on the other hand may clog pores, subsequently exacerbating affairs.

2. Accumulated sweat, makeup and oil is a recipe for disaster

Imagine accumulating a mixture of trapped sweat, makeup and oil under one small protective flap throughout the day while those poor pores of yours struggle to breathe. As a result sebaceous glands are stimulated to produce more sebum, which in turn lead to clogged pores and well, acne.

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You may want to add a cotton layer inside your surgical mask so that it won't rub your face directly and cause acne problems.