MASKNE: How to Treat the Acne Caused by Use of Anti-Viral Masks

Who would have thought it? Face masks have become an essential part of our everyday lives and we can now even find them in any color and style we want, to match any outfit for any need! Something simple for going to the market, lightweight for outdoor exercise, glittered and decorated for a special occasion... But, no matter the style, almost all of them, after a certain amount of use, produce the same result: acne.

Mask acne, known as maskne, is caused when the material of the mask rubs against the skin and causes bacteria on the surface of the skin. There's no preventing it!

However, there are natural remedies that can help you improve this skin issue. Here, we’ll show you what the science says.

Measures to avoid the unwanted side effects of masks

Few of us thought that the use of face masks would last this long. With the ongoing pandemic, having it on for many hours a day is unavoidable since it serves as an essential aid, but also creates a moist environment – perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. In addition, the mask rubbing against the skin clogs pores with the accumulation of sweat and oil.

  • To minimize the risk of developing maskne we recommend choosing a mask that fits comfortably, covering both your mouth and nose.

  • There are materials suitable for sensitive skin. For example, some contain copper-infused cotton fibers that help minimize bacteria on the skin. (1These masks can be machine washed and are similar in price to those made from other fabrics.

  • If you use a reusable mask, hand or machine wash it daily with warm water and a detergent that does not irritate the skin.

  • If you use disposable masks, change them daily. In the case of N95 masks, use for up to 5 days before tossing in a closed container.

  • Do not hang the masks up on the mirror or near the air conditioning of the car. Do not leave them on any surface. If you are going out for a few hours to different places, always keep the mask on or bring extras to change into.

  • It is also very important to remember to maintain a proper facial care routine, cleanse and moisturize your face daily, and use products suitable for your skin type.

  • Dermatologists recommend not wearing makeup beneath the masks. This is due to oils and other substances that accumulate moisture and increase the risk of bacteria.

    Even if you are suffering from maskne, DO NOT STOP using the mask. Doctors worldwide continue to recommend face masks to help control the spread of COVID-19.

    What are some natural remedies to help improve maskne?

    Zinc

    What are some natural remedies to help improve maskne?Zinc is an important nutrient for many of your body’s functions, not the least of which is defense against bacteria. It's no wonder, then, that research has found acne-prone people have lower zinc levels than people with healthy skin. (2)

    Studies also show that taking a zinc supplement can help reduce acne (3) and is equally effective for both severe and mild acne (4).

    The optimal dose of oral zinc for acne is not officially determined, but there is evidence that acne can be greatly reduced with the consumption of between 30 and 45 mg of zinc daily. (5)(6)(7)

    Applying zinc topically is not effective since zinc is not absorbed through the skin.

    How you consume zinc depends on the severity of your acne and your personal eating habits. Your doctor or dermatologist can help you determine the right dosage for you. Keep in mind that too much zinc can cause abdominal pain and stomach irritation. 

    Omega 3

    Omega 3 is another natural alternative with a positive effect on the skin. It makes acne milder due to the anti-inflammatory fatty acids in fish oil. (8)

    Less Stress

    Although the relationship between acne and stress is not entirely clear, it is known that hormones released during periods of stress can increase the production of sebum and inflammation, which are closely related to breakouts. (9)(10)(11)(12)

    Moreover, stress affects the intestinal microbiota and causes general inflammation, which is also associated with acne. (13)

    It is well known that stress can make wounds heal more slowly. The same for all skin lesions, including acne scars.

    Leading a serene life that incorporates positive and healthy habits for relaxation alone, such as physical activity and meditation, is sometimes not enough when long periods of stress are sustained (such as the case with all of us during this pandemic).

    Ashwagandha

    Ashwagandha, a remedy of Ayurvedic medicine traditional to India, has proven to be effective for stress management and to avoid the negative effects that stress has on the body. (14)

    We know that looking good makes you feel good, which is why we bring you the most reliable and accurate information for your well-being. We want you to look and feel spectacular, without removing your face mask until the danger of the coronavirus is over.

    Let's get healthier, together!

    Your friends at Santo Remedio

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