As if you needed just one more thing to worry about during our current crisis! And, granted, in the grand scheme of things, this is really minor. "Maskne", or mask acne. When I saw the video (below) on the overnight/early morning ABC News, it was a kind of light bulb moment for me.

I have always had blemish-prone skin. Not full-blown acne, mind you, but that annoying pimple that appears right where and when you don't want it and usually brings friends. (Not that you'd ever want it!) 

I always figured that my Mom had this issue her entire life and as thanks for inheriting her Irish skin, instead of my dad's Italian skin, this is what I am stuck with. As I grew, more - - mature, shall we say, the problem has been somewhat less troublesome. Until lately, that is.

When the recommendation came encouraging everyone to wear face masks during our pandemic, I did. At first, they were my clumsily assembled kerchief masks, then they were the ones given to me by the wonderful owner of my laundromat at 26th & Sertoma, (thanks Tim!) and finally some comfortable, pretty, and well-fitting ones that my friend Debbie made for me.

For the last several weeks, however, every time I wear my masks, I end up with a blemish-o-ganza on my chin! I never attributed it to the masks, just "pandemic stress".

As it turns out, it is probably a little of both. So after I saw the ABC report, I did some digging of my own. I found a great article from Elle Magazine, with more suggestions for taming "Maskne".

  • Use a gentle cleanser twice a day, especially right after you take off your mask. No harsh exfoliants or sulfates and use your hands only. No brushes, scrubbers, etc.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. It might sound counterintuitive, but it's what your skin wants and needs. But do not use coconut oil or cocoa butter. Try and do this as soon after you've washed your face as possible.
  • Wash your masks, ideally, right after you wear them. (This is the one I'm guilty of not doing. I've been spraying them with Lysol and hoping they're good to go, but now that I think about it, I imagine Lysol isn't that great for your skin, either.)

Hopefully, soon, we'll be able to remove the weird term "Maskne" from our vocabulary. Or, I may have to make wearing a mask, a permanent part of my beauty regimen!

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