Acne can be caused by things your skin is exposed to, as well as things happening inside your body. It’s often a combination of the two!  So, when it comes to maskne (acne from wearing a mask during COVID), we need to take a look at what’s causing your acne so we can figure out the best way to clear it up and prevent it from coming back.

External Factors Causing Maskne

First, let’s take a look at the external factors.

Last month I talked in-depth in this post, about some of the external factors that might contributing to maskne like:

  • Fit – A tight fitting mask can cause irritation.
  • Material – If your mask is made from a less breathable material, or a harsh material, this could lead to irritation.
  • Makeup –If you’re wearing makeup under your mask, the bacteria that’s floating around along with the makeup you’re wearing could be clogging your pores.
  • Usage – If you’ve got a washable mask, but you’re wearing it over and over without washing it, you’re essentially spreading the same bacteria on your face with each wear.  If you’ve got a disposable mask that you’re wearing over and over, the same thing is happening.
  • Detergent – If you’re washing your mask regularly, the detergent or chemicals in your laundry soap could be a factor.

If you get on a solid skin care routine and address the things mentioned above, you may see your acne clear up relatively quickly.  But what happens if you make changes and your acne isn’t clearing up?

Then we gotta dig deeper and look inside!

Internal Factors Contributing to Maskne

Whether we’re talking maskne or everyday acne, you may need to dig below the skin’s surface and evaluate what’s going on inside your body in order to clear it up.  There are a lot of internal factors that could be contributing to your breakouts.

Here’s a few of the top culprits.

Stress
It’s no secret, COVID has many of us STRESSED!  Everyone’s body handles stress differently.  Stress is a powerful, silent beast that can wreak havoc on skin without you even realizing it.  If you’re feeling stressed and noticing that your skin is breaking out, try looking for ways to de-stress like regular exercise, yoga, meditation or scheduling some “me time.”

Diet
Your skin needs to be nourished, so if you’re having an issue with acne, look at the foods you are consuming.  Many of us have slid into a relationship with comfort foods over the 6 months.  No judging, I’m guilty too!  You know what I’m talking about.  We’re home so we’re baking, cooking and maybe enjoying an extra cocktail or two.  While all these things sound great at the time, if you’re not eating a diet that delivers the essential nutrients your body needs to keep your skin healthy, your diet could be a catalyst for breakouts.

Intolerances
On the topic of diet, food intolerances can cause acne.  A lot of times, people don’t even realize their body can’t tolerate a specific food until they start to investigate the cause of their acne.  Here are a few foods known to spark acne:

  • Alcohol
  • Corn
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Nuts
  • Sugar
  • Wheat
  • Yeast

Maybe you’re eating more of these foods than usual?  Or maybe the external factors, combined with an intolerance are really causing a flare up, either way, if you suspect a food intolerance is to blame for your acne, try eliminating the food group and evaluate whether your skin starts to clear up or not.  If it does, you know that your skin has an issue with that food group.

Deficiencies
Like I said above, vitamins and minerals play a critical role in your skin’s health.  So, if your body is deficient in any vitamin or mineral, you may be prone to breakouts.   The easy solution here is to ask your doctor for bloodwork to determine what your body is lacking.  If you don’t think you can get it through diet alone, consider adding a high-quality supplement to your routine.

Overwhelmed?
Don’t be.  I’m here to help.  If you’ve stayed consistent with your skin care routine, adjusted your face mask use and you’re still seeing breakouts, contact me.  I’m happy to try and help you narrow down what may be causing your issues.