Maskne and Yeast Infections: You Can’t Escape it, so Here’s How to Prevent it

It’s been a while now of full-time mask wearing and just about all of us have dealt with the dreaded maskne. Now it seems nothing is working: not washing our faces daily, not buying a new expensive skincare product that promises to start clearing our skin in just one use. All our tried and true skincare products are all of suddenly not working…or barely working, it seems. The red angry pimples are still littering our skin, especially around our mouths, and just seem to be multiplying by the day.

It’s frustrating. I know the feeling.

For all the people out there that have spent so much money on skincare products over the last year, like me, we have seemed to reach the point of no return. That is, until I stumbled across a Facebook post (I know, I know, not the most accurate website to trust) and I found out that our maskne problems have now started to develop into a bacterial infection, or more importantly…a yeast infection.

You might be thinking, “I thought that only happened ‘down there?’” Well, similar to “down there,” a mask is providing the same environment: dark, moist from talking and breathing, and the perfect breeding ground for infections.

So how do you treat a yeast infection on your face? Lucky for you, I’ve done the research, so you don’t have too. And it turns out that Facebook post circling the internet might actually have some basis.

face masks Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Masks and Yeast Infections

A yeast infection, known medically as Candida, is a fungus that lives on your skin and causes infection. Without the proper airflow to the skin – infringed by wearing a mask for long hours – causes the sweat and bacteria to get trapped against your skin. However, the number one cause of maskne and skin infections caused by mask wearing is dirty masks. Understandably, most people don’t have time to wash their masks every. single. day. But it’s actually causing your skin to breakout and dry out.

According to the Crimson White, a newspaper ran by the University of Alabama,  the only way to help prevent both of these conditions is to frequently wash and clean our masks and to avoid using fabric softeners and harsh detergents.

Signs of a yeast infection on your skin can include redness, itchiness, burning, or small raised bumps. Maskne can cause this as well, so trying a traditional acne/pimple reducing routine is the place to start.

Prevention Tips

Cleansers and Moisturizers

Starting with a good, old fashioned skincare routine is definitely the place to start. You never know, it could simply be a matter of keeping your skin clean. Starting with a good cleanser and using it daily, or after long periods of wearing a mask, will help keep your skin clean and clear away any dirt and grime on your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) says cleansing and moisturizing your face adds a protective layer to your skin, leaving a thin later between your skin and your mask.

The AAD also recommends using a moisturizer that contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone. And to use a moisturizer meant for your skin type, whether that be oily, dry, or normal.

You can also use products like tea tree oil to dry out areas, but make sure to apply moisturizer after using it.

Antifungal Creams

Although you can purchase antifungal creams over-the-counter, make sure to do your research on them beforehand and to do a skin test before applying it all over your face.

You can also see a dermatologist and get a prescription for antifungal. If it does turn out to be a yeast infection, these would help the most.

Easiest Solution: Clean Your Mask

Not only will cleansing your face help prevent both maskne and yeast infections, but wearing a clean mask will keep a lot of dirt and grime and day old sweat off your clean face. The AAD also recommends using scent-free detergent or soaps and don’t put a wet mask on your face. Make sure it fits properly and snugly too.

Her Campus Media We’ll being wearing masks for a while, and although a lot of us might be experiencing skin problems in return, it is still important to practice safe mask wearing and social distancing. Following good skincare routines and seeking medical advice if your skin becomes an undesirable state for you will help prevent your skin from maskne and yeast infections.

Do your research on the products you’re using, keep your skin clean, wear your masks properly (and wash them frequently!), and we’ll get through this together!  And of course, share all your skincare secrets with your girls!