Consumer trends throughout 2020 have been shaken by the global pandemic we are experiencing. This health crisis has marked a milestone in consumer behaviour patterns, and cosmetics is no exception.
Currently, due to the use of protective elements such as masks, as well as other related factors, the appearance of acne has increased among the population, no matter the age. The constant friction of the mask fabric on our skin, together with the lack of perspiration, has led to the phenomenon known as ‘maskne’.
A more technical term is mechanical acne, commonly known as ‘athlete’s acne’ or ‘friction acne’, because it is the result of the mechanical friction of a tissue against the skin and is common in athletes.
“It is a common acne that can occur in people who never had it. The mask will be essential to protect ourselves and we have to live with it. However, our skin is not used to it and this is one of its effects,” said Dr Mar Mira, specialist in aesthetic medicine and nutrition and co-founder of the Mira + Cueto clinic, in Madrid, Spain, to BBC World magazine.
The maskne phenomenon is something more usual in health professionals, as stated in an investigation published by the Journal of the American Academy. It said that at least 83% of health professionals in Hubei (China) got dermatological diseases on their face as a result of mask wearing.
Amy Kassouf – dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic (Ohio) – said that the acne derived from mask wearing “has always been a problem in health professionals who are obligated to use them – now that its use has been spreaded to the public is when the problem has raised”.
When either talking or breathing, the mask tends to trap a lot of hot air, which in addition to being annoying, creates an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria and skin mites.
The friction of the mask accentuates acne breakouts, according to a report from the Cleveland Clinic.
Oily or acne-prone skin, not new, but one of the biggest concerns in skin care, together with an obligation that seems to have come to stay (the use of a mask) lead us to consider new strategies to deal with acne in a more natural way.
Vytrus Biotech proposes a new treatment based on plant stem cells, respectful with the skin microbiota, which acts on skin conditions caused by mask wearing, such as acne.