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Eliminating Skin Problems from Wearing Protective Masks

Eliminating Skin Problems from Wearing Protective Masks

Mask-ne. Fact or Friction?

For months, people have been coming to us for advice on "fixing" skin problems caused by having to wear protective masks due to COVID-19. These problems are commonly referred to as Mask-ne and our Instagram survey found that:
  • 60% of people know what "Mask-ne" is
  • 71% said skin problems are getting worse because of having to wear masks
  • 90% said it got even more pronounced during the summer
  • The biggest problems are (in order): Oily Skin, Acne, Combination Skin, and Dry Skin
Now, with Fall here, we partnered with our favorite Mask Maker, Robot Bunnies and here's their advice.

Eliminating Skin Problems from Wearing Masks

by Nikki Gersten

I have to admit that pre-Covid, I’d never spent a solitary second thinking about protective Face Masks. I would have mistaken “N95” for a new Chanel scent or automatic weapon and assumed a “nose wire” was something piercing- or possibly fishing-related. Since redirecting my quilt/bedding business to mask making in April though, I’ve become something of a mask aficionado.

I can converse nimbly on the relative benefits of ties vs. elastic, pleats vs. nose seams, thick elastic vs. thin and don’t get me started on construction. I thought I pretty much knew it all, but, recently, I stumbled onto a whole new aspect of masking, known (to those in the know and dermatologists) as mask-ne.

The folks at fab, NYC-based skincare brand, Hear Me Raw, schooled me on the range of unpleasant skin symptoms mask wearing can cause, including clogged pores, acne, overly dry and/or irritated skin, eczema and more. Who knew?

These issues first became prevalent during NY’s intense Covid peak. Front-line workers, worn down and stretched thin in the fight to save lives, wore protective masks for longer periods than ever before and reused them due PPE shortages. They began to experience skin troubles. When the general public started masking regularly, they experienced the same problems even more quickly than the pros.

The cause? Protective masks don’t allow skin to breath properly and moisture from exhalation stays in the mask creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Re-wearing unwashed masks makes matters worse – increasing levels of dirt and bacteria build-up and damaging skin further. 

Hear Me Raw, CEO, Mike Indursky says, “We had just launched our company when Covid hit and we really wanted to do something to help and to express our gratitude for front-line workers. We knew our masks – The Brightener with Chlorophyll+ and The Detoxifier with Charcoal+ would treat many of the skin symptoms front-liners were experiencing. Ultimately, we donated 10,000 masks across 7 hospitals around the country. We were thrilled that the masks provided relief for their skin and deeply gratified that the front-liners – who felt so forgotten at the time – were overwhelmed by the support.” 

Recently, Hear Me Raw launched The Clarifier with French Green Clay+ and The Hydrator with Prickly Pear+, both of which are also excellent for mask-ne. The former seems practically tailor-made for it.  “If I could have invented one product to treat mask-ne, it would be The Clarifier,” says Indursky.  “It absorbs dirt and oil and evens complexion instantly.  And the 3-in-1 day cream/night cream/overnight mask Hydrator will moisturize your skin back to health.”

A brand after our own heart. At Robot Bunnies, we donated 2000+ protective face masks to front-liners in New York at that time. (Being a native New Yorker, my heart was there, and I wanted to do something too.) At Robot Bunnies, we pride ourselves on making the most well-fitting, comfortable and fashionable masks from high-quality natural and breathable fabrics. They are easily machine washable and we recommend washing after each day’s use.

While our team at Robot Bunnies doesn’t have firsthand experience with mask-ne, we did have the opportunity to try Hear Me Raw’s awesome masks and can attest that they are bursting with vital, natural ingredients that soothe, nourish and heal. Bonus: they feel and smell amazing. We’re delighted to recommend them to our customers, to mask-ne sufferers everywhere and to anyone who wants to give their skin a love-and-brilliance boost.

Let’s face it, protective masks are here for the foreseeable future. Robot Bunnies and Hear Me Raw are here to help you stay safe, healthy, hip and beautiful for the duration.

Shop Luxe Face Masks from Robot Bunnies.

About the Author

Nikki Gersten is Style Director/CEO of Robot Bunnies LLC. She launched the company in 2018 after a successful 20+ year career in beauty and fashion PR in NYC. Robot Bunnies is the manifestation of a lifelong dream to become a designer and maker in her own right. The brand offers a variety of products from Face Masks to Sun Hats to throw pillows, quilts and more. Their mission is to make joyful, stand-out versions of everyday lifestyle items with modern designs, artisanal techniques, fine fabrics, fabulous patterns by gifted artists and always a dash of humor.

The Raw Truth

The only way we have a chance of effectively fighting COVID-19 is to practice social distancing, wash our hands frequently, and above all else - WEAR A MASK. This is NOT a hoax. So let's virtually hold each others' freshly cleansed hands from an acceptable social distant with our protective masks and work together to rid ourselves of this unfortunate and deadly virus

Do you have some tips on taking care of taking care of "mask-ne"? Please share them in the comments below.  And please be safe!

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