Acne on rise due to mask wearing

Victoria Besta, Reporter

Some individuals label acne as one of their biggest insecurities. For many, this insecurity has been amplified due to the pandemic requiring them to wear face masks daily. Boys Town West surgical nurse Kaylene Hrubsky believes face masks have had a significant impact on people’s skin.

“I have seen studies done that show what bacteria builds up inside the mask after just being worn for a few hours,” Hrubsky said.

Everyone’s skin is different, but more oily skin will often have more issues with face masks since air cannot reach people’s face; Skin type is important when considering skin care products, and it’s recommended that people take the extra step to ensure they have clean skin.

Doing research on skin care products for certain people’s skin type is important to help reduce dry skin, oily skin or redness. Cetaphil, a popular skin-care brand, for example, has a cleanser that is non-drying and non-irritating to skin, according to ChemistDirect.

“Periodically wipe your face with a cleaner/chemical that would dry up the oil but other than that I suggest Cetaphil as a good product,” Hrubsky said.

Senior Jordan Wattles has struggled with an increase of acne because of wearing a mask. She wears a mask when she plays volleyball and now must wear one even more, because school has returned to in-person learning.

“It has been a huge struggle for me,” Wattles said. “I have switched up my skin care routine and have gotten more masks to make sure I’m not using the same one constantly. I’ve researched a ton about my skin type to make sure I’m doing everything possible to reduce my acne.”

Making sure people wash their face before and after wearing a mask is extremely important to reduce oil build up. Cloth masks are suggested because people can wash them whenever they please, but it is recommended to wash masks everyday if possible.  Keeping people’s face and face masks clean will help with bacteria.

“If you are wearing a cloth mask, I would suggest a cotton blend,” Hrubsky said. “In the clinical areas we are not allowed to wear cloth masks at all. The general public can wear cloth masks and that does not help control spread. Many are unsanitary when it comes to face mask, you wouldn’t wear dirty clothes over and over.”