Changes in skin wrinkles and pores due to long-term mask wear

Skin Res Technol. 2021 Sep;27(5):785-788. doi: 10.1111/srt.13019. Epub 2021 Feb 27.


Background: The spread of COVID-19 has made mask wear essential. Expecting that long-term mask wear would change the characteristics of skin, this study investigated changes in skin wrinkles and pores caused by long-term mask wear and whether or not use of moisturizers has an effect on any changes.

Materials and methods: The study participants were 20 women who were instructed to wear a mask for at least 6 hours a day for 4 weeks. Measurements of skin wrinkles and pores were obtained before and after the 4 weeks of mask wear. The effects of application of a moisturizer were assessed by applying moisturizer within the mask-wearing area. They completed a questionnaire about skin changes at the end of the study period.

Results: After wearing the mask for 4 weeks, there was a significant increase in the skin wrinkles and pores; both variables decreased significantly in skin areas where a moisturizer had been applied. The results of the questionnaire-based survey indicated the study participants considered that long-term wearing of a mask had affected their skin.

Conclusion: Wearing a mask for extended periods increases skin wrinkles and pores and using a moisturizer when wearing the mask helps to reduce this problem.

Keywords: COVID-19; air pollution; long-term wear; masks; moisturizer; skin pores; wrinkles.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Masks*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Skin
  • Surveys and Questionnaires