What is Maskne?
‘Maskne’ is a hot topic in recent months. Life has changed and we are now required to wear masks or facial coverings regularly. While we wear a covering to help stop the spread of Covid-19, many people are unfortunately experiencing another problem, mask-related acne (maskne).
Why is my mask giving me breakouts?
Breakouts can form due to repetitive friction, pressure, stretching, rubbing or pinching off the skin. I often see female clients with acne across the back or shoulders due to pressure or friction from bra straps. Those that wear glasses and have oilier skin often notice breakouts forming where around the areas where the frame rests or rubs off the face. Anything that causes repetitive rubbing of the skin can irritate the skin and cause breakouts. ‘Maskne’ is a new term for breakouts that form in areas where the mask touches or rubs off your face. In addition to the rubbing/friction, you have increased humidity from breathing and talking into the mask. Sweat and oil build up on the skin under your mask. These can cause bacterial overgrowth on the skin and all of this can contribute to clogging of the pores and increased acne breakouts. It can also lead to irritation rashes, in some.
How do you prevent breakouts from wearing a mask?
1. Daily skin routine
Stick to a good regular skin routine while using masks. Its really important to cleanse the skin twice a day, morning and evening to remove excess skin oils and bacteria. Use a simple skincare routine with not too many layers under your mask. Stay away from perfumed products.
Use a gentle cleanser twice a day. ASAP Gentle Cleansing Gel is calm, perfume free and is a good foaming cleanser that will help keep your skin clean and calm. If your skin is generally a little oily or breakout-prone, I recommend a cleanser with mild exfoliating ingredients, such as Salicylic Acid based cleanser Glo Purifying Gel Cleanser . Salicylic Acid is a great anti-inflammatory for breakouts and will also, reduce inflammation and combat congestion.
3. Skip the make-up
Too many products under your mask can cause a build-up on the skin and lead to additional irritation and breakouts i.e foundation, powder, concealer. Make-up can also clog pores around the mask area. Wear a light layer of makeup if you wish or opt for mineral make-up.
4. Remove all traces of make-up
If you want to wear make-up during the day, ensure you remove it thoroughly when the mask comes off. Double cleanse the skin in the evening!
5. Keep the mask clean
Oils, make-up and sweat can collect on your mask. If you are using a cloth mask, make sure to wash it daily and dry it completely. If you are wearing a disposable mask, replace it as often as possible to avoid a build-up of oil and sweat.
6. Keep the skin hydrated
Use gentle, non-irritating skin products with hydrating properties like Hyaluronic Acid daily. Keeping the skin hydrated encourages healing and skin repair. However, you don’t want to add heavy creams under your mask. I recommend something like ASAP Super B Serum. This will increase hydration, calm and help to regulate oil production. It contains a crosslinked Hyaluronic Acid which provides 5 times the moisturising power of traditional Hyaluronic Acid to substantially boost skin hydration without clogging pores. This also contains niacinamide which is a good anti-inflammatory and will help breakouts. I’d use this twice a day if masks are causing irritation or breakouts.
7. Use thin layers
Thick layers of cream, sunscreen or make-up on the face can aggravate breakouts with or without a mask, but occur more easily when wearing one. Use a light moisturiser in the mornings.
I hope these tips helped. If you would like more assistance with skincare routines feel free to book a skin consultation with me. Stay safe during these strange times.