Maskne: What it is and how to prevent it

 

Phone, Keys, Purse, MASK!

This is now the new normal for most of us, and as restrictions ease, it seems that masks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s essential to wear them in restaurants, shops and on public transport in order to protect from the spread of COVID-19.

But while we’re loving having an extra accessory, and something to hide our scowls in public, the effects of covering our faces so often can have a huge impact on our skin. Breakouts and irritation has become a regular battle, especially for those having to wear masks for long periods of time.

Introducing ‘Maskne’ - the long awaited sequel to our favourite friend, acne.

So, what is maskne?

Maskne is mask-induced acne, where pimples, blackheads and irritation on the lower face are caused by friction, increased moisture, heat and clogged pores.

As you wear the mask, it rubs across your skin causing irritation, while the heat and moisture created by breathing causes a bacteria build up. All of this mixed together equals the perfect environment for a breakout, as bacteria travels into the pores creating a blockage.

This is worsened even further by the constant readjusting and touching of the mask/face, as this transfers the oil, dirt and toxins from your hands onto your skin.

As well as causing these new problems, if you have a pre-existing skin condition such as rosacea or contact dermatitis wearing a mask can cause these to flare up and worsen.

All in all, it’s not great news for our complexions.

Am I likely to get maskne?

Maskne can be experienced by those of any skin type as even those with the best skin won’t be able to escape the detrimental effects of friction and bacteria when wearing a mask for long periods of time.

There are groups who will be more prone to experiencing these break outs:

Those with oily or acne prone skin - if your skin is already predisposed to breakouts, it’s likely that wearing a mask will exacerbate the existing issues and cause further blemishes

Those with pre-existing skin conditions - if your skin is already prone to rosacea, eczema or any other skin issue, it’s likely that a mask will cause these issues to worsen

Those wearing sunscreen or makeup - putting products onto our skin adds another dimension as these formulas can then get trapped under the skin, sinking into the pores and causing further breakouts

However, despite maskne, we all know how important it is to wear a mask to help to stop the spread. This is why we need to learn how to control our maskne, to ensure our skin can still be in good condition while we continue to do our bit to stop the virus.

How to prevent maskne

Wash & cleanse

It seems super simple - but washing and cleansing your face regularly is a key action that will help prevent maskne. This helps to remove the bacteria that has built up and flush it out of your pores.

Ensure to wash and cleanse your face once each morning, evening and after you’ve been sweating or wearing a mask for long periods. This reduces the excess oils, bacteria or sweat that’s built up as these are the elements that will kickstart a breakout. We suggest using a gentle cleanser as this will be kinder to the skin and not affect the skin’s protective barrier.

PRO tip: For those with sensitive or reactive skin, reduce cleansing to once a day in order to avoid over-washing and removing the skins protective oils.

Try our Detoxifying Sheet Mask, this will deeply cleanse your pores and draw out any impurities, perfect for post mask wearing.

You will want to ensure any skincare you are using is gentle on the skin and maybe swap out any regular ones for more sensitive formulas.

Our Rose Infused Sheet Mask is made from biodegradable bamboo, making the sheet mask better for sensitive skin. The rose will calm and soothe your skin, helping when those breakouts do happen. Try it here.

It’s all in the Mask

Opting for a fabric mask is essential. These will cause less itching and irritation than the disposable medical ones, therefore keeping your skin happier.

Once you have your fabric mask, you must remember to wash it. Wash the mask in hot water, using a fragrance free, hypoallergenic detergent. We’d recommend buying 2 or 3 and wearing them on rotation so that you can always wear a clean mask. This will reduce the amount of bacteria that builds up on the fabric and also increases your safety from COVID-19.

For this same reason, if you are using the disposable masks, make sure you actually do dispose of them after each use.

Rushing out the house and your fave mask isn't quite dry from the wash? Don’t risk it, wearing a damp mask causes even more moisture build up which in turn helps to breed more bacteria. Always wear a mask that’s completely dry.

Moisturiser is key

Moisturiser is the saviour in a lot of skin care situations and this one isn’t any different! Apply a non-comedogenic moisturiser before wearing your mask to lock in the skin’s moisture and create a barrier between your skin and the mask. Hydrated and moisturised skin is less likely to experience irritation.

Bare faced

If your skin’s going to be covered, do you really need to waste your expensive foundation? Going makeup free will help your skin to breathe and reduce the amount of particles present that could clog the pores.

However, if no makeup is a no go, make sure to double cleanse in the evenings to ensure you have completely cleared the pores of anything that could cause a clog.

It’s not just your face

When it comes to skin and touching your face, you always need to ensure your hands are clean. Why would you want to be spreading any dirt and bacteria your hands have picked up during the day over your face? Sanitise or wash before and after putting on your mask, this reduces the chance of any germs transferring to the mask area.

Take a break

If it is safe to do so, try to take a 15 minute mask break every 4 hours. This will allow your skin to breathe and reduce the friction caused by wearing it.

Safe places to remove your mask include: outside, when you can safely stay 2 metres away from others, the inside of your car as long as you are alone, or in the safety of your own home.

Use sheet masks to target the problems

Got breakouts? We recommend:

BeautyPro Plant Based Herb Infused Sheet Mask - this mask will reduce redness and irritation, fight acne breakouts and provide antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

Been a heavy week of mask wearing? It’s time for a deep cleanse. We recommend:

BeautyPro Black Peel Charcoal Mask - this mask utilises activated charcoal to pull toxins and bacteria from deep below the surface of the skin.

Got time for a pamper? We recommend:

BeautyPro Pink Clay Mask - this mask will cleanse and tighten the pores, hydrating the skin and treating acne and redness.

 

 

For more top tips and skincare advice, follow us on Instagram.

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