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Maskne: Acne Due To Mask Wearing

We are all doing our bit to help ease the spread of COVID-19 and that means long hours under a mask again for many of us.  The unwanted side effect of this is irritated skin that is routinely breaking out hence the now very well known term ‘maskne’.  Cute name, however, frustrating unwanted congested skin is not a great outcome. 

Skin irritation, inflammation and acne breakouts are common complaints for extended time behind our masks.  The mask causes a natural breeding ground for bacteria due to the humid environment.  So now we’ve heard the issues, increasing those skin complaints, let’s see what we can do to reduce and control these issues:

Firstly remove your mask and give yourself a break when it is safe to do so. Secondly minimise your makeup.  If you need to use it, choose a 100% mineral makeup or a non-comedogenic (non pore blocking) makeup as a lot of make-ups do not allow the skin to breath.  Therefore the thicker coverage the higher the chance of increasing  skin congestion.  Remember with your mask on it is your eyes that are prominent so concentrate on that area only.

Cleanse:  Once you remove your mask cleanse your face, keep your routine simple and remember your main aim is to keep your skin hydrated, soothed and balanced.  If you are suffering breakouts do not over exfoliate the skin.  Too much exfoliating can damage the skin’s natural lipid barrier.  If we disrupt this too much it leads to the production of more oils and can lead to further breakouts.  Twice a week with a soothing clay mask is often your best choice. A gentle exfoliant will clean away dead skin cells and the grime that builds up under the mask, remember to always follow with a moisturiser to help repair or maintain the skin’s moisture barrier.  Apply straight after you remove the mask whilst the pores are open and allow it to seep in.

Moisturisers:  Choose a light moisturiser for your daytime wear and save your heavier moisturiser for your evening routine, when you are free of your mask.  Otherwise it will be like wearing a double barrier over your skin and the occlusive nature of the mask is amplified.

Wash Your Mask:  If you are wearing your own beautiful hand made or reusable masks remember to wash them regularly (by that I mean daily).  It is so important because breathing into that mask all day traps dirt and bacteria which is then transferred to your skin.  If you’re wearing a disposable mask they are only intended for wear at 4 hours a time so replace them regularly.  

Active Acne (Pimples!):  Keep a spot treatment applicator in your pocket it can be as simple as a bottle of tea-tree oil and a cotton bud applicator or you can purchase a pimple patch or spot stopper treatment (we stock a lovely one by Aspect skin care), this just keeps the area clean and hopefully will help it from getting angrier and more inflamed. 

Finally don’t touch, remember to keep your hands away from your face so that you do not spread the bacteria around.  This rule applies for when the mask is on or off and no picking.  If you are struggling with product choice or need a little more intervention if your skin is quite irritated and inflamed seek expert help.  

Get in touch with us today for a consultation here.

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