• Anca I.

Maskne! Are you a victim?

With our daily lives taking on a new norm, it seems not only has our mental and physical health been put to the test, but also our skin's health. Healthcare and essential workers are experiencing distressed skin as a result of having to wear a mask as part of their daily attire, and at the moment we are all joining them as most states are requiring that we wear masks when leaving our home. While masks are the safest way to protect ourselves and others from the current pandemic; they are beyond irritating on our skin, causing a variety of skin issues that we may not have experienced before. Acne and breakouts have now become prevalent with the use of masks adopting the term “maskne”. So what is maskne and how can we get some relief from this new normal?

What is Maskne?

Maskne is simply this: breakouts that are caused from constant heat and friction, lack of breathability, sweat and blocked pores. Our skin thrives on oxygen and breathability to help maintain our skin barrier. There is a reason Oxygen Facials are a thing and are rising in popularity. Oxygen helps boost our skin's collagen production, fighting off those pesky fine lines and wrinkles, improving overall circulation, accelerating wound healing, and in doing so, killing certain bacteria that can cause acne. Lack of oxygen combined with excess friction and heat on our skin can compromise our skin barrier and create pustules (tiny whiteheads) and even papules (red, larger bumps). With the skin barrier compromised, sweat and humidity within the mask penetrate the skin and clog our pores resulting in acne. As frustrating as this can be, there are a few things you can do to help your skin fight back.

How to treat Maskne?

Sensitive skin needs sensitive care. Here are some things you can do to give your skin the much needed TLC it needs. 

If you can, avoid wearing makeup when wearing a mask. We know it's hard, however your skin will thank you. Try to go makeup-free when having to wear a mask so that your skin is able to breathe even a little better without an extra layer of makeup prohibiting your breathability. Wearing a light moisturizer is just enough on the skin underneath a mask. And on those days when you are able to be at home mask free? Be makeup-free as well. Give your skin plenty of time to breathe on the days you are not having to mask it up. 

If possible, try and remove your mask for a short period of time. Even if it’s for 5 minutes. Try and give your skin a break when you do.

Wash your mask! Not only do you need to keep your mask squeaky clean to help combat maskne, but for your health as well. Per the CDC, “cloth face coverings should be washed after each use" in the case of contamination. And for those of you with a disposable mask, make sure you only wear it once and then toss it. Grab a clean, new one for the next time you head out of the house.

Don’t touch your face. When the pandemic first started we all heard over and over “Don’t touch your face! Avoid touching your face!”. Not touching your face is something you should be doing regardless of wearing a mask or not. Our fingertips have oil and bacteria build-up from everything we touch that transfers directly to our skin and packs our pores with debris, dirt build-up and bacteria resulting in acne. We know face masks are bothersome to say the least, but try your hardest to not adjust your mask constantly (the only exception is when taking it off for some relief) and avoid touching your face when finally taking the mask off.

Keep up your normal skin routine and add some soothing ingredients. Your skin is going to need a little extra assistance after being covered all day, so make sure you are still taking care of your skin with your current skin care regimen, while adding serums and moisturizers with soothing properties. Try looking for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera leaf, chamomile, cucumber and comfrey. In addition, perform a double cleanse to give your skin a deeper clean. We recommend our Salicylic Deep Gel Cleanser which contains a variety of calming ingredients mentioned above, while still fighting off bacteria and acne with the help of salicylic and glycolic acid.

We know the frustrations acne can bring and adding a face mask to the mix makes it that much more frustrating. Nevertheless, taking these extra steps and measures in helping your skin will give you some much needed relief while trying to navigate this new normal. Skin tip from our professional! Add in a hydrating mask such as our Sea Whip Cucumber Detox Gel and pair it with our new Hydra-Repair Super Moisturizer for some moisturizing relief on your troubled skin

Repost from our USA skin care professional, Courtney Rashid.

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