The lowdown on Maskne
While it looks like face masks might be here to stay, it doesn’t mean “maskne” should too.
I’m sure you’ve experienced it at some degree… Maybe you’ve never heard of the term, but I can guarantee there’s not one of you reading this who hasn’t noticed some kind of change to your skin as a result of wearing your protective face masks for extended periods of time.
The internet affectionately dubs it “maskne”, but dermatologists call it “acne mechanicha”.
To be clear, maskne not only refers to breakouts, or acne caused from wearing masks. There’s actually several skin conditions that can occur from wearing your face mask for prolonged periods that also include contact dermatitis, rosacea and folliculitis. If you have sensitive skin or already have one of these skin conditions, mask wearing might only be agitating it further.
But why does this happen?
Well naturally, bacteria, oil and dead skin cells are already present on your skin. This builds up when you have a mask covering your face, further clogging your pores, and even more if it’s not clean or changed regularly.
You might not know that some masks are pre-treated with chemicals that keep them sterile, and this can cause allergic reactions for those with more sensitive skin.
Add in a dash of trapped humidity from breathing and sweating and finish it off with chaffing and irritation from rubbing against your skin all day.
The result? Maskne.
But fear not! Even though there isn’t a bright light at the end of the tunnel just yet, thanks to mask mandates, there are ways to manage the severity of maskne and keep your skin as healthy as possible.
Keep on top of your skin hygiene routine.
Cleanse every morning, every night and after sweaty gym sessions. Be sure to use a gentle, natural cleanser free from alcohols and perfume, like our Squeaky Clean cleanser.
Don’t over cleanse though as this can disrupt your skin’s moisture barrier and strip essential oils, which will only further irritate your skin.
Forget your make-up.
Mainly foundation – especially if you need to wear a mask all day at work. Make-up only blocks your pores more. If you can’t skip your make-up, then try to swap out your foundation for a tinted moisturiser instead.
AND PLEASE DON’T WEAR MAKE-UP WHILE YOU WORK OUT!... like ever. Just don't do it, ok?
Use a non-comedogenic daily moisturiser.
Use a moisturiser that doesn't block your pores in order to avoid breakouts. If your skin is dry and irritated, you should use a moisturiser that also contains ceramides to relieve and heal your skin.
Our Face & Body Smoothie matcha moisturiser is both non-comedogenic and contains natural ceramides and lipids to keep your skin hydrated, healthy and can act as a barrier between your skin and the mask. Moisturise EVERY – SINGLE - TIME after cleansing your face.
Let your skin breathe!
Remove your mask whenever you can (when it’s safe to do so). If you’re using disposable masks, throw them away after each use. If you’re using cloth masks, wash them every day.
Hopefully these tips have been useful for you and can help get you on the right track to healthier skin during this unhealthy time.