Maskne. The new skincare dilemma for a post-pandemic population. Heading into the beginning of a new normal as social distancing becomes second nature and our mask and sanitiser bottle become our best friends, it’s safe to say there have been a lot of firsts since 2020.
For skincare fanatics, one of these has been the introduction of mask induced acne, better known as maskne. As Covid-19 continues to produce new strains, wearing a mask has become one of the safest ways to protect yourself and others from the virus. From public transport to your favourite supermarket, it has become a policy to wear a face-covering for ultimate Covid-19 prevention.
The question is, how do we prevent the skincare epidemic mask-wearing is causing? Fear not, we have collated our top tips to help you fight the causes of maskne, while still staying protected from Covid-19
Maskne is caused by a build-up of warmth, sweat and friction, provoked by long term mask use. As we continue to wear face coverings for extended periods of time, our skin struggles to breathe, causing blemish-like breakouts across the chin, mouth and nose area called Acne Vulgaris.
As well as this, frequent makeup wearers, those of us wearing the same mask for long periods and masks that are poorly stored can also harbour product residue, dead skin cells and dust particles all of which contribute to skin breakouts.
Masks are not leaving any time soon, so it’s time to rejuvenate that skincare routine and become a master of mask hacks in order to reduce breakouts and improve your safety on the street. From investing in acne-friendly products to fixing serums and skin-soothing face coverings, here are our top preventive tips for a future of clear skin.
The easiest path towards the future of clear skin is to have a simple yet effective skincare routine that not only protects the top layer of your skin but continues to hydrate deep into your pores.
Gentle skin care such as daily cleansing can make a big difference to your skin’s overall health. Investing in mild fragrance-free cleansers such as Cetaphil and Simple will help remove layers of dead skin cells and reduce makeup residue that may still be hiding on your face. Following a face washing routine rapidly reduces your chances of breaking out, thanks to its ability to remove clogging oils from your pores for a fresh revitalised face, ready to take on the day.
Applying a hydrating moisturizer is also important if you want your skin to remain protected throughout the day. Dry skin is one of the most common skin ailments associated with mask-wearing, so keeping it hydrated is essential if you want to reduce breakouts. As our skin becomes more dehydrated, it overproduces oil, which can cause traditional acne blemishes as our pores begin to become blocked. To combat this, simply apply a light, yet hydrating water-based cream post-cleansing.
Make Do Without Makeup
One of the largest causes of mask related acne is makeup. As we apply layers of foundation concealer and setting powder, it becomes harder and harder for our skin to breathe successfully. Beneath a mask, this task becomes even harder, only aggravated by the friction of the material. This leads to irritated skin, clogged pores, and you guessed it, more breakouts.
To combat this, the quickest solution is to forget makeup altogether. Although, when essential, only use products labeled “non-comedogenic”, specifically designed to not clog pores. Better still, wearing a protective layer under your makeup such as a soothing moisturizer or a base primer can shield the top layer of your skin and prevent your makeup from moving around.
Wear The Right Mask
Once you’ve perfected your skincare routine, it’s time to move on to the culprit, the mask. Becoming mask smart will not only save your skin but also further protect you from the dangers of Covid-19. In fact, a recent study found that simply wearing a mask in public already reduces your risk of contacting Covid-19 by 67%, suggesting that they won’t be leaving any time soon.
However, you can still prioritize your skin while wearing a mask by simply choosing the right type of mask for you. From disposables to cloth and plastic visors, the loss is endless. If you’re looking to reduce mask induced skin problems, look for face coverings that have a soft yet breathable fabric that allows your skin to breathe. To improve this further, opt for a snug fit across your nose and under the chin to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and limit the friction of the fabric that irritates your skin.
For that 50% of the population that also wear glasses, your frames could actually be the answer to your skin problems. Laying the frame over the top of the mask reduces movement, preventing skin-irritating friction, and at the same time, allowing you to see clearly without getting your lenses foggy.
Wash Your Mask
The Centre For Disease Control And Protection suggest that we should be washing our masks daily after each use. Whether that means throwing away a disposable or thoughtfully washing your reusable face covering, it’s imperative that we keep our masks clean in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Thoroughly cleaning your mask can also carry some important benefits for your skin too. Washing the fabric regularly removes oil, makeup residue and dead skin cells that build up during the day. These three factors are some of the biggest culprits of skin breakouts, so reducing their contact with your face is essential if you want your skin to remain clear and protected.
For particularly sensitive skin types, use a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic laundry detergent that will not irritate your skin further, and soak the mask in hot water for the most effective results.