Even if you don’t suffer from them, you’ve probably heard of them. Maskne! Often referred as acne appearing under the area where the mask is worn. It mostly occurs when sweat, oil, bacteria and other debris is trapped under the mask mixed up with mask fabric friction, increased trapped heat and humidity creating a perfect breeding ground for breakouts and skin sensitivity issues. Those who are generally more blemish prone and suffer clogged pores are usually affected the most.
HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT MASKNE?
– Choose natural breathable fibres (for example cotton) over synthetic fibres (polyester or rayon) as they are generally more comfortable and cause less irritation.
– Choose lighter smoother materials for masks in general.
– Look out for antimicrobial masks.
Make sure your mask is fitted properly and not too tight across the cheeks, as tight strings may cause friction and congestion around the cheek area.
– Apply a clean mask every day to prevent the build up of bacteria, oil, and makeup on the mask.
– Ensure you are washing your masks regulary with gentle cleansing agents instead of harsh detergents.
– Have 7 masks on rotation for the week to save time and effort washing midweek.
Those with facial hair might want to trim it or if they are shaving to help the mask fit better they may notice some extra irritation. Keep the skin and hair clean and moisturised underneath the mask to help prevent dryness and ingrown hairs.
Make sure you are cleansing your skin gently and effectively both AM and PM. I would recommend double cleansing in the evening just to make sure you are removing all traces of dirt, products, sunscreen, etc.
Keep It Simple
Avoid layering too many products especially around the mouth area as this increases the chances of moisture, debris and products clogging your skin. Stick to essentials around this area but don’t forget your SPF as most masks don’t have UPF protection.
Take A Break
Removing your mask after a few hours when it is ok to do so (at home, in your car, during your lunch break, etc) can give your skin some respite.
Hydrate And Build Your Skin Barrier
Don’t forget to replenish your skin with hydrators, ceramides, fatty acids to prevent skin peeling, dryness, and dehydration underneath the mask. Using the right replenishing moisturiser daily can prevent issues of dryness, especially if you are using more blemish control ingredients.
Use Salicylic Acid (BHA) to prevent breakouts as it is an oil-soluble ingredient that is able to penetrate deep into the pores to unclog. For specific acne prone areas, you can use spot treatments with sulfur/benzoyl peroxide/BHA/tea tree oil to prevent and treat breakouts. A face wash with some active blemish ingredients might be a gentle option for more easily irritated skin.
If you are already undertaking some treatments for your skin, keep up with it as this will help keep flare ups under control but definitely speak to your doctor for more personal advice.
Keep Your Makeup Light
It is better to avoid wearing thick and heavy coverage foundation or long wear foundations under this area. Opt for light tinted coverage, sheer, tinted moisturisers, and/or tinted SPF for some coverage instead. Avoid setting powder if you can as again, the more layers will increase the chance of congestion. If you can, avoid wearing makeup under your mask.
If you use lip products, it might rub onto your mask and back onto your skin and can cause some congestion, especially if your lip product or lip balm have comedogenic ingredients in them.
Anyone else experiencing more than the usual breakouts with masks?