Maskne – What Are They, How To Prevent Them And How To Get Rid Of Them Once And For All?

Beauty and Skincare

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?

Mask Fabric

– 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.

Mask Fitting

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.

Mask Replacement

– 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.

Facial Hair

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.

Clean Skin

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?

13 skincare mistakes you should avoid at all cost

Beauty and Skincare

Hey don’t worry! Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. To make thing worse, we rarely learn from those mistakes and often we have to repeat them a few more times until we learn. Am I right?

Skincare mistakes are nothing new, nothing strange or unusual, and are commited by us all. Most of the time, you don’t even know that some of your habits are damaging your skin. Proper skincare is extremely important in the summer thanks to sunshine, humidity, and heat but in the winter too.

We all want nice, beautiful, and healthy skin. Sometimes we’ll do many crazy and extreme things to achieve it. We’ll spend insane amount of money on serums and creams. We’ll get botox, fillers and facials. We’ll buy expensive makeup and follow 30 step skincare regimen.

The skincare industry can be a little (a lot) overwhelming but, you know what? Getting nice skin is not as complicated as you may think. One place to start is by evaluating which skincare mistakes you’re doing and then learn from those mistakes.

Not removing makeup before sleep (and exercize)

This is a very common mistake, but also one of the worst mistakes you can do to your skin. While we sleep our skin is renewing, repairing and producing skin cells so we can look radiant, fresh and beautiful. Imagine this – if you have a layer of makeup on your skin you are making it nearly impossible for those cells to repair and renew.

The makeup also attracts free radicals, and they break down the collagen production in our skin, speed up the ageing process, and our skin becomes dull and dehydrated.

To prevent damage, remove all your makeup before going to bed, but also before your workout because sweat and makeup don’t mix well.

Using filthy bedding

Just because your pillowcase doesn’t look dirty, doesn’t mean it isn’t dirty. Sweat, oil from skin and hair, and other residues from products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair oils and face creams, linger around on your bedding. Are you even aware of what this could do to your skin? Awful things and damage.

Solution? Wash your bedding once a week. Change your pillowcase. You could also consider giving up cotton for silk.

Using dirty beauty tools

Dirt attracts bacteria. Bacteria is very dangerous for your skin. Using dirty tools, sponges and brushes not only leads to to clogged pores, but also to skin infections. If you never (or rarely) clean your beauty tools, don’t worry, you are normal but you should also change that unhealthy habit and your skin will be grateful.

Invest in new brushes and tools from time to time. Also, clean your tools regulary. Water and gentle soap and you are done!

Touching your face

Do you know what’s the biggest mistake you could make? Touching your face too often. Just think about all the things you touch and your hands are exposed to over the course of a regular day. Now, imagine all of that transferred to your face.

Every day our hands come in contact with millions of bacteria and germs. If you touch your face, everything will stuck there. And trust me, it’s much worse than it sounds. As difficult as it might be, keep your hands off your face. Also, keep your hands as clean as possible. But even when you have the cleanest hands, still don’t douch your face. It’s the biggest skincare mistake you could make.

Overexfoliating

Exfoliation is still important (in moderation). But instead of a harsh scrub, you can try a chemical exfoliant made with acids like AHA and/or BHA. It’s easy to go crazy with exfoliating scrubs, especially when your skin is feeling off or dry. But it could be doing more harm than good. Exfoliating can cause tiny tears in the skin and can impair the skin’s normal skin barrier.

Skipping daily sunscreen

You really need sunscreen every day — yes, even when it’s cloudy, raining or snowing. Sun exposure causes sunspots, skin damage and can lead to skin cancer — and you don’t have to be at the beach to get too much exposure. Use at least SPF 30.

Picking your skin

You may not even realize that you do it, but constantly picking at the skin can cause irritation, inflamed skin and spread bacteria. Going overboard with this can lead to scarring, and may even make you break out since your hands usually have a good amount of bacteria on them. If this is a nervous habit, try and break it by keeping your hands busy with something else. 

You’re mostly using face wipes

Using face wipes causes you to pull and tug at your skin to remove your eye makeup. Not good folks. Cleansing cloths should only be used for emergency. If you’re so exhausted that you can barely stand in front of a sink, then face wipes will come handy. Heck, it’s definitely better than not washing at all. But don’t use them too often and definitely not every day.

You’re not layering your products right

If you’re putting your serum on after moisturiser, you may as well be pouring it down the drain. Serums contain targeted ingredients that need as much contact as possible with your skin to work their magic. Moisturiser, on the other hand, acts like a protective blanket over the skin – which prevents the active ingredients in your serum from penetrating through.

If ever in doubt, simply apply your products from thinnest to thickest formula. This should look something like toner-serum-moisturiser-oil. “But my moisturiser is thicker than my face oil!”, I hear you cry. Well ask yourself – would you down a bottle of olive oil on a sunny day to quench your thirst? No, you wouldn’t. So you shouldn’t quench thirsty skin with a face oil.  Moisturisers contain humectants to draw water into uppermost layers of the skin, but they can’t do that if you put your face oil on first. Always pat in your face oil last, on top of your moisturiser.

Regardless of how simple or complicated your skincare routine is, the order in which you apply your products really matters. If you get your order wrong, some products won’t be able to reach your skin. This way, you will not only be wasting product, but you won’t benefit from it either.

Skipping moisturiser

There’s a huge misconception in the skincare community that the last thing oily skin types need is moisturiser. 

No matter what your skin type is, everyone needs moisturiser. In fact, using a moisturiser can actually help your skin regulate its own natural oil production – resulting in less spots overall. The trick is making sure you’ve got the right ingredients to help keep your skin hydrated, without triggering a break-out.

You are Changing Your Products to Often

I know a lot of women make this skincare mistake. It happens all too easily when someone goes out and purchases a whole new line of skincare products. They’ve likely heard all kinds of good things about it and feel amazing buying them. Then just a few days after swapping out everything their skin looks and feels worse than ever! The problem is if you change too much at once you’ll never know what is working and what’s not.

Your Morning Skin Care Routine is Non Existent

If the first thing you put on your face in the morning is makeup your skin is really missing out!! Your skin deserves more than only taking care of it before bed. While a nightly skin care routine is crucial to removing buildup, excess oil, and the like before you sleep – a morning routine is important too. 

Rubbing Products onto Your Face

When you apply a product such as a serum or cream on your skin, do you rub it in to get it absorbed? If yes, this habit has simply got to go! The skin on your face is more sensitive than the rest of your body and needs to be treated gently. Rubbing your skin can cause a bunch of problems such as early wrinkles, and skin damage. What’s more, rubbing your product in does not help it get absorbed better at all!

The best way to apply your products is by gently tapping it in. By pressing it into your skin with a light touch, your product will absorb a lot better while the tapping motion will help improve your blood circulation, leading to healthier, glowing skin.

So are you guys guilty of some of these mistakes too? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to keep an eye out for my next post!

Shea Butter And Its Amazing Benefits For Skin

Beauty and Skincare

Shea butter is derived from the kernels of the shea tree’s fruits, and the shea tree has been nicknamed “Tree of Life”, thanks to its ability to heal many skin and hair problems, issues and conditions. Because of its great moisturizing and softening benefits, shea butter is also called “Mother’s Nature Conditioner”.

Shea butter is actually skin superfood that nourishes skin and deal with problems such as dryness, dark spots, blemishes, wrinkles, stretch marks, and discoloration. Shea butter also boosts collagen producttion, and promotes skin cell regeneration, without clogging pores.

Shea butter creates barrier on skin that protects it from harsh enviromental elements. Shea buuter supports skin elasticity and suppleness, and inceases circulation. It can be also used in hair care because it nourishes from root to the tip, repairs damage, protects against brittleness and dryness, without leaving a sticky residue.

Rich in Vitamins A, E and F, Shea Butter is a natural emollient that nourishes skin to promote its clarity and health. Whether skin is dry or oily, Shea Butter balances its oil production without clogging pores. It melts at body temperature and is known to soothe and hydrate mature skin as well as skin that has been damaged by the harsh effects of the elements. Its Cinnamic Acid content provides skin with a degree of protection against the sun, acting as a natural sun screen. Individuals with acne, eczema, rashes, or psoriasis can use Shea Butter for relief from their skin conditions without experiencing the side effects commonly associated with traditional treatments, which can have abrasive effects on skin. Gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, Shea Butter has even been used traditionally for baby care.

The word Shea is derived from the word S’í, the Bambara name given to the tree in Mali. Throughout Africa, the continent of its origin, it goes by many other names, including Kade or Kadanya in the Hausa language, Ori in some parts of West Africa, and Karité in the Wolof language of Senegal. 

In some of Africa’s poorest regions, the Shea tree has become important to the economy and to the livelihood. In these places, Shea Butter is most commonly known as ‘Women’s Gold,’ due to the fact that Shea Butter production is the source of income for many women in Africa. The women use Shea Butter to purchase food, clothing, personal items, and to afford an education, among other purposes.

According to historical sources, the use of Shea Butter has even been traced back to Egypt as far back as the first century at the time of Queen Cleopatra, when it was used largely in skin care products. Ancient accounts tell the story of Cleopatra demanding that large jars full of Shea Butter accompany her on all her travels so that she could apply the smooth, hydrating, soothing, and rejuvenating butter to her skin daily.

The uses of Shea Butter are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include massage oils and balms, cleansing oils, lotions, creams, facial serums, soaps, lip balms, lipsticks, shampoos and other hair care products, and ointments or salves.

Side effects and risks

Shea butter is an incredibly low-risk topical ingredient. Allergic reactions to shea butter are rare. Even people who are allergic to tree nuts, the family that shea nuts belong to, have a low risk of reaction to shea butter on their face.

Reasons to use shea butter in your skincare routine

It’s moisturizing

If you have dry, dull skin, shea butter may become your new best friend. It helps retain moisture by forming a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, which reduces the loss of water and keeps your skin hydrated. Shea butter moisturizes hair, too. By conditioning the scalp, it can also reduce dandruff, and it can make hair stronger and prevent breakage.

It’s safe for all skin types

Shea butter is technically a tree nut product. But unlike most tree nut products, it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies. There’s no medical literature documenting an allergy to topical shea butter. It also doesn’t contain chemical irritants.

It’s soothing

Thanks to the fact that it contains both vitamins E and A, shea butter is also beneficial in treating irritated skin, sensitive or not. You can use it to soothe dry patches, windburn, sunburn, abrasions, even diaper rashes on babies.

It eases inflammation

Shea butter slows the production of inflammatory cells that contribute to irritation and skin conditions, so if you struggle with chronic skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, the fatty acids in shea butter will help ease inflammation. Because shea butter penetrates the skin quickly, you’ll feel relief sooner rather than later.

It makes you look younger

The vitamin A and E in shea butter can do more than soothe skin. They can also make you appear more youthful. Shea butter also helps promote cell regeneration, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also boosts collagen production, and gives you the plump look. We all love plump look, don’t we?

It won’t make your skin oily

Shea butter contains high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid. These two acids balance each other out. That means shea butter is easy for your skin to fully absorb and won’t make your skin look oily after application.

How to use shea butter?

Shea butter can be used on its own, but it’s just as commonly used as an ingredient in cosmetics. It is best incorporated into a moisturiser with other ingredients so it’s easier to spread, since it’s usually a thick solid at room temperature.

You can apply shea butter directly to your skin and hair, as a conditioner or on the ends of your hair. For the face, it may be best to use at night as it can be tricky to apply makeup over it. Wherever you’re applying it though, remember a little goes a long way. 

Shea butter is full of essential nutrients that can enhance your natural complexion and help you glow from the inside out. Although it’s considered safe every skin type, many products containing shea butter have other ingredients mixed in.

If you experience any side effects that you suspect are connected to a shea butter product, discontinue use and see a doctor or other healthcare provider. 

If you would like to make your own products with shea butter, start with this easy and simple, but powerful and moisturizing shea butter balm.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax (or soy wax)

Combine the ingredients in a microwave-safe glass container. Microwave to gently heat up the shea butter and beeswax. Pour into a 4 to 5-ounce glass jar and let cool. Stir again. Use on dry areas. It’s great for the knees, elbows, and can even be used to treat and prevent chapped lips.