DEALING WITH MASKNE - WHAT IS IT AND HOW DO YOU TREAT IT?
While a face mask has become an important defense to help ease the spread of COVID-19, wearing a mask may also come with unwelcome side effects for our skin. If you've noticed a few extra pimples in specific areas (the bridge of your nose, your cheeks, and your chin) you may be experiencing what dermatologists are calling "maskne" which is acne and irritation from wearing a mask.
MASKNE? TELL ME MORE
The medical name for maskne is acne mechanica which is triggered by pores being blocked by sweat, oil, and makeup. Face masks can also cause irritation by either physically rubbing against the skin, which can damage the skin barrier. Add in moisture from breathing, talking or sweating and you have the perfect environment for breakouts.
If you are suffering from maskne, keep in mind that some traditional acne skincare products can be quite harsh, especially when you factor in the continued irritation of the mask.
This acne/irritation combo means your skin needs some extra gentle care. It may be tempting to try a lot of different product to clear your maskne, but now is not the time to experiment. A simple routine using minimalist formulas designed for sensitive skin is the way to go.
WHAT TO DO NOW
A gentle soap free cleanser that won’t dry out the skin and further compromise the skin barrier is a good start! Cleanance Cleansing gel gently removes impurities from oily skin without stripping it of its natural oils. Follow up with a spritz of Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray which has unique soothing properties and can be used as often as necessary.
A lightweight anti-blemish moisturiser like Cleanance Comedomed that helps to regulate the hyperproduction of sebum and helps limit the reappearance of blemishes and blackheads is a strong start in combatting maskne.
If you don’t have oily skin but find blemishes appearing, hydrate with a minimalist fragrance free moisturiser like our Skin Recovery cream that respects the skin barrier allowing it to recover and reactivity to reduce. Cleanance Comedomed can then be used as a spot treatment on the maskne affected areas.
Lastly, apply a restorative barrier cream to help protect against mask friction like our SOS skin savior Cicalfate which does double duty to protect and restore.
• Firstly, wear the best fitting mask you can- it should be tight enough that it doesn’t slide around your face causing friction.
• Take masks breaks if possible- The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a 15-minute break every four hours.
• Wash your face before and after putting on your mask. Sub in a rinse-free cleanser or Micellar water since over-washing can be very drying and actually cause skin to produce more blemish causing sebum.
• Hands off! Keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face and mask to minimise any additional breakout-causing bacteria.
• Minimise makeup. Ease off the contour and the heavy foundation to give your skin the best chance to “breathe” - opt for a light BB cream or mineral foundation preferably with SPF.
• Create a barrier. Add a layer of Cicalfate just before putting on your mask. Cicalfate contains micronised sucralfate that forms a protective layer with proteins in damaged skin, allowing new skin to grow behind a soothing protective barrier and copper-zinc sulfate which helps limit the risk of bacterial proliferation.
As always, if you are concerned, consult your dermatologist or healthcare professional as everyone’s experience will be different.