Quick tips to help with maskne

We have a new word in our skincare dictionary – maskne! As you can probably tell, it refers to breakouts caused by the wearing of face masks. As makes are something that we have to use, and may be with us for quite some time, we need to have some new ways of treating our skin to help reduce the side effects of breakouts, chapped or sore skin.

There are two ways in which the wearing of face masks affect the skin underneath – the friction of cloth against skin and the buildup of bacteria from our mouth/breath being trapped against the skin.

The first, friction, is properly known as acne mechanica and is something that we are used to treating. It can show the following symptoms:

  • soreness
  • redness
  • flaky/chapped areas
  • impacted congestion such as blackheads, whiteheads, dry bumps which may be sore
  • rash-type appearance
  • rarely shows infected-type spots (pustules)

The aim in helping control this type of maskne is to keep the skin layers strong so that your skin is in the best possible condition to repair itself quickly and protect against barrier disruption. We focus on skin strengthening serums, anti-inflammatory ingredients and repair at night.

Here are some simple changes to your routine that will help:

  • Cleanse as soon as you get home instead of waiting for bedtime, apply a barrier repair product such as Lipid Repair Concentrate to rebuild skin defences.
  • Choose good quality cloth masks. I like cotton best, line with silk or linen for extra protection, particularly if you have to wear masks all day. Do NOT use fabric conditioner in the wash, you don’t want that against your skin all day.
  • Make sure that you have anti-inflammatory ingredients and vitamin A in your skincare products to repair and strengthen skin daily.
  • Don’t wear foundation/makeup if possible where the mask sits. The less your skin has to deal with the better.
  • Do not exfoliate too often, you need to build up your skin, not break it down.
  • If you are getting chafing where the top of the mask rests on your cheeks/under your eyes, try applying a light layer of vaseline to the area.

Good products to include:

  • Lipid Repair Concentrate is your best friend here. Add one drop of it into your morning serum for barrier protection through the day. Follow with sunscreen as normal.
  • If redness is becoming an issue, use Anti-Redness Concentrate as your morning serum.
  • Age Slowly Serum at night mixed with Lipid Repair Concentrate will rebuild skin layers and help heal damage done during the day.

In the second instance where bacteria is building up on the inside of the mask/transferring to the skin we would need to do a more personalised consultation as it will vary from person to person depending on skin type, diet, medications etc. but in general you will see infected spots (pustules) possibly a fungal aspect ( may appear as a ‘wet’ flakiness and/or individual pores/folicles visibly affected like a dotted appearance).

This is treated differently as we need to add in an anti-bacterial element to the routine, perhaps an anti-fungal and salicylic acid or a probiotic lotion to protect and restore the skin’s own microbiome.It is possible to experience both types of maskne at once. Some tips:

  • Use mouthwash regularly thought the day to reduce bacteria.
  • Change masks regularly throughout the day.
  • Don’t squeeze or pick! Get professional help from a skin therapist.
  • Use ice (wrapped in kitchen paper) to bring down inflammation in sore, infected spots.

Products to consider:

  • Ask about our cucumber probiotic toner to hydrate and balance skin’s microbiome.
  • You may need a separate specialist cleansing product for affected areas, salicylic acid or fruit enzymes can help. We will recommend one for you based on a personalised consultation.
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