The accessory none of us expected to be wearing this year, masks have become a staple part of our everyday lives. And while we all appreciate how important it is to wear a mask, those of us who wear them for prolonged periods of time have another unanticipated thing to deal with – maskne.
While wearing a mask seems a small blessing for hiding skin complaints, it also creates a vicious cycle that can be difficult to escape. Today, I’ll be sharing my top tips for treating maskne, so you can defeat those breakouts in time for Christmas.
What Causes Maskne?
The reason some of us experience skin reactions to wearing a mask is the combination of two main factors:
- Acne-prone skin
- Regular mask-wearing
While maskne, or acne vulgaris, can affect all skin types, those of us with oily, acne-prone skin, are more likely to experience it. Combine this skin type with the conditions created when wearing a mask over a prolonged period, and voila – maskne.
The reason masks have this effect is because they create a pocket of warm, moist air, the ideal breeding ground for bacteria on your skin. This combination of heat, sweat and friction as the mask rubs against your face can lead to broken skin, and blocked follicles, both which quickly become acne.
How To Avoid Maskne
The great news is that maskne is both avoidable and treatable with a few simple steps. To avoid maskne, try to:
Friction can wreak havoc on your skin, and it’s often the areas where your mask rubs that maskne most affects. Avoid this by choosing a mask that fits well – not too loose or too tight. If you struggle to find a mask that fits comfortably, a visor which sits away from your face may be worth considering.
Change/clean mask regularly
To make it harder for bacteria to thrive on your skin, it’s advisable to change masks daily. Ensure you always have a clean supply on hand and switch out your mask when it begins to feel moist. Remember that reusable fabric masks should be cleaned daily.
It may be the last thing you want to give up when your skin is inflamed and angry-looking, but makeup contributes to clogged skin follicles. If you can, avoid wearing makeup under your mask, especially if your skin is already irritated. If you must wear makeup I highly recommend using natural-based brands, such as Bare Minerals.
If you’re suffering from maskne and want to get your skin back into tip-top condition, it’s incredibly important to keep on top of your skincare routine. Cleanse thoroughly morning and night to remove any nasties from your face, then follow up with a mattifying moisturiser if you have naturally oily skin. By doing this, you’ll keep your skin follicles free of buildup, reducing the risk of breakouts.
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This year it’s often felt like we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place – we’ve all been making sacrifices for the greater good. Thankfully, with these tips, the health of your skin needn’t be a sacrifice you have to make.