If like me, since wearing masks all the time you’ve developed acne on the lower part of your face, you most likely have maskne! In this post I’ll be talking about what maskne is and how to treat it and prevent it.
Maskne refers to acne caused by wearing face masks. The humidity, bacteria, friction and the long periods of time that we wear them makes face masks the perfect environment for acne to flourish. I’ve seen a lot of people who don’t usually have acne-prone skin start to break out during this period, and I experienced painful acne along my jawline for the first time in my life! I’ve since started healing my acne, and my skin seems to be returning to normal. I spoke about what I’ve learnt from having acne in this blog post, which I think you might find interesting.
With no end to the mask wearing in sight, it’s time to equip ourselves with the knowledge to heal our skin. So, here are my tried and tested tips for getting rid of maskne!
1- Moisturise to protect your skin
I know this might seem counterintuitive; moisturising your already over-moistened skin? But bear with me!
Wearing masks for long periods of time weakens the skin barrier (due to the friction of the mask), and when this is damaged, we are prone to dehydration, irritation and even acne. Making sure you’re keeping your skin balanced will help to reduce the stress that mask wearing places on your skin.
Use a moisturiser during the day, and a slightly thicker one at night to make sure your skin is well protected. You might also benefit from using hydrating ingredients on your skin, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, propolis and snail mucin.
It’s also recommended to skip the face makeup. Wearing foundation and powder can aggravate already irritated skin, contributing to breakouts.
2- Change your masks often
Because of the fact that masks can carry a lot of bacteria, try changing your masks often. The same way that not changing your pillowcase can increase acne, not changing your mask often can increase pimples.
There are many differing opinions on this, but I generally try to change mine after every 3 hours. I have fabric, reusable ones so I just bring two along with me when I’m going to be out for a while. And I make sure to use masks which don’t collect too much humidity.
3- Bring out the soothing skincare
A side effect of acne is sensitised and generally unhappy skin. Using soothing, calming skincare can help to bring down the inflammation which can improve the appearance of your acne. I recommend keeping an eye out for green tea extract, centella asiatica extract and propolis.
4- Unclog those pores
Acne comes about when pores are clogged. At times, this can be hormonal, but it can also be environmental (such as by trapping the dirt in your skin because of mask wearing). Regardless of the cause, most acne can be treated, or at least improved by helping to unclog your skin.
Make sure to cleanse your skin well at night to remove the bacteria from your skin and avoid clogged pores.
If your maskcne is mild, using clay masks and salicylic acid in your skincare can be enough to help unclog those pores and reduce acne. If you’re not sure what salicylic acid is, it’s a gentle beta hydroxy acid which is great at decongesting skin. In fact, most skincare for acneic skin contains this ingredient! You can find it in cleansers, masks, serums and moisturisers, but serums tend to have the strongest concentration of the ingredient.
If you have developed more serious acne, you might want to look into benzoyl peroxide and strong retinoids. I am treating my own acne with differin/adapalene cream. This is a 0.1% retinoid cream which is a super strong solution for dealing with acne.
This should be viewed more like a medicine or treatment because of its strength. It should be used according to the instructions, if not you could damage your skin. However, when used correctly, this is fantastic for comedogenic acne (whiteheads) and cystic acne including papules and pustules.
I have seen fantastic results with this.
Maskne is horrible and it looks like there’s no end to all the mask wearing, but if you learn how to look after your new acne, it’ll make it a lot more bearable. These were my key 4 tips for how to treat and prevent maskne.
I hope you found this post useful! Feel free to ask me any questions you might have!