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Face Mask Acne: How to Prevent ‘Maskne’

Face masks are here and here to stay. While they are great for protecting the community from the spread of COVID 19, they are not so great for your skin. You may have found that since wearing your mask you have experienced redness, dryness, irritation, or breakouts. This is called ‘MASKNE’.

MASKNE: acne or other skin irritation the results from wearing a mask, especially a medical, N95, or cloth face mask.

Why does wearing a mask cause skin issue?

While wearing a mask, the humidity and moisture created from our breath can change our skins PH level, resulting in skin irritation.

The constant fiction rubbing of a mask against your face can lead to chafing and redness.

Wearing a mask traps dirt, oil and bacteria against your skin and clogs your pores.

Unfortunately, the combination of these three things creates the perfect environment for break outs and acne.

How to prevent MASKNE

Now, wearing a mask is necessary in many situations, so prevention is your best bet when it comes to tackling face mask acne.

The good news is, if you are suffering with maskne or want to prevent it appearing, there are a few things you can try. Give the lower section of your face a break from makeup and use the extra time perfecting winged eye liner or a bold eye!!

Wash and change your mask daily, weather you have bought reusable cloth masks, or you have made yourself, it is really important to keep your cloth masks clean. Bacteria and dirt will build up over time on a mask, so the last thing you want to do, if you want to avoid irritating your skin, is put a dirty mask back on your face. Aim to wash your mask by hand on a high heat using a non-bio hand washing for delicate fabrics, after one full day of wear.

Wear a silk face mask, the soft texture is gentle against the skin and the breathable fabric reduces humidity from your breath. Silk is also known for having anti-bacterial properties, preventing bacteria from developing within your mask.

Cleanse your skin (properly) twice a day

With dirt, oil, sweat, and bacteria building up on the skin underneath your mask it is essential that you wash your face both before and after wearing a mask if you want to avoid breakouts.

If your skin is already irritated, look out for a gentle cleanser, or if you are prone to acne, look out for a breakout busting salicylic acid cleanser which helps to keep your pores clear of build-up.

You may be tempting to wash your face more than usual, but we recommend you stick to your regular am and pm routine so as not to dry out your skin, cause irritation or redness.

Moisturise the Face

The rubbing of the mask against the face can damage your skins natural barrier, making it vulnerable in inflammation. Using a good moisturiser will keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

If you do not moisturise, your skin is likely to produce more oil to compensate, leading to clogged pores. So even if you have oily skin, moisturising is key!

Look for supportive ingredients in your daily moisturiser such as ceramides, glycerine and niacinamide to boost your skins hydration levels.

If you feel your skin needs something extra, you can add a facial spray like between each level of skincare or use one top up your moisture levels throughout the day.

Adopt a minimal makeup look

Your pores are already fighting off sweat and bacteria under your mask, do not add makeup into the mix too! If you are taking your mask on and off throughout the day and want some sort of coverage, then a tinted moisturiser or BB cream is good compromise.