Maskne. A phrase coined since covid graced our everyday lives thanks to mask wearing. People everywhere are seeing the reappearance of the acne that they waved goodbye to in their teens. Mine appears along my jaw, chin and neck and these little bumps are vicious!! Painful, red, infected spots that in all honesty deserve their own postcode. While I haven’t escaped thanks to 13 hour shifts in a busy Emergency Department, I have some tips and products you might find helpful.
What is Maskne ??
Also known as mask acne where by spots appear from wearing face coverings and caused by multiple factors. The medical term is Acne Mechanica and has been around for quite a while. Previously more common in athletes or police officers wearing helmets, it is primarly caused by friction against the sensitive skin on the face. Maskne is seen anywhere on the face where we wear a mask. Acne appears thanks to little friends called bacteria. Bacteria need warmth, moisture and food to grow. What does wearing a mask provide? You guessed it! Warmth from body temperature, moisture from sweat and food from dirt built up in our pores.
The humid enviornment that our mask wearing provides, gives bacteria the coziest home ever! And they can be difficult to evict as soon as they get comfy in those pores. Sounds lovely doesn’t it??
What Can We Do To Treat Maskne?
A combination of skincare and how you wear your mask should help you on wage your war.
- Treat your mask like your underwear. Make sure it’s clean and that you are changing it 1-2 times a day. Disposable masks are ideal but can make a dent in the budget and aren’t a friend of the enviornment. Ensure resuable masks are washed daily and with a gentle washing detergent so as not to irritate your skin.
- Streamline your skincare. Strip it right back to basics. If you find your skin is extra oily, then leave it at a hydrating serum. Likewise, if your skin is dry, that can also contribute to breakouts so use a light hydrating cream. Masks can intensify the delivery of ingredients in skincare. Practice caution when using acids or retinols. Keep them for your night time routine and ensure you wash your face in the morning.
- Exfoliate. Do not use physical exfoliants like those with grains or seeds. These can cause microscopic tears in your skin and you guessed it, leave you open to spots. Use gentle enzyme or acid exfoliators no more than 2-3 times a week. If you are using retinol, do not use on the same night as your exfoliation. Gently does it. You can read more about exfoliation in this post HERE.
- Some dermatologists will recommend you cut back on dairy, sugar and processed food. I am not a dietician but a varied diet based around whole foods is best for overall health. Drink your water and don’t neglect foods with essential fatty acids!
- You can always attend a dermatologist for detailed advice and prescription creams to treat acne.
My DIY Facial
- Double cleanse. Clean skin is your friend. Always. Use a balm to dissolve all traces of makeup and a gel to ensure nothing is left behind. You can read about Double Cleansing in this post HERE. I really recommend This, This and This.
- Exfoliate. Gentle acid exfoliation will keep your pores free of trapped oil or dirt and improve skin texture. I alternate between this once a week, this 1-2 a month and this at night time.
- Mask it. Once a week use a deep cleansing mask to deep clean the pores and purge any spot causing oil that may be lingering. This one is pricey but absolutely transforms my skin.
- Spot treat. Use a product designed to treat spots individually by drying them or smoothing the bumps. This clearing oil is my go to spot treatment and I can highly recommend this for eradicating bumps.
- Hydrate. Using a serum followed by a light moisturizing will keep dryness at bay and prevent further breakouts. Even oily skin needs hydration so don’t skip this step! You can’t beat this for lighter hydration.
I hope you found this helpful in treating your maskne. Make sure you follow me on Instagram HERE for daily skincare, makeup and food updates including a reel on my anti maskne facial routine.