‘Maskne’ is the new acne – Here’s how to fight it.
If you’ve been diligently wearing a mask to help curb the spread of the COVID-19, you may be experiencing the unfortunate side effect dermatologists are calling “maskne”, otherwise face mask acne, which could show up as pimples, redness, or irritation around your mouth, cheeks, and jawline.
Clinically regarded as Acne Mechanica, maskne is the result of friction against the skin caused by the prolonged use of any protective face masks. It is also the result of the moist, humid environment caused by your nose and mouth being covered for a prolonged period of time.
Hot, moist, sweaty — the discomfort of all this combined gives the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, increased oil production, and clogged pores. While you can’t ditch the mask, there are steps you can take to prevent and treat mask-related acne.
What can you do to prevent & treat 'maskne'?
1. Consider the type of mask you wear.
To keep that sauna-like environment to a minimum, you may want to change the actual mask you’re wearing. Look for lightweight fabrics that don’t create as much friction against your skin, like cotton, silk or satin. Wash your mask daily to cut down on the amount of dirt and bacteria that can linger on the fabric.
2. Streamline your skin care routine.
Less is more when it comes to preventing face mask breakouts, don’t use anything that’s going to violate the skin or compromise the skin’s protective barrier. Consider mask-wearing a good excuse to adopt the most basic skin care routine and in particular, a gentle non-soap cleanser. We recommend using our Revitalising Foaming Cleanser, which uses a combination of Aloe Vera Juices, Vitamin B and Essential Oils to remove oil and makeup and leaves the skin thoroughly cleansed without irritation or discomfort.
3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.
Even if you have oily or acne-prone skin, a lightweight moisturiser is key to keeping your skin hydrated. With a mask rubbing against your skin, your skin barrier needs to remain balanced and healthy. The Aesthetics Rx Combination Daily Moisturiser is lightweight and formulated for combination & oily skin, blending nourishing ingredients with essential oils to help reduce oil production, skin inflammation & pore size. For compromised skin, apply at night our H20 Hydrating Balm, a fragrance-free moisturiser that helps protect, heal & regenerate the skin and rich in polysaccharides to assist with scar healing, repair & restoration.
4. Use a chemical exfoliant.
Chemical exfoliants, which dissolve dead cells on the skin’s surface, are key for preventing mask breakouts from forming in the first place. We suggest opting for one with salicylic acid, like our Ultimate Serum Brightening & Exfoliant, once per week to unclog pores without irritating sensitive skin. (it’ll also leave the skin looking brighter and help to correct pigmentation and sun damage.