How to treat and combat 'Maskne'...
Updated: Mar 4, 2021
2020 has certainly been a time of change and we’ve had to introduce some new lifestyle changes into our daily routines. One of the biggest new additions is masks and with that the 2020 phenomenon of ‘maskne’.
What is ‘Maskne’?
Recently I’ve had a lot of clients asking about recent large breakouts around their chin, jaw and cheek area along with redness and irritation. This is down to the wearing of face masks and the heat, friction and pressure that comes with a good fit (so at least you know you’re wearing them right)! The warm, moist environment and constant chafing of the mask disrupts the skin barrier, increases oil production and generally messes with your skin. BUT it’s not looking like our mask wearing is going to end anytime soon so here is some advice to combat ‘maskne’ and keep your skin looking fresh.
Face masks come in all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns but what we would recommend is having a few of them to switch between. Never wear the same mask twice – at least not unless you’ve washed it and ensured it’s fully dry beforehand – this helps reduce the spread of bacteria.
If you can avoid it try not to wear makeup underneath the mask – not only is it a waste of make-up but also it is best to try and keep your skin as clear as possible of anything that could irritate or help spread bacteria.
Use gentle AHA(Alpha Hydroxy Acids)/BHA(Beta Hydroxy Acids) cleansers – salicylic acid (BHA) is great at reducing inflammation as well as reducing skin clogging and treating acne. Keeping your skin hydrated is another important factor to heal the skin, the use of hyaluronic acid serums will help with the loss of moisture and protect the skins natural barrier.
AVOID products with drying, astringent properties and those that are highly fragranced as these can disrupt the barrier function and lead to more irritation and breakouts.
AVOID harsh scrubs! Gentle AHAs & BHAs can exfoliate the skin without the need for a harsh scrub which can cause further skin irritation so swap out your exfoliator for some acids!
We don’t want to over stimulate the skin as we try to rebuild the skin barrier so treatments such as fruit enzyme peels and LED Light Therapy is the best recommendation. LED Blue Light fights blemishes, regulates sebum production and helps clear breakouts whilst being gentle on the skin and combined with Near-Infrared Light can reduce redness and irritation for added skin clarity.