It’s hard to keep your skin looking fresh and glowing at the best of times, let’s be honest… and now, on top of making sure we eat well, exercise, drink tons of water, keep up with a good skincare routine etc. we’re throwing ‘maskne’ into the mix. 2020 just loves throwing us those curve balls!
But never fear, Winslow are here to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh and clean with tips and tricks on how to prevent and deal with the dreaded mascke!
First of all, let’s talk about what maskne actually is. For those of you who have no idea what I have been going on about, maskne is acne that has been brought on by wearing a mask for extended periods of time, something that a huge amount of us are suffering with at the moment. Although many people are only just hearing about maskne in recent months, it has actually been around for a very long time! It just wasn’t as common as not as many people had to wear masks all day every day. As we all know, wearing a mask for long periods of time can be seriously uncomfortable and it can have a negative impact on your skin (but we gotta do what we gotta do, it’s keeping us safe).
If you’re suffering from bad breakouts at the moment please do not feel embarrassed or ashamed of your skin! Because the truth is, we are all experiencing changes in our skin from wearing masks, so please do not feel like it’s only you!
Throughout this blog we are going to be talking about what exactly causes maskne, how we can treat it & what we can be doing to try and prevent it moving forwards.
So, we’ve established that maskne is caused from wearing a mask for extended periods of time. The reason for this is that your skin doesn’t have room to breathe! It is a warm, moist area which is a breeding ground for microorganisms and bacteria (the more you think about that the worse it sounds). This is why it is SO important to make sure you are keeping your mask clean. If your mask is not cleaned regularly, the bacteria will continue to seep into your skin each time you wear it so make sure to wash your mask regularly. Always take caution when using fabric softeners / detergent as this may irritate your skin too. I would suggest using a very mild softener / detergent when washing your mask to reduce the risk of irritation.
Wearing a mask all day will also cause occlusion (blocked pores) which is another cause for acne and breakouts, especially if you’re wearing heavy makeup or even using too many skincare products (less is more people!)
On top of the bacteria caused by the oil & sweat, and the blocked pores, your mask may also cause irritation around the area due to the friction of the material constantly rubbing against your skin.
Now, what can be done…
First things first, you need to ensure you are keeping your skin clean on a regular basis but don’t overdo it by lathering on masses of products or by using products that are too strong for your skin. As I said earlier, less really is more.
We would suggest cleansing with a non-soap cleanser morning and evening. Depending on your skin type, cleansers may vary. If your skin type is normal or dry we would suggest a gentle cleanser that will remove oil and excess dirt from the skin, for example the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel or Ultra Calming Cleanser if your skin is extra sensitive. However, if your skin is oily and you are prone to breakouts we would suggest using a stronger cleanser with salysilic acid to help exfoliate away the dead skin cells and clear the clogged pores, like the Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash or if you are a teen then the Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash from the Dermalogica Clear Start range. It is important to keep skin clean however there is a danger of drying out your skin by over cleansing, which will then in turn lead to more breakouts as the skin will be tricked into overproducing oil to compensate for the dryness. So be gentle with your skin when cleansing, don’t scrub away too harshly and only cleanse twice a day.
You should follow your cleansing routine by applying a moisturizer, this will help to lock in the skin’s moisture and also act as a barrier between your skin and your mask which will help with the irritation (double whammy). I would highly recommend the AVST moisturizer as I honestly believe there is nothing better! AVST contains amounts of Vitamin A which is so important for your skin! It helps to normalize and balance out the skins natural barrier, getting all the breakouts, excess oil or dryness under control. I had never really used a strong moisturizer before moving to the AVST and I can honestly say I will never go back, I can see the improvement in just a few months and my skin feels so much better for it.
Once you have your skincare routine under control, you need to take a look at the masks you are using. Specialists recommend using 100% cotton masks wherever possible as it allows the skin to breath. An alternative to cotton would be silk masks. Silk masks are soft on the skin and are a lot more breathable, not to mention they feel a lot more luxurious on the face (we all need a little luxury in our lives, even if it is just from our masks)! Another benefit to using a silk mask is that certain silks are actually proven to have antimicrobial properties! We do appreciate however, that it is not always possible to wear 100% cotton or silk masks and that in some working environments it is mandatory to wear Type II surgical masks. We would always suggest changing your mask half way through the day no matter what material, to keep the area as clean and fresh as possible, it also gives you a chance to wash your other mask.
Another tip to minimize the breakouts… I’m sorry to say it but it’s time to breakup with your makeup!
If you are someone who wears make up every day, I would suggest trying to cut down on this as much as possible! Your skin is already suffering from wearing the mask and it just makes it more susceptible to breakouts and oiliness if your pores are being clogged with makeup. I know it can be tough, and that sometimes the reason for the makeup could be to cover up the breakouts in the first place but if you don’t break that cycle you’ll be in a catch 22 for the foreseeable future. If you really can’t go without it, I would suggest trying a tinted moisturizer or BB cream rather than a foundation? It’s lighter on the skin and won’t clog your pores as much! The way I see it, the amount of foundation I’m wasting everyday for it to be wiped all over the inside of my mask makes it that much easier to only use it when I have to… The days of contour and highlight are gone I’m sad to say and now really is the time to focus on that perfect winged liner and getting your brows looking sharp! (You’ll thank me in the long run I promise)
In terms of treating your skin, we would recommend booking in for our 30 or 60 minute specialist treatment where we tailor each appointment to how your skin is looking and feeling on the day! We use a range of products and treatments to ensure you receive the best results! One thing I cannot stress enough in the meantime is do not, I repeat, DO NOT pick away at your spots! No matter how tempting that may be. You’ll only make them worse and they’ll stay with you a lot longer.
Another HUGELY important factor is to ensure you have a balanced diet and keep drinking lots of water. Your diet and gut health have a huge impact on your skin, you are what you eat after all! So make sure you’re getting all your greens in and staying hydrated 24/7!
Our skin has a natural 28 day regeneration cycle so try to implement all of this over the next month or so, see how your skin adjusts and then let us know how you’re getting on! And please, if you have any questions at all, we are just a phone call away!
Looking forward to seeing all your bright and lovely faces soon!