At the beginning of lockdown we were battling with breakouts from poor ventilation, stress or unhealthy dieting. Now restrictions have been lifted and masks have become compulsory we are dealing with a different type of breakout....
"What is that?"
Dermatologists have discovered that face masks can cause acne by either rubbing/friction to the skin which damages the skins natural barrier or by allowing sweat/dirt/oil to be trapped in the pores.
This type of acne is known as acne mechanica which forms as a result of friction, rubbing, pressure or squeezing of the skin. According to dermatologist, J. Rodney, M.D, there are a normal amount of bacteria and yeast within the skin, however as the pores become clogged due sweat from wearing masks these organisms overgrow and cause acne.
Also, the rubbing of masks can cause the hair follicles to open allowing acne-causing bacteria to get into the skin, also leading to breakouts.
Now you know how it occurs, you'll want to know how to prevent and treat maskne, right?
Masks - If you wear disposable masks then change them throughout the day and throw them away after use!! A softer fabric mask is usually recommended as it is gentler on the skin. If you opted in to wearing fabric masks then wash them after every use (personalised fabric masks are available on www.pureessencegreetings.co.uk).
Cleanse your skin - Every morning before you put your mask on and at night when you remove it you must cleanse your skin using a gentle cleanser.
Your skincare routine is important - Due to your skins natural barrier being compromised it you must protect your skin. Avoid using products that will dry out the skin. Look at ingredients that will hydrate and encourage skin protection such as hyaluronic acid, niancinamide, ceramides and glycerin.
Exfoliate - Using salicylic acid to exfoliate will break down the trapped oil within the skin. Try to exfoliate 2-3 times a week.
Spot treatments - Target the pimples with a spot treatment, and look at ones that contain sulfur as it tends to be the gentler acne-fighting ingredient.
Now that restrictions have been lifted you can now go in for your monthly facials. If you are struggling with maskne then it's also worth going to see a specialist if it's unmanageable.