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Maskne, or Acne Mechanica to dermatologists, is acne arising from friction, pressure, and rubbing of the mask against the skin. This friction, coupled with the moisture created by breathing into your mask, and warmer temperatures means that the skin under your mask is vulnerable to an increase in blemishes. For those who have acne-prone skin, the possibility of inflaming their skin further is definitely a miserable prospect. So what can we do to try and minimize the irritation to the skin around our nose, mouth, and chin? Here are 5 tips on how to avoid maskne!
One of the most important and best defences against maskne is good hygiene – in both your skin and of your mask.
Cleaning your skin thoroughly both day and night is essential; using a cleanser that keeps your skin hydrated and doesn’t strip essential moisture. A good option for acne prone skin is La Roche Posay Effaclar H Hydrating Cleansing Cream. This gentle cleanser can be used in the morning and will ensure sparkling clean skin to start the day with.
In the evening your skin should ideally be double cleansed to remove all traces of makeup, dirt, and sweat that may have collected under your mask. A great cleanser designed to deeply cleanse while still retaining moisture is Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. Follow this with a soothing oil cleanser such as Jurlique Nourishing Cleansing Oil to ensure clean, soothed and hydrated skin.
But what would be the point of having sparking clean skin if you are then going to put a dirty mask on top of it? Mask hygiene is incredibly important and reusable masks should be washed daily, in a hot wash (60 degrees +). An ideal gentle detergent is Boots Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent which is designed to reduce the risk of skin irritation. You should then air dry them completely before using them again – having more than 1 mask is really beneficial.
Gentle exfoliation can help smooth dead skin and unblock pores after a day of mask-wearing. It’s important to avoid physical scrubs that can damage already sensitive skin. An exfoliant like Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is a lovely option for oily or blemish-prone skin. For dryer types then The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7 Toning Solution is a great option. Those with sensitive skin may want to exfoliate 2 or 3 times a week, rather than daily.
Hydrate and soothe
Maintaining your skin’s hydration helps to stop irritation from masks. So using a light moisturiser in the morning and evening can help to keep the skin happy. Dr. Jart Vital Hydra Solution Water Cream is a great skin soothing option that instantly cools and hydrates stressed skin. Loaded with hyaluronic acid it floods your skin with moisture, as well as using prebiotics to support your skin moisture barrier.
If your skin is already suffering from blemishes caused by your mask then using a targeted spot treatment can help to clear your skin up more quickly. Treatments that contain lactic, salicylic, or glycolic acids help to unblock pores and are particularly useful.
Two great options are EradiKate Salicylic Acid Blemish Treatment by Kate Somerville which is perfect for targeting existing spots, while also healing the skin to stop further breakouts. And REN ClearCalm Non-Drying Spot Treatment is another great option for those who don’t want to dry their skin out too much. It contains natural ingredients that reduce redness and potential scarring, while also moisturising the skin.
Silk face masks are another great way to avoid maskne. 100% pure silk is gentle against your skin and naturally hypoallergenic, making them perfect for all skin types, but particularly those with irritated skin. As silk is a completely natural, breathable fabric it helps to keep you comfortable whilst you’re out and about. Reducing the likelihood of friction and irritation on the skin. As they are more breathable then you are less likely to sweat under your mask, which again can reduce blocked pores and blemishes. A great silk mask option is from The Silk Collection. Their gorgeous reasonably priced masks are made from 100% mulberry double-sided silk. They also come with adjustable ear loops, a nose clip, and space for a filter, making them perfect for everyday wear without irritation to the skin.
Bonus extra tip –Toner
Some people swear by spraying the inside of their mask with a light toner prior to wearing it! The theory being that most toners are astringent and therefore will dry out the skin and stop pores clogging from heat and humidity! If you want to try this tip be careful to choose a toner suitable for your skin type. Spray lightly. And allow the mask to dry for 5 minutes before wearing it. Let me know if it works for you!
Hopefully some of these tips help you avoid maskne!