‘Maskne’ – How to combat acne caused by face masks

Since wearing a face mask has become the new norm, you may have noticed your skin isn’t as it used to be. Redness , under the skin bumps and whiteheads are an unfortunate side effect of daily mask wearing.

‘Maskne’ is simply the term given to breakouts caused by wearing a face mask. It happens when trapped moisture and bacteria, from your nose and mouth, touches and rubs against your lower face. As the mask creates a physical seal that stops moisture and bacteria from escaping, it creates a humid environment where these acne-causing components are unfortunately able to thrive.

One of the main causes of ‘maskne’ is from not washing your mask often enough. We recommend using cotton masks, as this naturally soft fabric is breathable, non-irritating and will reduce friction on the face. You should wash your mask after every use, or have multiple masks in rotation and you should use a gentle washing detergent.

Makeup can also elevate the risk of breakouts under your mask due to the fact it could clog up your pores. When pores are unable to breathe they trap sebum, sweat and dirt which then can easily turn into acne. Ideally, you should avoid makeup whilst wearing a mask, especially on the lower half of your face however if this isn’t possible, then we recommend only using lightweight products sparingly.

If you don’t already, then you should be double cleansing. This extra step in your routine will make sure you’ve fully cleaned your face and removed all traces of dirt, sweat, makeup and sebum. This will eliminate the risk of any harmful bacteria growing and spreading.

We also recommend, investing in a good moisturiser as it’s crucial to restore any lost moisture and protect your skin from any friction. Dry skin can also be more susceptible to breakouts as the skin beneath will produce more sebum and that excess sebum can build up and inevitably cause a breakout.

Clay masks are also ideal for acne-prone skin as they help to draw out any impurities under the skin and clean out blocked pores. However, we only recommend using them once a week and only applying them to the physical blemishes to avoid stripping the rest of the face, unnecessarily.

‘Maskne’ shouldn’t stop you from wearing a mask, it just means that you may have to change up your skincare routine but remember, we’re all in this together.

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