Are you struggling with “Mask Face” or “Maskne”? Here’s the answer to getting your skin back on track.
If you’ve noticed an increase in acne, redness or dry skin on your face recently, you’re not alone. Since the introduction of mandatory face masks, more and more people are experiencing breakouts and other skin problems like red rashes, dry skin and itching. So much so that it’s actually been given its own name – “Maskne” or “Mask Face”.
So why are face masks causing such havoc with our skin? And more importantly, what can you do about it?
What Causes “Maskne” or “Mask Face”?
The simple explanation is that wearing a face mask creates the perfect conditions for acne and other skin problems to develop – even in those of you who usually have clear skin.
Firstly, the friction of the mask on your skin – especially the single-use surgical type masks – can irritate your skin and slowly erode the protective barrier which helps to keep bacteria out. This causes redness, dryness, itching and even cracking in your skin.
The moist, warm environment, created by your breath in the mask, is the perfect breeding ground for acne-causing germs and other bacteria. Plus the longer you are wearing your mask, the more time these germs and bacteria have to get into your skin.
Acne isn’t the only problem we’re seeing an increase in either – dry patches, redness, irritation, stinging and inflammation are becoming more common- all signs that their skin barrier is struggling. We’ve even seen an increase in people having coldsores!
Rosacea sufferers might notice an increase in symptoms too. The heat created by the mask can dilate the capillaries, which may worsen the rosacea.
What Can You Do About “Maskne” or Mask Face?
There are some simple steps you take to reduce your risk of maskne and alleviate soreness, redness and dryness.
Choose Your Mask Carefully
Some masks are worse than others. Surgical face masks can cause increased friction on the skin, eroding the protective skin barrier more than their softer, fabric counterparts. Different fabrics will breathe differently too. You might love your “fashion” face mask but if you’re struggling with maskne or mask face and other skin irritation, you might need to consider a different style or fabric instead. Look for a natural fibre that can breathe and will withstand frequent washing.
Practice Good Mask Hygiene
This is so important. Wash your mask. Not once a week or once a month. But every single day. You will need more than one face mask. Once you’ve worn your face mask for a day it’s a breeding ground for bacteria and a nightmare for your skin. The longer you leave the mask without washing it the more the bacteria will grow – then, when you put it back on your face you’re putting that bacteria straight onto your skin.
Remember to Let Your Skin Breathe
Wear your mask when you need to – and remove it when you don’t. Of course, you need to follow the government guidelines and wear a mask in the shops, cafes and supermarkets – but do you really need to wear it in the car on the way there? Or when you’re out walking the dog? You’ll need to judge what you’re comfortable with, but try to keep your mask-wearing to the safe minimum and allow your skin some time to breathe.
Cleanse Your Face Properly
Cleanse your face twice a day, morning and night. Make sure that you double cleanse on an evening to remove makeup, dirt, oil and bacteria from your skin. Choose a gentle cleanser that is fragrance-free to avoid irritation the skin further. This will help prevent dirt and oil from being trapped on your skin under the face mask. I can recommend the Advanced Foaming Cleanser by Dermaceutic or Vitamin Veil Cleanser By Circadia Skincare. Wearing a good hydrating moisturiser can give some added protection too as it will support the skin’s barrier. This can help to reduce redness or dry skin from your mask rubbing. Regenceutic accelerates epidermal restoration and will help your skin to recover faster.
Check For Allergies
If you’re experiencing itching, redness or a rash under your mask it could be contact dermatitis, caused by and allergic reaction to the mask itself. Fashion masks may have harsh dyes on the fabrics, so try switching to a natural, cotton-based or silk mask instead. Another culprit is washing powder. Try switching to an un-fragranced or a hypoallergenic washing powder. And don’t wash your face masks in the same wash as your hubby’s pants!
Treatments For Maskne
As well as the basic prevention measures we’ve just talked about, there are some treatments that can help your skin to get back on track and stay healthy throughout the pandemic. It’s likely we’ll be wearing masks for many months to come so it’s important to have a good skincare plan.
Regular Facials For Healthy Skin
A professional facial can help to keep your skin clear and healthy through these challenging times.
Our ProGlow Signature Facial is our very own facial that we’ve created to give you the best of all worlds – deep cleansing, unclogged pores and hydrated skin. It combines advanced methods of exfoliation such as Dermaplaning and Aqua Peeling to work deeply into your skin, whilst intensely hydrating and soothing skin using blended botanicals to nourish and LED light therapy to repair.
Our clients call the once a month ProGlow facial a “wonder treatment” and adding it to your pandemic skincare routine can help keep your maskne or mask face under control.
Alternatively, we can put together a totally bespoke facial treatment to tackle and soothe your individual skin concerns. Whether you need to intensely hydrate dry, sore, irritated skin or calm a flare-up of Rosacea, leave it to us to prescribe what your skin need to recover.
Chemical Peels To Get Back On Track
If your skin is already struggling with maskne, it could be that a chemical peel is needed to help get you back on track.
Chemical peels can give your skin a “reset” by gently removing the top layer of skin the reveal the healthier, stronger skin beneath. There are various types and strengths of peels available, from milder peels such as a Glycolic Peel, through to much deeper regenerative peels such as a TCA peel.
Need A Little Help?
Here at The Body Clinic, we can put together an individual treatment plan to help you get your maskne under control, reduce the symptoms that wearing a mask can cause and maintain healthy skin throughout the coming months.
We’ll help you to understand which treatments will be right for you and your unique skin, advising you on the best at-home skincare and finding the treatments that can help eliminate your maskne, improve your mask face and give you back your clear skin once again. Get in touch today.