Mask-Ne: What is it and how to stop it?

Just when you thought COVID couldn’t get worse. 

During these hot summer months and particularly the last few days during this unbearable heatwave, we’re sweating more than ever. Better yet, breathing through our new essential face masks is making it evermore worse. 

Call it a sign of the times, but since lockdown and quarantine have begun across the world, the latest skincare phenomenon has begun – ‘mask-ne’.

Mask-ne was first noticed by health care workers, and other essential workers, who were wearing their masks on end for hours a day, their skin began to get increasingly clogged, angry and spotty.

The area around their mouth, chin, jaw and nose was covered with acne they weren’t and never had experienced before.

Since wearing a face mask traps in the heat, bacteria and moisture from your mouth, it creates a perfect environment on your skin for bacteria to thrive and feast on the oils on your face (gross we know) – this is where the acne begins. 

So how do I avoid mask-ne?

 

Treat your Mask Like Knickers

Your mask, even if a reusable fabric one, should be worn on a daily basis, like your underwear. 

Wear it as many times as you need to in one day, but then wash, or bin responsibility after, as the bacteria from the day, and your face, will continue to live on the fabric.

Some dermatologists suggest 100% cotton masks are best as it allows the skin to breathe if you are really struggling with acne problems from mask use, or have acne-prone skin prior. However, this is up to your discretion in terms of keeping safe as well.

 

Keep your skincare simple.

We’ve all watched the Vogue ‘Get Ready with Me’ videos on YouTube of celebrities recreating their 11-step-skincare routine, however, when it comes to mask-wear try to keep things way more simple. 

Instead, opt for a simple regimen in the morning of cleanser, your personal active ingredient product (e.g. azelaic acid or glycolic acid), followed by a lightweight serum instead of moisturiser containing hyaluronic acid, and your daily SPF. 

Try Skin Sapiens Facial Cleansing Gel and Neighbourhood Botanicals The Daily Glow Facial Oil, for example, both available in our LN+B boxes which are safe for acne-prone skin!

 

Wear non-comedogenic makeup, or ditch it all together!

The term non-comedogenic is a dermatology term meaning it can’t cause spots a.k.a. comedones, a safe word for acne-prone skin. While this term can appear on the packaging of acne-recommended skincare products, it can also appear on makeup. 

Products such as foundations, primers, and concealers will disclose whether their products are non-comedogenic on their website, or on the box of the product. 

However, another good point of reference is the website COSDNA.com which provides an analysis of any skincare product as long as you input its ingredients.

It will rate the ingredient on a scale of 1-5 on how acne-causing it is. 

By using non-comedogenic makeup you can feel safe that any glam you put underneath your mask to unveil later at brunch with your girlfriends won’t feed the bacteria sitting on your mask to cause spots. 

However, if you can, just apply makeup if and where necessary to your face above the mask, and avoid the hassle! After all, putting on lipgloss under a mask has made us all look like clowns at one point during lockdown.

 

Wash your face as soon as you get home. 

The simplest trick is really to wash your face as soon as you’re able to after wearing a mask for an extended period of time. Making sure to cleanse off makeup with a micellar water or oil cleanser first, followed by another cleanser to get that vital double-cleanse step in. 

At the end of the day, acne is a natural part of many people’s lives and a monthly visitor for many of us ladies. It’s not the end of the world. Try to do as much as you can to prevent acne rearing it’s angry head, but make sure you’re safe above anything else, there’s always eyelash extensions and a good brow thread to feel glam always. 

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