Maskne – mask induced acne – has become as familiar as Covid-19 in recent months. Since the wearing of masks is now mandatory in public places, the instances of compromised skin conditions have risen as we all do our bit to keep everyone safe and well.
Maskne can leave you with sore and blemish-prone skin around the mouth, chin, nose and jawline, especially when wearing a face covering for long periods of time. We need to ensure our masks are a snug fit to be protective but it’s this tight fit that can cause acne mechanica, a type of acne caused by friction. When friction is added to a warm environment you have a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to multiply and cause breakouts.
Our mouths are teeming with bacteria and each time we exhale we are omitting high levels of bacteria and possibly viruses. While the mask is protecting others, it is also trapping bacteria close to our skin. Along with the chance of breakouts, wearing a mask for any length of time can make the skin become drier and ultimately sore and uncomfortable.
Only wear a mask once and either dispose of the mask responsibly or wash a reusable mask at a high temperature to ensure any bacteria or viruses are killed. A gentle fabric wash should be used to avoid creating additional stress to the skin. We have been testing Rudi Masks made from natural fabrics, with a unique four-layer built in filter system, they are water repellent and anti-bacterial and can easily be washed over 50 times. We have found them to be extremely comfortable even after hours of wear, with a close fit and fun designs. Check out the designs at Rudi Masks
Following a careful cleansing and exfoliating routine will help reduce your chances of developing Maskne. Adopt the double cleanse method to thoroughly remove all traces of makeup and SPF. Use a balm or oil cleanser as your first cleanse and follow with a facial wash or foam. We love Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm 100ml £47.00 and Jurlique Nourishing Cleansing Oil 200ml £28.00. For your second cleanse, we recommend CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser* 236ml £12.00, it was created especially for dry skin conditions. Ark Skincare Age Defend Conditioning Cleanser 200ml £25.00, formulated with gentle moringa oil, vitamins and fruit lipids to help boost skin’s moisture levels. And REN Evercalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser* 150ml £24.00, in its fully recyclable packaging, which has been created for blemish prone skin. The kaolin clay detoxifies, absorbs excess sebum and draws out impurities. Willow bark helps minimise pores and mayblossom extract helps clear the skin, without drying it out.
Treat skin kindly and use a super soft mitt to remove your cleanser. We use Marie Reynolds MRL Microfibre Mitts pack of 4 £10.00, they look and feel like fluffy clouds, remember to wash them after every use.
Gently exfoliate the skin once a week to keep pores clear and to remove any build of dead skin cells. Radical Skincare Express Delivery Enzyme Peel* 50ml £35.00, has become a firm favourite. Formulated with 11 fruit acids to gently dissolve and buff away dead skin, the peel evens skin tone, smooths and calms inflammation.
Finish off with a hydrating mask like the award-winning Ark Skincare Skin Perfector Hydration Injection Masque 75ml £35.00, packed with multivitamins and hyaluronic acid to plump and quench the skin. Leave on overnight for maximum effect.
During the day wear REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream* 50ml £36.00 to nourish and protect sensitive skin. Packed with skin soothing oils of blackcurrant seed, sea buckthorn and camelia, it’s perfect to prevent skin dehydration under your mask.
Elemis Ultra-Conditioning Lip Balm 10ml £17.95 will prevent your lips drying out during the day. Mango butter oil and Elemis’ special biolipid complex keeps lips soft and supple.
The first rule of treating spots, acne or breakouts, is not to pick or try to squeeze the blemish. You will damage the surrounding skin and may even spread bacteria. After thoroughly cleansing the area, apply a thin layer of silicolskin 50ml £9.79. A colloidal silica gel that gently clears excess oil and impurities and reduces spots and blackheads. Allow to dry for 10-15 minutes or until silicolskin turns white and wash off with water. When we tested silicolskin we were impressed how quickly the gel cleared blemishes, it reduced redness immediately, and didn’t dry out the skin. silicolskin physically binds and reduces bacteria as well as oil and impurities on the skin. This gel is always on hand!
We would advise that you avoid wearing makeup under a mask if possible, but we know that in the real world sometimes you must look your best and that involves a little makeup. Follow Donna Clitheroe’s advice on what makeup to apply when wearing a face mask.
It goes without saying that you should wash your hands as often as possible and avoid touching your face, especially when you are wearing a mask. This really will help to reduce the spread of bacteria on your face. Spritz with Dr Bronner’s Organic Peppermint Hand Hygiene Spray 60ml £5.25 as often as possible when you can’t wash your hands.
Easy to say in such troubled times but stress really does play a big part in how our skin reacts and can be a trigger for breakouts and skin sensitivity. If you are feeling stressed take time to relax whenever possible and try a natural remedy such as A. Vogel Stress Relief Daytime 50ml £10.50, and for the evening, A. Vogel AvenaCalm 50ml £10.50, to help with mild stress and anxiety. Carry the GO2 B.Calm Stick 1ml £3.99, with 100% natural essential oils to bring immediate calm when you’re out and about.
Some products featured were supplied as press samples