What is Maskne? If you don’t already know, this is acne caused by wearing a mask and it looks like it’s here to stay! (Blaming Covid-19). The Maskne (Acne Mechanica) is a condition that occurs by prolonged wear of facial personal protective equipment. Masks impose heat, friction, and occlusion on the skin and when combined with a moist environment from breathing, talking or sweating, this is a recipe for breakouts. Pores get clogged and can become acne cysts. On top of that, heat and sweat can cause the skin to become raw, itchy and dry.
Acne caused by masks is different to normal acne (caused by hormonal changes) as it’s a direct result of a physical disruption of the skin. The constant rubbing of material against our skin can result in micro-tears, which leads to bacteria, dirt and oil easily entering underneath the surface and clogging up pores.
The very nature of face masks is that they’re designed to limit airflow from entering or exiting the environment, which means those skin cells that would usually be shedding throughout the day as part of natural skin process can then get trapped on the surface and have nowhere to go.
Symptoms: The breakouts caused by maskne are easily identifiable because they only occur in the areas of the face protected by a face covering or mask (the chin, nose and mouth). What you’ll likely notice are shallow whiteheads as opposed to deep, painful red spots which are usually caused by regular acne.
Let’s talk about some of the preventative measures you can take before leaving your house with your mask on:
We have carefully created 7 essential steps for you that can assist in preventing maskne-related acne.
Always opt for the gentle and hydrating cleansers that remove impurities without stripping the skin barrier of all its natural moisturizing factor and oils. Your skin’s natural oil (sebum) protects you from the bacteria, dirt and pollutants in the environment. That’s the point for recommending gentle cleanser: to remove the dirt and grime, dust and makeup, whilst taking away excess sebum and the dead skin cells that have accumulated over time. But unlike a harsh cleanser, a gentle cleanser will preserve some of the skin’s layer of oil. This prevents your skin from drying out and becoming vulnerable to irritants.
They key is to watch out for harsh SLS and exfoliating ingredients when checking your labels.
It’s best to avoid wearing makeup under your mask altogether, but if you have to do it for an occasion or work purpose, then its recommended to go for the minimal amount of foundation (very thin layer) and set with a translucent powder.
Using non-comedogenic skincare products will help prevent clogged pores and leave a protective moisture barrier between your face and the mask reducing friction. We recommend using a hydrating and nourishing Facial Oil full of natural skin-loving ingredients as part of your daily morning skincare routine. But remember, not all facial oils are same! Always watch out for their Comedogenic ratings if you have an oily, acne-prone and sensitive skin. Comedogenic scale measures how likely skincare ingredients such as oils and butters will clog pores.
The Comedogenic Scale ranges from 0-5.
0- Does not clog pores
2- Moderately Low
4- Fairly High
Since everyone’s skin is different and everyone’s needs are different, just because something is rated higher on the comedogenic scale doesn’t always necessarily mean that it will 100% clog your pores. Each oil and butter contain different nourishing factors to it, but people with sensitive, acne-prone and oily skin types should definitely avoid oils within a comedogenic scale of 3 to 5. On the other hand, a very dry skin types in need of extra hydration may sometimes benefit from oils that are within this range.
Our Multipurpose Restoring Mean Green Superfood Drops was specially designed to be a fast-absorbing, non-comedogenic formula suitable for all skin types – with base oils containing 100% non-pore-clogging options (Comedogenic Scale : 0 & 1 ), and a carefully selected balanced proportion of other oils in smaller quantities so it can hydrate, rejuvenate and soothe all at once without clogging the pores, and flaring up sensitive & acne-prone skin types.
Moreover, it also contains oils high in Linoleic acid. People who are acne-prone tend to have a low percentage of linoleic acid in their sebum (natural skin oil). It’s thought that these low linoleic acid levels are one of the prime reasons that causes acne. Moreover, Restoring Mean Green Superfood Drops also help prevent skin inflammation due to the potent superfood Oils of Tamanu Seed, Squalane and Spearmint (possess anti-bacterial properties). Addition of Chia Seed, Raspberry, Jojoba and Macadamia Nut Oils help keep skin nourished & hydrated throughout the day.
If you have acne-prone, combination, sensitive and oily skin type, these drops are a perfect saviour for an acne-free skincare regime.
Look for reusable masks that can be washed and reworn. Keep them clean by soaking them in boiled water for a minimum of 10mins, at least every other day. Well, you all know by now, we love reusables anyway. They are great planet-friendly options to minimise plastic waste.
Apply detoxifying powder mask twice a week. This helps remove pollution, impurities, bacteria, dirt and oil with the help of natural clays and powders. Clays naturally have great absorbing properties that are the best natural alternative to expensive facials and acne treatments. Try to look for ingredients with strong pore-clearing abilities, such as Charcoal Powder, Kaolin Clay, Bentonite Clay and Rice Powder etc.
Medicated skin care products that contain benzoyl peroxide, retinols & salicylic acid will be more irritating to the skin under a mask — be careful about how much & what you use.
Use a rich night cream or face oil to heal skin while you sleep. Try to use the ones with hydrating & rejuvenating ingredients that help de-stress the skin for a healthy glow in the morning.
We recommend adding our Skin Wellbeing Carrot Algae Marine Drops in your night time skincare routine as it contains a base of Japanese Camellia Seed & Rosehip Oils which nourish the skin at deeper levels, keeping skin moist, youthful & supple.
Lastly, do you know Rosacea is worsened by heat and stress, which means mask wearing can increase rosacea flare ups too? Our Anti-Fatigue Skin Wellbeing Carrot Algae Drops contains an innovative neuroscience-backed Microalgae extract that hep inhibit the effects of stress (cortisol hormone) on your skin – this means when used as part of your night-time routine, you will start seeing remarkable difference in the health of your skin in a very short time.
Let us know what steps you are taking to prevent Maskne and tag & share this with all your friends who you think could benefit from this information.
If you would like to learn how to identify harsh ingredients when buying skincare products, head over to our Clean, Ethical and Sustainable GUIDE to Making Healthy Beauty Choices by clicking HERE.