In what is about to be the understatement of the century, the pandemic has come with its fair share of problems. Wearing a mask has become part of daily life, and a side effect of that (aside from the obvious safety, of course) is maskne, a.k.a. mask acne.
If you thought you left acne behind in your teenage years along with chunky highlights, it may be coming back thanks to mask wearing and the breakouts that come along with it. While we may have to learn to live with the new normal of wearing masks, there’s no way we’re living with acne!
What Causes Mask Acne?
So, how can a mask that does so much for protecting our safety, wreak so much havoc on our skin?
Wearing a mask traps the air we breathe and use to speak in a very small area. This creates a humid environment and spoiler alert: bacteria really love humid environments. According to Aesthetician, Dylan Mustapich, “these masks create a seal that prevents moisture from escaping, resulting in a humid environment where acne-causing bacteria is able to thrive.”
This bacterial growth, along with the subtle yet constant rubbing of the skin and the mask is what leads to pimples and the less than fun maskne.
How to Avoid Maskne
Now of course, the best way to deal with maskne is to avoid it altogether. Follow these steps and thank us later.
Consider this your regular esmi reminder to drink a glass of water. Yes, we mean right now! Water helps to flush toxins out of the body, just like dumping a toxic ex. If toxins and bacteria are left unchecked, it is straight to maskne town. Water is also a key part of the collagen production process, making it super important for skin elasticity and clearing any inflammation.
Speaking of staying hydrated, that applies to your skincare too. Use a few drops of our Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum underneath your mask. It contains niacinamide, a skin repairing ingredient for protection against environmental factors like pollution. Plus, it is great for fighting acne! This Skin Treat is water based so is incredibly gentle.
Keep Makeup to a Minimum
For some, mask-wearing has given them a sweet, sweet sleep in because it means less time on makeup and we tend to agree! While we love a good full face as much as the next person, paring back your makeup while you wear a mask is going to reduce your risk of mask acne.
Heavy makeup combined with a humid environment and bacteria is a fast track to congestion. Having makeup especially around the mouth and nose where the mask sits is only going to push the makeup deeper down into your pores, causing clogging.
If you can’t bring yourself to go bare-faced, this is your chance to go big with your eye look. That bold smokey eye you’ve always been too scared to try? Now’s your chance!
Wash Your Mask
Rule number one of mask care is to wash them regularly in order to get rid of unwanted makeup, sweat, and all the things that will lead to bacterial growth. On that note, make sure the detergent you’re using to wash your masks isn’t too harsh.
We should ideally be washing our masks after every use. If that means having to stock up on cute patterned masks so you always have spares when your others are drying, so be it!
As we’ve mentioned, wearing a face mask creates a bacteria heaven, so introducing good bacteria that is going to keep the bad guys in check is key. Enter: our Probiotic Skincare Range.
The good bacteria in our probiotic products are calming and restorative, anti-inflammatory and balance the skin microflora. Try our Skin Mylck Cleanser to clear your skin of bad bacteria and Skin Mylck plus Anti-Redness lotion if you’re already dealing with breakouts.
How to Clear Up Maskne
In an unsurprising twist, having a decongesting and probiotic skincare routine is going to clear the pimples from your mask right up.
Always cleanse your face before you put your mask on and at the end of the day after you take it off to get rid of nasty bacteria. Use the Skin Mylck Cleanser in the morning to boost your good bacteria levels and The Uncomplicated Cleanser plus Charcoal at night to deeply remove any dirt.
Exfoliating regularly prevents pores from becoming clogged by removing dead skin cells and other pollutants. Our Fresh Sea and Salty Sand Gentle-Foliant combines the powers of physical and chemical exfoliants to deeply decongest your skin.
In terms of Skin Treats, start the day with the Anti-Redness Minty Green Smoothie to soothe the skin, and at night, use the Detoxifying Exfoliating Charcoal Serum which is an amazing wash-off product that draws out impurities.
If you recall, we’re big advocates for staying hydrated, especially when wearing a mask. So before you head out for the day, top your Skin Treat with the Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum and then a light moisturising lotion like the Skin Mylck. If you’re looking for extra hydration credit, keep the Refreshing and Hydrating Skin Snack Face Mist handy throughout the day.