Combatting Face Mask Acne “Maskne”
The “Maskne” struggle is real but there are ways to fight it!
If you have felt personally victimized by 2020, don’t worry—you’re not alone. There is no question that this year has taken a physical, mental and emotional toll on our society and the world as a whole. Changes in daily routines, diet, stress, exercise, as well as a more sedentary lifestyle from staying at home due to the pandemic, have all culminated in reported increases in adult acne that ranges in severity. Furthermore, the regular use of face masks, while necessary in preventing the spread of COVID-19, has also been associated with increases in facial acne, also known as “maskne.”
Since the use of face masks will likely be a part of our everyday look for the indefinite future, it’s important to know the facts about face mask acne and more importantly, how to tackle this type of breakout head on. Keep reading on for tips on treating maskne and preventing this pimple peril from invading your pretty skin.
WHY DOES ACNE FORM UNDER FACE MASKS?
Since you have to breathe through your face mask, it inadvertently creates the damp and humid conditions that are optimal for accumulating oils, dirt and makeup on your skin and trapping them under your mask. As a result, you’re left with unwanted bacteria that helps clog pores and can ultimately lead to a bout of maskne. Likewise, the friction caused by having a mask on your face for extended periods of time can irritate hair follicles, leaving them red and inflamed.
WHAT TYPES OF PRODUCTS SHOULD I USE?
Since maskne, and acne in general, is a consequence of bacteria and clogged pores, using products with beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) to help clean out your pores by removing dead skin cells and kill acne-causing bacteria. Salicylic acid is perhaps the most commonly known BHA and is an active ingredient in many skin care and cosmetic products. Also, be sure to seek out moisturizers that say noncomedogenic, meaning they don’t clog pores, or that are oil-free—which most times are not mutually exclusive. Your face is already producing more oils under your mask than usual so oil-free moisturizers can be effective in combatting that issue directly.
DO I NEED TO WASH MY FACE MORE OFTEN?
That really depends on how often you were washing your face in the first place. Generally speaking, you should be washing your face at least twice daily, moisturizing daily and exfoliating at least 2-3 times a week. Regardless of the current need for face masks, your skin care regimen should always include cleansing, double cleansing [insert link with double cleanse blog], exfoliating and moisturizing. Each step of this process serves a different purpose for your face and helps maintain a baseline for your skin under any conditions.
Cleansing removes oil, makeup and pollution from the day
Double cleansing cleans your skin after you’ve removed the daily skin stressors mentioned above
Exfoliating helps remove any lingering dead skin cells and further open up clogged pores (this is the only step that doesn’t need to be done daily)
Moisturizing helps restore hydration in your skin and restore the skin barrier to keep it healthy
IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO PREVENT MASKNE?
Wash your masks frequently! Think of your mask like your underwear—you wouldn’t re-wear it without washing it first! Researchers recommend washing your masks daily with soap and hot water to remove bacteria and microorganisms that are present on or underneath your masks after use. Additionally, make sure the mask is dry before reusing it as the dampness on a mask can also cause bacteria to form.
Lastly, don’t let maskne bring you down—your skin is delicate and probably fighting off more stress than it’s used to. It might take some time, but you can (and you WILL) restore your skin to its former glowing glory. But if you need some help along the way, check out the list below of maskne-fighting products recommended by Cynthia Rivas and step-by-step instructions on how to use them. ♡
MASKNE NIGTLY SKIN CARE ROUTINE
Step 1: Double Cleanse (every night, first use a cleanser that will breakdown oil and makeup. Next choose a treatment cleanser that will address your skin type or needs such as dryness, oiliness, acne or dehydration. The 1st cleanser takes off the day, the 2nd cleanser actually cleans and treats your skin.
iS Clinical Cleansing Complex
Soap free cleanser
Great for all skin types
iS Clinical Warming Honey
This dual-action cleanser hydrates while honey, an antimicrobial ingredient, helps kill bacteria
Step 2: Exfoliate (2-3 times a week at night)
iS Clinical Tri-Active Exfoliating Masque
This exfoliating treatment contains BHA and enzymes that dissolve dead skill cells
Gently massage this masque onto moist skin for about 2 minutes or until the microbeads start to dissolve
Do not rinse, leave masque on for 10 minutes and then rinse clean
Step 3: Masque after you exfoliate (2-3 times a week at night)
iS Clinical Hydra-Intensive Cooling Masque
This intensely calming and hydrating treatment contains resveratrol, a natural compound considered to have anti-inflammatory capabilities similar to anti-oxidants.
Leave masque on for 10 minutes and then rinse clean
Step 4: Use exfoliating pads once a week at night
Sanitas Brightening Pads (once weekly at night)
This exfoliating treatment pad contains AHA and BHA
Swipe brightening pad all over your face, neck and decollete (you can give an additional pass over breakout-prone areas)
DO NOT rinse off
Step 5: Moisturize (choose the appropriate moisturizer)
Restorsea All Day Every Day Lotion
Medium Weight, Reduces Redness, Normal & Dry Skin Types, Gently Exfoliants and Brightens
Restorsea Rebalancing Lotion
Light Weight, All skin types, Oil Free, Shea Butter, Gently Exfoliants and Brightens
Sanitas Vitamin C Moisturizer
Very Lightweight, Brightening, Good for Normal, Acneic and Oily Skin Types
iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum
Hydrating Serum, Acneic and Oily Skin Types Can Use Alone As A Moisturizer, Brightening