Once upon a time, we all loved face masks. It was a time to relax, left with you with glowing skin and an occasional treat but that was before COVID-19. Now, we’ve got a different kind of face mask that’s become an essential part of life — one that might be leaving our skin a lot less… glowy.
What is ‘Maskne’?
When the Government moved us to level 4 of the national lockdown, it was recommended that everyone wear a face mask to help curb the spread of the virus. However, since then, many people have been experiencing a skin-irritation now coined as ‘maskne’. Medically known as acne mechanics, this kind of breakout is triggered by sweat, friction and pressure of the skin. This results in inflammation, unpleasant rashes and tiny pimples around the nose and mouth.
While it’s always recommended that one seek advice from a dermatologist when experiencing skin irritation, there are a few things you can do to help lessen the risk of irritation and breakouts.
Choose a soft and breathable mask
First, you need to look at the type of mask you’re using. It’s best to use one that is made from a soft and breathable material (like non-woven material or similar). Remember that your mask should have three layers, with strong filtering capability as the middle layer, and the accompanying inner and outer layers for comfort, structure and some additional protection.
This three-pack Women-Kind masks have a 150 thread count is the ideal balance between breathability and protection.
Then, you need to ensure that you’re regularly washing your re-usable masks as they do absorb dirt, oils, bacteria and germs which can cause skin problems.
Free of harsh chemicals like phosphates, petrochemicals, and parabens, this detergent is safe for even sensitive skin. With 98% naturally derived, plant-based ingredients, it’s powerful enough to remove dirt and germs without causing skin irritation.
Include a gentle skin cleanser into your skincare routine
To help cleanse the skin of any germs and bacteria it might have encountered when in contact with the mask and to help clear up breakouts, you might want to include a gentle cleanser in your skincare routine. If you’re experiencing breakouts, any harsh cleansers can aggravate the situation, so you want something gentle but effective.
Try a cleanser like Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser. It’s a mild, non-irritating, non-drying cleanser for even the most sensitive skin. This cleanser can be used without water. So, if you have irritated or sensitive skin, gently swipe a cotton round with the cleanser over your skin.
This cleansing balm is designed to bring calm and balance to your skin and mind, warming your spirit and detoxing your skin with fragrant infusions of sweet orange, bergamot and neroli oils.
Create a skincare barrier by using a moisturiser and sunscreen
After your morning face cleanse, apply a moisturiser to help create a barrier between your skin and the face mask. Then after you’ve applied moisturiser, follow up with sunscreen (yes, even in cold weather). Even though half your face is covered, it’s still important to protect your skin from sun damage. Opt for a non-comedogenic and oil-free option as they work to decrease excess oil that can clog pores and lead to acne.
Avène Light Hydrating Cream is a light lotion specially formulated with thermal spring water to hydrate and protect sensitive, normal to combination skin from daily aggressions. Comes with SPF20 protection against sun damage.
A broad spectrum sunscreen that has a lightweight gel consistency that is non-sticky and dries to a matt finish. This gel does not block pores and is suitable for use on sensitive and oily skin types.