Masks are back and so is the dreaded mascne (or is it maskne? Either way, I don’t like it). Not only do I suffer from breakouts in places I’ve never had them before after periods of wearing a mask but I also notice increased skin sensitivity along my jawline.
But what causes it?
Like everything in life, there are a few causes:
- Increase in skin temperature and sweating can worsen existing skin conditions and acne
- Increased production of skin oil (sebum), which can clog pores
- Sensitivity reactions caused by friction, synthetic fibres, the washing powders you use
- Dry skin, that humid environment your creating under your mask can disrupt what would be your normal skin barrier
So what can you do? Here's some simple tips.
1. Wash your mask after each use
Just like clothes (we hope), your face mask needs to be washed following each use. It’s a good idea to have multiple masks so you can rotate them and avoid wearing them more than once without a wash in between.
Handwashing in a high quality soap is not only quicker but also avoids any chemicals or fragrances in a typical laundry detergent or fabric softener that might irritate your skin.
If washing your mask after every time you use it sounds too hard, just think about the dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells you're putting back on your face with every re-wear (to quote Summer from The OC "Ewww").
Handy Tip: Provided you aren’t allergic, add a few drops of tea tree oil to your soap. Tea tree oil is a well known acne spot treatment and antibacterial.
If you already have your stock of colourful or patterned masks but find the inner fabric too harsh on your skin, you can always add a silk layer on the inside.
2. Exfoliate your skin
Exfoliating should be a part of your skincare routine anyway but it’s especially important when wearing masks. This is because the mask is creating a physical barrier, preventing us from easily shedding dead skin cells.
The exfoliating action of our Botanical Facial Scrub is achieved through AHA and BHA ingredients which are then sloughed away by the Sandalwood and Tea Tree Powder granules. The topical vitamins and fruit extracts also provide hydrating benefits.
3. Don’t wear make-up or after shave under your mask
One of the best parts about wearing a mask is only needing to apply make-up to the top half of your face. Wearing a lot of product under your mask is just introducing another substance for your mask to rub against, leading to blocked pores and congested skin.
If you can’t skip your make-up routine, avoid heavy bases, keeping it light and oil free. If you can, swapping to mineral make-up has also been found to be beneficial.
Applying after shave before wearing a mask can also cause friction and have the same effect on your skin. While I don’t have personal experience, I’ve been told having some stubble makes wearing a mask less irritating (but I’ll let the boys decide on that one).
4. Swap your mask at lunchtime and reapply moisturiser
Applying moisturiser before you slip on your mask will provide a hydrating barrier between your skin and the fabric. If you can do it safely, swapping to a new mask during the day not only removes any bacteria and sweat that has been produced but also gives you the opportunity to reapply your moisturiser.
Reference: Dreading a Summer of ‘Mascne’? Here’s How to Stop Your Face Mask from Causing Acne