The rundown on maskne

A special word created thanks to the pandemic - maskne. Combining ‘mask’ and ‘acne’ - this includes not just pimples, but the irritation you get from wearing face coverings. The phenomena of acne breakouts that are created by the constant wearing of masks. On one hand, masks are great to protect us, but on the other hand our skin can suffer. It looks like they will be sticking with us for the time being, which gives us another reason to take care of our skin. Alas, masks are another way that breakouts can fester, as if taking care of our skin wasn't already hard enough! 

Why does ‘maskne’ exist? How does it form?

Our masks are made to filter and trap air - that's how they prevent infections from spreading! Unfortunately, bacteria love to camp out in humid spaces. Bacteria and dust combine with the humid, moist air from your breathing. Resulting in… you guessed it - acne! Not just that, but the mask rubbing against your face can create friction - especially when talking. This friction can irritate your skin, creating redness and irritation. 

As you might know, maskne is not a walk in the park. However, we can all take steps to prevent it - so here are our top tips!

How to prevent:

  1. Change out your mask every few hours or whenever it starts to feel moist. Not only can it kinda stink after some talking, but the bacteria from your mouth can potentially build up on the inside of the mask. Warm, wet conditions + bacteria = awesome breeding grounds (which can end up with acne). If you wear a fabric face mask, wash it every day. Warm water and detergent has been said to do the trick.
  2. Toss out the disposable masks after one use. It may be tempting to reuse your masks, thinking they aren't that dirty or that bad. But they are. You just can't see it. The microbes are so small and only visible under the microscope - plus oils and dust can build up without you realising. This is just a perfect recipe for maskne disaster!
  3. If you can, take breaks from your mask. Remove your mask off every few hours to let your skin breathe. Especially if it's wet from saliva or moisture. Not only does it decrease the effectiveness of your mask, but contributes to unwanted buildup and clogged pores.
  4. Because bacteria is coming from your mouth, try to brush your teeth and/or use mouthwash before putting on your mask. This will not only feel (and smell) better, it will help kill some of the bacteria that causes maskne.
  5. Staying hydrated is also very important for skin health. When wearing a mask, you either forget to drink water or don’t feel you can do so safely. Make sure you find a safe place to take breaks and stay hydrated by drinking lots of that H2O.

But what if you’re already suffering from the aftermath? Here’s how to manage pesky maskne, featuring products from our Blemish Bundle.

1. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week. 

Gentle exfoliation will get rid of any nasties that sit on top of your skin, just waiting to clog your pores. It is important you do not over-exfoliate - as this can weaken your skin’s barrier and make matters worse. Our Time To Shine Raspberry & Almond Gentle Face Scrub  works for even the most sensitive skin types. It uses gentle jojoba seed beads to get rid of impurities, while leaving your skin hydrated and nourished.

2. Slap on a mud mask every week! 

A special treatment mask may be the solution you need. Our It's A Vibe Kiwi & Avo Face Mud Mask uses kaolin clay to detoxify the skin - but unlike other mud masks, your skin won’t feel tight and dry afterwards. Goodies such as kiwi seed oil, aloe vera leaf juice and avocado oil, all help to soothe redness and protect the delicate skin barrier.

3. Regularly wash and moisturise your skin - always.

Cleansing and moisturising may seem like the bare basics - but these are still the most important steps you could do to keep your skin healthy. Our Oh So Extra Pineapple & Coconut Face Cleanser and Super Nice Mānuka Honey & Vitamin E Face Moisturiser make an iconic duo! 

4. Take a break from makeup if you can

Makeup products under the mask environment can clog your pores. Especially because your skin doesn't have room to breathe - all the oils can combine and create a nice mixture for breakouts. 

We hope these tips were helpful, now go win that battle with maskne and stay safe from COVID!