While the pandemic continues to affect our everyday lives in 2022, so does the unwelcome side-effect of mask-wearing: maskne.
Maskne refers to the skin issues, irritation and acne experienced on the lower face due to wearing a mask, especially for prolonged periods of time.
While not potentially as serious as the virus, maskne can cause plenty of discomfort, irritation and affect your confidence. Read on for our tips to prevent maskne, whether you’re dealing with a full-on breakout or a few hot spots.
What’s causing maskne?
Dr Rod Claycomb, who founded Epiology, says that one of the core causes of acne are clogged pores. Excessive sweating and rebreathing of air behind a mask can lead to excess sebum production, which clogs pores with debris, oil and sweat. If the right environment exists in the clogged pores, that can lead to acne.
How to handle and prevent maskne
While you can’t stop the mask-wearing yet (maybe 2023?!), there are several things you can do to minimise and prevent maskne:
- Use a mild cleanser regularly, like our Epiology Anti-Acne Foaming Cleanser. If you’re starting to see clogged pores appear, try our Advanced Anti-Acne Cream to add moisture.
- Mask your maskne: it may seem counter-intuitive, but our Recovery Mask includes moisturisers and ingredients that help keep the pores clean, and your skin nourished and healthy.
- Take a break: when it’s safe, take a break from wearing your mask, even if it’s just for a few minutes on your lunch break. This will help your skin stay aerated.
- Avoid mask sweating: if you can, try to avoid excess sweating whilst wearing a mask. If this isn’t practicable, see if you can have masks of slightly different sizes available; varying the size will mean that the sweating won’t always be on the same area of skin.
- Cleanliness: change out your disposable masks frequently, or clean your reusable one daily with a mild detergent, as any dirt or bacteria on the mask is going to lead to clogged pores and acne. After cleaning, make sure the mask is 100% dry before wearing again. Natural fibres like cotton or silk also work better than synthetic ones such as nylon or polyester, as they allow your skin to breathe better.
Only dealing a few hot spots?
If you’re only experiencing a few hot spots, we recommend our Extra Strength Spot Gel which is suitable for blemishes in all stages of the acne cycle.
Apply the gel to your spots, then wait as it forms a seal over your pimple. We like to apply it overnight, and wake up to reduced redness!
We know after everything Covid-19 has thrown at us, maskne feels pretty unfair, but follow our tips above and hopefully maskne won’t ruin your day.