Over the course of the last year, we have become familiar with the term maskne which is the name associated to the type of breakouts caused by the prolonged wear of face masks. Although maskne has been around for a long time and a common condition among those particularly in the healthcare and hospitality sectors, it has gained more traction over the last year. Increased numbers of people wearing face masks for longer lengths of time means this problem has become more widespread.
There are 2 main causes of maskne, the friction caused from the mask material rubbing against the skin and our pores getting blocked by sweat, oil, makeup and bacteria which sits on the skin under the mask. The warm environment underneath the mask is a playground for bacteria and a place where they can thrive. We have some tips and tricks on how you can reduce and prevent this frustrating condition.
Change your mask regularly
This is a rather obvious one but if you change your mask at least twice a day it will help reduce the amount of oil that sits on your skin leading to clogged pores. It will also give you the opportunity to give your skin a quick wash and clean the area before applying a fresh one. If you regularly wear face masks for extended periods of time, we highly recommend investing in one that has a smart filter system. We stock Kosette Washable Nano Filter Face Masks which are incredibly unique and a completely genius invention! They are made with a patented nano filter technology to ensure optimum hygiene. The mask helps filter the smallest of particles such as dust, viruses and bacteria, helping to prevent infection and allergies. Read more about them here.
Use a gentle detergent
Using washing detergent so close to the face can aggravate and irritate the skin. We suggest using a gentle, fragrance free detergent to prevent this. As tempting as it is to use a gorgeously scented fabric conditioner it is unlikely to do your skin any favours! If your skin is very sensitive and can’t tolerate detergents full stop, then make sure to boil them in a hot wash.
Cleanse your skin thoroughly twice a day
If you weren’t cleansing your skin properly before, it is an absolute essential that you are whilst mask wearing. The accumulation of oil, sweat and bacteria underneath the fabric means it’s important to be cleansing before and after wearing a mask.
To care for your skin and prevent breakouts we recommend using a balancing, gentle cleanser. Ideally one that is nourishing yet has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties such as Josh Rosebrook Complete Moisture Cleanse. If you are trying to tackle existing breakouts the Flow Cosmetics Detox Tea Tree and Charcoal Soap is excellent. It deeply cleanses pores and helps reduce the formation of breakouts without irritation. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients soothe and balance whilst the addition of charcoal powder absorbs excess oil.
Revise your skincare routine
This goes hand in hand with the previous point but if you can get a good skincare routine nailed then this will go a long way to helping reduce and prevent maskne. Keeping your skin hydrated is important, look for ingredients such as Glycerin, Niacinamide and Ceramides. It might seem counterintuitive to use an oil on oily skin but it’s all about the type you use. We recommend Flow Cosmetics Detox Oil which is a light, dry oil specifically for combatting breakouts. It helps reduce sebum, moisturise and purify the skin at the same time.
For a weekly treatment we would also suggest increasing your use of facial masks to a few times a week. This will help to draw out any impurities and bacteria, keeping skin clear and happy. In the same range as the oil and cleanser, Flow Cosmetics offer a 3 in 1 Detox Mask. It works as an effective cleanser, exfoliator and mask with both antibacterial and nourishing properties. It’s deep cleansing but not stripping, making it an absolute gem.
Go light with makeup
If you can, toning down your makeup will help quite dramatically in reducing maskne. Makeup will only aggravate the situation as your pores are already battling with sweat and bacteria build up. If you still want some light coverage opt for a tinted moisturiser or BB cream which tend to have some skin benefits to them. Now is the perfect time to draw more attention to your eyes and accentuate those instead!