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Like it or loathe it, wearing a mask has become part of our daily routine. For a lot of us, this might only be in relatively short bursts. But for some people, like key workers or anyone who works with the public, it can be for lengthy periods throughout the day. Which has led to the rise of the troublesome skin complaint known as maskne. Or in other words, acne caused by wearing a mask. So, what causes this pesky phenomenon? And what can you do to prevent it?
What Causes Maskne?
Anyone who works in the medical profession will tell you that maskne is nothing new. It’s just that more people are experiencing it due to the ‘new normal’ of the pandemic. There are a number of reasons that wearing a mask can cause acne flare-ups. One Is the heat and pressure on the skin which allows bacteria to thrive. The moisture which is naturally on your breath becomes trapped due to the mask. This causes excess humidity that can then block your pores and lead to spots. And with reusable masks, certain detergents and washing powders can also contribute to maskne, especially if you have sensitive skin.
How Can You Prevent Maskne?
Avoiding masks that are made from synthetic materials or too tight can help prevent outbreaks. Opt for ones that are made from organic, natural materials (like cotton) as they allow your skin to breathe better and avoid irritation. Washing and changing your mask regularly to avoid a buildup of oil and dirt is also essential.
But like any type of acne, the best way to keep flare-ups at bay is through a regular skincare routine. Make sure you cleanse, tone and moisture your face daily. Once before you wear your mask, and once after. Look out for products that are specially formulated for acne-prone skin like Skin:genius’ award-winning 1:2:3 Complete Acne Genius Bundle. The ingredients of which cleverly mimic the skin's natural sebum and rid the skin of dead skin cells and unwanted bacteria. Meaning your skin stays fresh and hydrated throughout the day.
How Do You Treat Maskne?
Despite your best efforts, sometimes breakouts are unavoidable. So, it’s important you know what to do to treat maskne when it sneaks up on you. Rule number one is to resist the urge to squeeze any spots as it will only make your skin worse in the long run. Instead, continue to remove excess dirt and oil with a gentle cleanser and then moisturise as per your normal routine.
Don’t be tempted to wash your face more frequently as it will aggravate your skin and cause it to dry out which won’t improve matters. Alternatively, you should add in using a sensitive scrub, to exfoliate your face a couple of times a week. One of our favorites is Naturally Tribal’s OKA Body Polish which uses millets, a cereal grain, to stimulate and refresh the skin. It’s cleansing abilities make it perfect for those with acne and it contains coconut oil, which repairs your skin leaving it smooth and supple. And to zap individual spots quickly, simply apply a small dot of Skin:genius’ Hits The Spot gel and watch the redness disappear!