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‘Maskne’ is the new acne: how to tackle it?

The ‘new normal’ brings a ‘new acne’ challenge, and it’s called maskne. And it’s not as uncommon as you think – so gear up and remember to keep it simple.

Has wearing masks caused your skin to break out? Maskne is a very real thing. Thanks to the global pandemic, wearing masks has become a part of our daily routine and between all this, our skin has been taking a toll. Not to mention, with the heat of summer in the air and having to wear masks round-the-clock, it is no fun for our skin as we’ve been trapping all that bacteria and carbon dioxide — around that little space behind the mask. Add to that sweat and oil mix together with no release and end up making your acne worse.

Image credit: Cleveland Clinic

There might be acne making its way through on your face, especially in the area with your cheeks, nose, and mouth where you come in contact with the mask. We are all wearing masks to protect ourselves from the virus, which is crucial, but at the same time, we are giving an invitation to bacteria — quite the face-palm moment. So, how do you prevent it or treat it? Fret not we’ve listed out some suggestions for you to ensure that you don’t suffer from acne or skin problems during this Coronavirus era.

Buy the right mask and treat it right

When it comes to masks, try the ones that are 100% cotton so you can breathe and the material dies not to cause any breakouts. Lightweight fabrics don’t add friction against your skin, like cotton, silk or satin so you can opt for those. Fancy embroideries and cheap ones in polyester don’t really work. Also look for ones that can be cleaned easily because you don’t want the sweat, oil and old makeup to sit on it for long.

If you’ve been going out daily, then ensuring that your mask is clean is very important. Simply buy those disposable masks so you can wear a fresh and clean one every day — or if you’ve got yourself a designer mask, then make sure you wash it every week. Storing it in a safe place in your wardrobe is important so you don’t contaminate it.

Breakup with your makeup

If you’ve been wearing heavy makeup then you might want to reconsider your makeup routine for the time being. Why? Because when we apply a thick layer of foundation or concealer, it’s only clogging the pores, so actually, we are trapping more sweat, moisture, and oil on our faces. Keep it minimal with the makeup and possibly opt for eye makeup instead. With the new normal, we are only seeing half our faces anyways. Keep it to a tinted moisturiser and a lip balm. An added tip: Do add a pinch of foundation to your moisturiser to make it look good. There’s baby oil mixed with a highlighter that was doing the rounds on Tik Tok a while ago – so you could look glowing.

Create a good skincare routine with minimal products

Massage your skin with cleansing oil or balm to bring back that good moisture to your skin before you wash it. Opt for the most basic skincare routine with a gentle non-soap cleanser or fragrance-free moisturiser. Don’t use too many harsh ingredients – copper peptides, AHAs and BHAs – keep anything that can affect sensitive skin to a minimum. Acids and Retinols can also increase the irritation so keep them at a distance for now. A good emollient moisturiser can be a basic one from Cerave, Neutrogena and Clinique – one that can hydrate, keep your skin supple and make sure chafing or mask friction is at an all-time low. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides – they protect the skin barrier and offer hydration. Though, you need to not keep away from everything – you can add the ‘actives’ in your skincare regime at night so your skin can breathe and take in the product. Facial oils are another way to keep your skin supple though choose wisely. Don’t try heavier ones, pick lightweight ones like Squalane.

We love that labels have come out with their own Maskne-tackling skincare. Kaya Youth has a specific Skin Relief unisex range that caters to maskne. Clinique has an acne range that works wonders on Indian skin.

Find speciality products that add that ‘extra’ bit in your skincare routine

Did you know that Dr Jart has a section called ‘Mask Essentials’ – now that’s how one manages to create an entire collection that caters to this skincare issue? Sephora India just sent us a newsletter with their new ‘Maskne’ products all curated for yours truly.

Image Credit: Aiony Haust/Unsplash

Treat your face right

You might consider to up your exfoliation game but keep it gentle. Give your skin that extra cleanse with gentle toner pods or use a clay mask like the Aztec Secret- Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay at least once a week around the mouth area.

Don’t touch your face

Last but not the least, avoid touching that acne. Just don’t. If the problem persists, it’s best to consult a dermatologist.

The story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Bangkok