Hair & Beauty

Keep Your Masks On, Here’s How To Avoid Breakouts And Prevent Maskne

By Ranyhyn Laine
2nd Sep 2020

A woman wearing a hat taking her mask off

For our friends in Victoria, wearing a mask is now the daily norm, while in Sydney they are strongly recommended. But while wearing a mask might be vital to protecting ourselves and others from the spread of coronavirus, that doesn’t mean they’re great for our skin. 

If you’ve been wearing a mask for a few weeks now and are starting to notice pesky blemishes or irritation on your face in the areas where you wear your mask, you might be experiencing what is called ‘maskne.’ Yes, it is a real thing—but it can be prevented. ‘Maskne’—or to get really technical, ‘acne mechanica’—is skin irritation or inflammation caused by excessive pressure, heat, rubbing and physical friction from wearing a face mask. It can also mean the acne or blemishes caused by the build-up of sweat, oil, make up, bacteria and residue trapped on your skin thanks to your mask. If you’re trying to avoid the dreaded effects of maskne, Lucy Macdougald, Dermal Specialist at Biologi, lets us know how to get your glow back and deal with the effects of maskne—you know, so you can look great for those Zoom calls. 

Keep Your Mask Clean 

It might sound super obvious but try to avoid letting excessive dirt, residue or bacteria build up on your mask by keeping it clean. Wash your mask with mild detergent and making sure it's thoroughly cleaned before re-use. Whilst it might be time consuming, Lucy recommends washing your mask after every use. Any dirt on the mask will affect your skin—even the dirt you can’t see.

Wear No Or Minimal Make-Up

One of the easiest ways to avoid a lot of the issues caused by masks is to not wear any make up in that area. Let’s face it, you stopped wearing foundation months ago, so it really shouldn’t be that hard, and it will have the added bonus of keeping your mask cleaner. If you do wear make-up, keep to the eyes, eyebrows and forehead—we hear bold eyebrows are the new statement lipstick.

Be Mindful Of The Mask You Wear

Some cloth masks can absorb natural oils, which can then trigger your skin to start over producing oil and lead to acne. Try to choose a mask made from breathable material, such as soft cotton fabric or silk, especially if you have particularly sensitive skin. Silk has antimicrobial properties however it isn’t quite as effective at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus unless you get one that has multiple layers or filters in between, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing a mask (colour isn’t the only thing to think about). 

Keep Your Face Clean

Always keeping your face clean (especially after you’ve worn your mask for an extended period of time) will help to keep your skin in check. Just be careful not to over-cleanse or over-exfoliate your face as this can strip the skin of the natural oils it needs to keep outer layers of the skin functioning properly. Use a cleanser that won’t dry out your skin and will be gentle enough, like Biologi’s Bc Refresh Cleanser, which is made with 100% active soapberry extract. 

Change Up Your Skincare Routine

If you’re way past the prevention phase and have already noticed congestion or breakouts in that area of your face, it might be time to change up your skincare routine. A serum like Biologi’s Bd Face Luminosity Serum will keep your skin hydrated whilst keeping blemishes at bay—it uses Australian native Davidson Plum to nourish cells from the inside out to create an even, luminous skin tone.

Bonus Tip: Carry Mask Sanitiser With You 

Of course, if you have to wear a mask for hours on end, there's not much you can do about the build up of condensation, bacteria and odour—or is there? Sensori+'s new mask sanitiser is designed to freshen up your mask on the go, eliminating the bacteria that cause maskne and that gross breath smell with a few spritzes from their miniature spray bottle, ideal for long days between washes. 

If you’re in need of a new face mask, you’ll find a few of our favourites here.

Image credit: Biologi 

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