Mask’ne got you down? Here’s 6 tips on how to prevent & treat maskne.
As if 2020 has not given you enough challenges to work through we can also thank 2020 for giving us the new phenomenon of maskne; acne/breakouts due to wearing a mask.
It’s safe to assume that if you are reading this post you too have been affected by maskne. Since it looks like the need to wear masks won’t be going away any time soon, we need to learn how to easily adapt our skincare routines.
I’m here to share with you 6 easy tips on how to treat this specific break out!
First let’s talk about why you might be experiencing maskne so we can better understand how to treat it.
Wearing a mask for an extended period can cause excessive rubbing on the skin where the mask rests. This repetitive rubbing can cause inflammation, sores, and discomfort. Exposing it to a greater risk of a breakout.
Also, with extended mask wearing you are trapping excess moisture on the skin. The mask holds your skin’s bacteria, oils, makeup, and dirt. Leading to clogged pores and acne.
It can also lead to rosacea or folliculitis (folliculitis is a skin condition that can be mistaken for acne. It’s when the follicle around the hair gets inflamed usually from a bacterial or fungal infection).( https://www.oregonclinic.com/; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/folliculitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20361634) Now that you have an understanding of how this can occur let’s dive into how to treat and prevent maskne.1. Don’t Put Makeup on Under Your Mask!
The beauty in wearing a mask is only you know what is going on under it! While this may feel weird at first to skip the entire lower half of your face, I promise you this will make a huge difference. Remember that we mentioned your mask traps bacteria, oils and makeup against your skin? Eliminating a major por clogging culprit will not only allow your skin to breath, but also will be one less thing to get pushed into your skin and clog your pores. (One BIG plus is, you’ll be using less product so your makeup will last longer! Can we say win win!)
Better yet, why not eliminate wearing foundation completely. This is actually great for your skin! If you are not comfortable leaving the house completely without makeup then focus on your eye area. Apply two coats of a natural mascara and fill your brows if you need to, wear sunscreen and you are good to. The new vegan mascara from Papillon is wonderful because it is 100% natural and stays put all day!
2. Make Sure You Are Double-Cleansing in The Evenings
If you aren’t familiar with the term “double-cleansing” Here’s a quick break-down for you of how to do it & why you should do it! The first step is gently massaging an oil cleanser on to dry skin. (I recommend Papillon Organic Facial Oil Cleanser) As you massage the oil cleanser in it will gently breakdown any makeup and oils on your skin. Next you will gently wash it off with a soft washcloth and warm water. (Papillon Organic recommends using their plush Konjac Sponge as a gentle and effective way to further deep cleanse and exfoliate). As you remove the cleanser it will take with it the makeup and excess oils. After that you will use a second cleanser suited to your skin type. This second cleanse is crucial and is what goes deep into your pores to clean them out! This method is the best at ensuring a thorough cleanse of any harmful acne causing bacteria. Even if you don’t wear makeup, I strongly recommend double cleansing. Again, it does more than just remove your makeup it is also the most effective way to remove any dirt and oil on your skin from the day.
3. Use Toner AM & PM
If you are already using toner great! You are in the know of how much this simple step can make a HUGE impact on your skin! If you don’t let me break down how and why you should use it. What toner does is it helps to even out your skins Ph. It helps to keep the pores open and clear of any debris that could cause a breakout. It also softens your skin so it will better absorb any moisturizer you apply next. If you want a great option for most skin type I recommend Papillon Organic Rosewater Facial Mist. Rosewater has amazing anti-inflammatory properties; it hydrates soothes and balances the skin. Plus, it just smells and feels amazing. So, when do you use it in your skincare routine? You will use it after your double cleanse in the evening. Put your toner on to a couple cotton rounds and gently rub the rounds over your face (you would be amazed that sometimes there is still spots you might have missed with your 2 cleanses! Especially if you wear a full coverage face of makeup) After you rub the rounds on your face then spritz a little bit on to your skin and press it in before applying your moisturizer. If you are experiencing inflammation, redness, sensitivity you can also use rosewater as compress. Saturate your cotton rounds with the rose water and press on the affected area for a few minutes. How you will use your toner in the mornings is a little different. You will just spritz your toner on to your face and massage it into your skin. This will leave your skin feeling refreshed and balanced. It will also soften and prep your skin before you apply your daily moisturizer.
4. Don’t Wash Your Face in the Morning with Soap
Ok so I know this tip has a lot of you scratching your heads but hear me out. If you are double cleansing in the evening, toning & moisturizing you are setting your skin up for success! While you sleep your skin works so hard to heal and replenish itself and prepare you for the next day. When you wash your face in the morning you are stripping your skins natural protective barrier. Doing this triggers your skin and it responds by going into oil production mode. Meaning extra oil to get trapped under that mask. This is counterproductive and if you need to wear a mask all day it’s a perfect storm for maskne. So, skip the urge to cleanse and just follow the tip on how to use toner in the morning! (Another win win tip for conserving product & save you money in the long run!)
5. The Material of Your Mask Matters
Like I said at the beginning it doesn’t look like the need to wear masks is going anywhere anytime soon. When it comes to picking the material of your mask you might want to consider a quality cotton mask. Cotton is naturally moisture wicking. (meaning that moisture won’t just be sitting on your skin) Studies have shown when a mask is made of cotton an combined with layers of silk it is extremely effect in protecting against viruses. (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/what-material-is-best-for-homemade-masks). Cotton also helps with regulating the body temperature, say bye bye to upper lip sweat! Whereas synthetic materials like polyester can hold sweat and oil up against your skin clogging your pores.
6. Change Your Mask Often & Clean Your Mask Daily
Especially if you need to wear a mask all day you should be changing it. I recommend that you change your mask mid-day if you are suffering from maskne. We have talked about this now a few times that masks hold on to sweat, dirt, oil, and makeup. Changing your mask frequently will cut down on your skin’s exposure to those pore clogging culprits. Before you put on a new mask it is a good idea to gently cleanse your face again with toner. At the end of each day you will want to be cleansing your masks. If you have sensitive skin be very mindful when picking a cleanser for your mask. Stay away from heavily fragranced or harsh cleansers.
After you have incorporated these six steps if you are still finding yourself with the occasional blemish or minor break out you can spot treat with a gentle salicylic acid-based product. A great natural form of salicylic is willow bark. You want to make sure you don’t overuse these types of products though. They can be drying to the skin and cause further irritation or breakouts.
You can also use a weekly/biweekly charcoal mask for spot treating areas that get congested! Charcoal is great for absorbing impurities and keeping your pores cleared. You will want to mask after you double cleanse and prep your skin for the mask by spraying on your rose water! Leave the mask on until it has completely dried. Then gently remove with a warm wash cloth. Follow with your moisturizer!
I just want to leave you with one last thought around maskne. While we can’t control how long we will need to wear masks we can control how we treat our skin & our bodies! Our skin responds to our environment. Stress, lack of hydration, foods we eat, and poor sleep quality all can negatively impact our skin’s overall health. Please take time just for yourself. Try and find little pockets of peace and do something that brings you joy. Stay hydrated and put sleep as a priority! Hope you find these tips useful and effective!
Written by Katie Kus: