2020 has been somewhat of a rollercoaster thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of the cold and dark winter months ahead, restrictions are coming back into action again in an effort to curb a ‘second peak’ of the virus.
Whilst there is lots of uncertainty about what the future holds and what rules could be introduced, one thing is for certain: wearing a face covering is here to stay.
Since September it’s been mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport, in shops, in supermarkets, in banks, in the cinema and even walking to the toilet in a bar, pub or restaurant. Wearing a face mask is quickly becoming the ‘new normal’. So, what does this mean for your recurring ‘maskne’ problem?
What is ‘maskne’?
Maskne, or mask acne, is acne or breakouts caused by wearing a face mask or covering for prolonged periods of time. It is becoming a common occurrence for many caused primarily by breathing into a closed, tight space, as this creates humidity and accelerates the creation of spots and blemishes.
Re-usable face masks can also be particularly bad for your skin if they are not washed frequently, as they act as a hub for bacteria which is constantly re-applied to your cheeks and chin area every time you use your mask. Not great, we know.
But it’s not all bad! Masks are an important addition to daily life right now as they protect you and others against this unpredictable virus. There are also a few techniques and products you can implement and use to prevent ‘maskne’ outbreaks.
Change your mask everyday
It’s essential to pick your mask wisely and to change that mask frequently. If you’re using a re-usable mask, which we recommend from an environmental POV, then it’s essential to wash it every day on a high heat. Having a few masks to interchange throughout the week is a good plan and choosing a soft cotton or silk mask will be much less irritating to your skin.
Avoid wearing makeup
Makeup is known to clog pores and build up bacteria in the skin regardless of the added layer of a germ-ridden face mask. Try to avoid wearing foundation or heavy face products when you know you’re going to wear a mask for a long period of time. If this is something that makes you feel uncomfortable, just remember that people will naturally pay more attention to your eyes when wearing a face mask, so layer on that mascara instead.
Use a gentle cleanser
Cleansing is essential for getting rid of the dirt and oil your skin naturally builds up throughout the day – especially in the fluctuating temperatures we encounter in winter months. Cleanse your skin once in the morning before wearing your mask, and once in the evening when you return home. This allows you to remove dead skin cells, oil, bacteria and dirt without ‘over cleansing’ and damaging your skin. Our Absolute Cleansing Face Oil is fantastic for all skin types and is made with 100% plant oils. It gently cleanses your skin without stripping it or making it dry. We recommend using a bamboo face cloth to remove your cleanser, and always pat your skin dry with a soft, fresh and clean towel after use.
Keep your skin (and yourself) hydrated
To maintain good skin, you need to make sure that skin is hydrated. Try to ensure you’re getting at least 8 glasses of water into your daily diet to provide your body with all the H2O it needs. It’s also key to keep your skin moisturised on the outside to encourage healing and skin repair. Invest in a good moisturiser or face serum, such as our Active Rosehip Day Cream or 24hr Rosehip Face Serum. These nourishing and full of vitamin hydrators will help you to maintain strong overall skin health and support in calming redness and irritation from your spots, leaving your skin glowing.
Don’t over exfoliate
Lastly, whilst there are many benefits to exfoliating your skin such as getting rid of dead skin cells, exfoliating too much when you’re having a bad bout of breakouts is never a good idea. Your skin’s outer barrier is already under extreme stress, so it’s vital to be gentle with it. We recommend completely avoiding using harsh scrubs and opting for nothing but gentle and calming products and lots of water.
By adopting all of these tips into your daily routine, you should be able to tackle your ‘maskne’ head on. Don’t wait until it’s too late, start looking after your skin now.