mask acne is real, so the internet's given it a name: 'maskne'
'coz you can't ditch the mask, learn how to live with it and prevent the acne it gives you
So if you live in Victoria you should be used to having to wear a mask every time you step outside by now, and if you live in other states, a). consider yourself lucky (we're extremely jealous of you), and b). you might also be wearing a mask.
What you're not used to, is the acne appearing on your face in the area where your mask sits. No, you're not imagining it. 'Maskne' is a thing, but DO NOT let that deter you from doin' your bit to help stop the spread. While you can't forgo wearing a mask when you're outside, there are other steps you can take to ensure your skin doesn't freak the f**k out and rebel against you the same way you did when you were a teenager and refused to come home before curfew.
Keep on reading if you want a crash course on what maskne actually is, why masks cause acne or irritation, and exactly how to treat it so you can walk around your house feelin' and lookin' better than ever.
can masks really cause acne?
Well, that's a good question, and the short answer is yes, they most definitely can.
Breathing, talking and laughing into a face mask traps heat and humidity between your skin and the mask you're wearing, causing a fun, little breeding ground that's more susceptible to bacteria growth and clogged pores.....
....and we all know by now that acne is caused by clogged pores resulting from makeup, dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells refusing to walk towards the light to skin cell heaven (if you don't already know this then maybe it's time to hit up a few more of our blogs).
This exact congestion can often lead to pimples, whiteheads, blackheads and other skin irritation issues like redness or dermatitis (in other words, yikes).
so how can you prevent it?
Since we're gonna be wearing masks for a while, you may as well sit down, buckle up and take notes because dealing with 'maskne' will be more than a one-time thing.
The first step you can take is to choose a proper mask. I know it looks way cuter to have a pretty pink fabric mask that's covered in adorable little flowers but the experts suggest that disposable paper masks are the best option. This is so you can grab a fresh, clean mask every time you want to leave the house that isn't already full of residue oil or gunk from the daily grind.
If you can't do that (and let's face it, most of us can't), the next best option is to wear a cloth mask - one that's made from cotton fibres. As soft as a baby's butt, this mask will cause less friction with the skin (love that) and is also extremely breathable so you don't have to puff like a smoker every time you go to take the bins out. Oh, and you'll also probably be supporting a small business while you're at it so yay for the economy.
The second step you can take is to clean your mask properly. For the people who wear the aforementioned disposable paper masks, you can stop taking notes 'cause this step ain't for you but for the rest of you, you need to make sure you're cleaning your mask properly and regularly.
This looks like washing your mask at least every couple of days with a gentle soap (preferably one that's fragrance-free and dye-free). Otherwise, every time you put that face mask back on, you're exposing your skin to nasty bacteria bandits who will stop at nothing to make sure your skin looks as red and as angry as you feel when you hear about how many fines police are still handing out to people who are ignoring restriction rules.
The third step you can take is to make sure you're keeping up with your daily skincare routine but keep it simple. Your skincare routine is your deadliest weapon and best friend when it comes to fighting off maskne. It's still super important to remember to wash your face twice a day with a gentle, cleansing face wash (once in the morning and once in the evening), or even after every time you wear a mask. For some of you that could be more than twice a day if you're an essential worker (we appreciate you), and for others, you might not even have to wash your face once if you're embracing the hermit lyfe.
Bonus points if you can do a clay-based face mask a couple of times a week too, as they are great for clearing out your pores and removing dead skin cells. You really shouldn't have an excuse for this step considering our hemp clay face mask is the real MVP when it comes to banishing breakouts and soothing you and your face.
The fourth step is to look after your skin's natural barrier. Now, this step may sound a bit ambiguous but with the constant rubbing of your face, the outermost layer of your skin (which keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out), can wear itself out and spread itself too thin.
When this happens your skin becomes prone to things like infections, inflammation, flakiness, and redness which can sometimes make their way into your skin, settle down and make it their home. To make sure you don't get to the stage where you have to rudely evict them (which they absolutely deserve by the way), try toning down the active ingredients that you're putting on your face, like rational, and instead use healing, barrier repairing ones such as niacinamide, peptides, and ceramides.
The fifth step is actually a pretty easy one, and that is to rethink your makeup. Like hun, do you really need to put makeup on if your mask is gonna cover the majority of your face anyway?
The answer is, go ahead if you want to but in terms of looking after your skin, setting the foundation bottle and beauty blender back on the bathroom counter is probably the better idea.
When makeup gets trapped in a hot and humid environment (like the one under your face mask), you've basically just bought yourself a one-way ticket to breakoutville via constant clogged pore town. If wearing makeup is a must then make sure you thoroughly remove it before you go to bed each night.
The sixth step is to keep moisturising. Now you might be hesitant to keep putting products onto your face but trust us when we say that they'll only help you and your bid for clear, fresh lookin' skin.
Even though it may seem like putting another layer of stuff on your face will only cause your pores to become more clogged (which is totally not the case), moisturising your skin is super important in helping to regulate your skin's natural oil levels. If you skip this step then your skin might think you're trying to dehydrate it and it will hold onto all of its oil which will take you to acneville on the express train - no stops.
Alternatively, if you don't want to use a moisturiser to make sure your face is nice and hydrated, you can always use a facial oil, like our hemp blemish face oil serum. This oil gets bonus points as it also works to get rid of your blemishes and breakouts making it a must-have if you're trying to combat maskne (which should be everyone).
Facial oils work with your skin, not against it, basically wanting to be its best friend instead of its enemy. The outermost layers of your skin are oil-based, paving for the way for facial oils to do their job.
These layers are primarily full of fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides, all of which can be found in natural oils, meaning that they are full of skin-identical ingredients. Essentially, facial oils are tricking your skin into thinking it produced these oils itself. Your skin then takes these oils and runs with them, spreading healthy nutrients that are both gentle and kind. Oh and super effective.
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