For a lot of people wearing a mask has become the “new normal” and, if the regulations of your location or workplace have called for regular mask wearing – you might be suffering from a side effect dermatologists have coined ‘maskne’.
Well, what is ‘maskne’?
Simply put, it’s what people are calling acne that’s caused by your face mask. Namely, the extra heat and friction caused by the mask as it rubs against your skin and traps the air. When the external factors like heat and friction are present, this can cause the pores in your skin to open up. This makes it easier for bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells to collect in the pores and clog them. This blockage causes the tiny hair follicles (that exist in every pore of your body) to become irritated and inflamed, which ends up forming pimples.
Traditionally, this condition is called Acne Mechanica and used to mostly effect athletes wearing bulky strapping or padding on their skin. It can also occur under backpacks, handbag straps, helmets or anything that rubs continually against your body.
However, in the age of Covid-19 and heavy mask wearing, it’s becoming more and more common, and also more distressing as it is now something that’s happening on our faces.
So, what we can do to stop it?
It’s always best to stop something before it starts so lets first discuss some preventative measures we can take to reduce our chances of getting ‘maskne’ to begin with:
1. Reduce the introduction of bacteria into your pores by washing your mask often. If it’s a disposable mask then make sure you are replacing it regularly. Think about the kind of mask you are wearing and how it feels against your skin; as with any fabric that’s against your body, it is best practice to choose a natural fabric like cotton. This will mean there is more natural air flow and it will be less likely to irritate your skin. Reusable masks are more likely to be kinder on your skin, more comfortable and of course better for the environment too.
2. Create a healthy barrier between your skin and mask. Use Protecting Skin Defend Mist to create a light defensive shield and to support your skin’s natural defences against pollution and environmental stressors. It contains a natural gum called Xanthum Gum which forms an invisible barrier of protection on the skin.
3. Reduce the build-up and clogging of your pores by exfoliating regularly. We lose 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells off our body every minute of the day so exfoliation is key to reducing the clogging of our pores with these dead skin cells. Shop our exfoliating creams.
How do I get rid of it?
1. Cleanse your skin morning and night to get rid of any build-up of sebum and bacteria. Our Energising Gel Cleanser is formulated with thyme essential oil which has powerful antibacterial properties to heal and reduce acne.
2. Detoxify your skin with our Revitalising Face Mask. This clay mask refreshes and revives your skin while effectively giving your skin a deep cleanse. Use this mask to remove impurities while leaving your skin soft, hydrated and glowing.
Start implementing these tips now for effective treatment and prevention of ‘maskne’.
- by Katrina Smeaton, Marketing Assistant at The Herb Farm