One of the most annoying side effects of the pandemic has been maskne. Maskne is a term that describes the acne that pops up under your mask after a full day’s use. Wearing a mask all day increases heat and friction on the skin – which is essentially a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause the skin to break out and become extremely dry and damaged. Like treating all skin conditions, everybody needs a custom routine to treat and prevent maskne. However, there are 5 common things anyone can do to keep maskne at bay.
Wash your Mask After Every Use!
Gently wash your mask after every single use. I suggest you either use a facial wash that you know your skin loves or a clothing wash that is for sensitive skin. (Avoid products with fragrance! They can irritate your skin further.) Cloth masks trap bacteria from the day in their fibers. If you don’t cleanse your mask after every use, you will be introducing yesterday’s pore clogging bacteria directly onto your skin the next day.
Hydrate and Moisturize your Skin
Hydrating and moisturizing are two different things. Healthy skin, despite your skin type, needs both. To hydrate your skin means adding water to your skin cells to improve your cells’ water content. Common hydrating ingredients for the skin are hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
Moisturizing your skin aids your skin in preventing trans-epidural water loss, better known as TEWL. This is when your skin loses water throughout the day and causes the skin to look flakey and dry. Your skin uses occlusive ingredients in your moisturizer to keep water in your skin and harmful bacteria, toxins, and pollutants out. Popular occlusives include olive and jojoba oil.
Your skin needs both to maintain a healthy moisture barrier. Your skin’s moisture barrier is your skin’s gatekeeper. It helps keep moisture and hydration locked into your skin so it can perform its best. Your moisture barrier also acts as a bodyguard and keeps harmful agents in the world out of your skin. Keeping your moisture barrier healthy is key to minimizing the appearance of pores, keeping wrinkles at bay, avoiding maskne, and decreasing skin sensitivity.
Wash your Face Twice a Day
Washing your skin twice a day keeps your skin at peak performance. When you wash your face in the morning, your routine should be tailored to protecting your skin. Ingredients such as vitamin-c help the skin’s ability to fight off harmful bacteria throughout the day. However, the most important thing you can do for your skin in the morning is to wear a sunscreen that has at least an SPF of 30. SPF protects your skin from sun rays that can cause harmful damage to the skin.
At night, your routine should focus on repairing your body’s largest organ. Your body repairs itself while you sleep, and this includes your skin. Ingredients such as retinol, AHA’s, and BHA’s should be used at night to help your skin with its renewal process.
ONLY Exfoliate 2-3 Times a Week
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. This helps keep your skin healthy and bright. Consistent exfoliation also helps improve the effectiveness of your products and increase collage production – a major key in glowing and vibrant skin. Unfortunately, it’s extremely easy to over-exfoliate. Your skin only needs to be exfoliated 2-3 times a week. Over-exfoliation will harm your skin and increase your maskne.
Spot Treat Only When Necessary
Spot treatments can be extremely effective in getting rid of a problem pimple fast. They also can be harmful to the overall health of your skin when inappropriately used. Spot treatments are typically done through the application of a product with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide directly on a pimple. Spot treatments are most effective when they are formulated with ingredients that also soothe the skin, such as aloe vera or green tea. Be overly cautious about not damaging your skin’s moisture barrier as you use spot treatments. Damage in your moisture barrier will disrupt your skin’s healing process and extend the negative affects maskne can cause the ski
Treating maskne requires being diligent in protecting and increasing the function of your skin’s moisture barrier. Wash your mask every night so your skin doesn’t have to fight against this piece of essential equipment.