We have had a year to make peace with our mandatory accessory – the mask. And just as we get used to it, comes another scorching summer. Combine the two and our faces are hotbeds for maskne.
Maskne is a term used to describe the acne that forms in the areas covered by your mask when wearing it for long periods of time – mouth, cheeks, nose, and chin. Technical term: “acne mechanica”.
The masks hold your breath, making the areas below moist and damp. This in turn reproduces bacterial growth which can lead to acne. Add to that the summer heat and sweat, which only clogs the pores. In addition, the friction caused by the tissue on the surface of your skin irritates it and exacerbates acne.
At this point, it’s safe to say we’ve all had a few or a handful of these around our mouths. After enduring the summer of 2020, we would like to believe that we are better equipped to face 2021 head-on.
8 ways to keep Maskne away:
1. Find the right mask
The right match is not too difficult to find. Make sure your mask fits well – too loose or too tight and it will cause skin irritation and friction. Find one that sits comfortably without causing discomfort. Second, wear masks made from natural fabrics. This is especially important if you live in a hot and humid climate like ours. Cotton is a great choice – it’s breathable, skin-friendly, and easily washable. Avoid synthetic fabrics that cause sweating.
2. Wash your mask often
Wash your mask frequently to remove dirt, sweat, grime, and oil that collects on it throughout the day. Use an antibacterial detergent that will kill germs but is gentle on your skin. Follow this by mask air drying and you are good to go.
Also Read: How face masks work?
3. Use a gentle cleanser for your face
Whether or not you are ordered to stay home, stick to your regular twice-daily facial wash schedule. Use a gentle, deep pore cleanser that will keep your pores clean and tight to prevent breakouts. It will also remove any germs that harbor your facial hair, and if you already suffer from pimples, it will help treat existing blemishes.
Try Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Cleanser – this gentle yet powerful salicylic acid cleanser helps get rid of acne and prevents future breakouts by unclogging pores and dissolving dead skin cells.
4. Exfoliate often
If you haven’t already, introduce a chemical exfoliant into your rotation, stat. Exfoliators containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid unclog your pores by removing the dead skin cells that accumulate there. This results in reduction of fine lines and clear, luminous skin – win win. Use the Sunday Riley Good Genes with Lactic Acid – this deeply cleanses the pores by removing excess oil and dirt with the help of lactic acid. It also exfoliates dull and pore-clogging dead cells to instantly clear your skin.
5. Choose a moisturizer
The moisturizer acts as an invisible shield between your skin and your mask to reduce friction – so apply a strong one. Moisturizers also help maintain your skin’s barrier functions – they lock in moisture and act as a shield against external stressors. This will reduce skin irritation and potential breakouts. Stick with a light and hydrating formula, optionally one with hyaluronic acid, for a boost of hydration. Avoid using thicker consistencies which will clog your pores. The new Clinique Moisture Surge 100H has our attention – the lightweight, oil-free gel formula is powered by organic aloe ferment and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated, plumped, glowing and strong.
6. Spot treatment
For those of you dealing with existing rashes, an overnight solution can help dry out surface blemishes. The effective, fast-acting spot treatment is formulated with Salicylic Acid, Zinc Oxide, Sulfur and Calamine to trap skin impurities and target annoying pimples while you sleep beautifully. Having recently made a foray into the Indian market, you now have easy access to this OG hero product.
7. Acne patches
For those rashes that appear overnight, just before that important Zoom call, use pimple patches to effectively zap them. Go for KILLA from ZitSticka which will help you solve your skin problems, one zit at a time. Each patch features 24 micro-darts that automatically dissolve when applied, depositing hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, and niacinamide into your skin. These help visibly reduce zit within hours. Brownie emphasizes the fact that they are clear and can be worn under your mask all day long.
8. Use moisturizing masks every week
Once a week, use the other type of face mask – the ones we used before the rona shot. We recommend Pixi Glow Glycolic Acid. Pixi’s Glow Tonic is iconic, and that basically sums up the goodness of that, but in foil form. It brightens your skin instantly and has a moisturizing effect on it. For a cooling effect, put yours in the fridge.