Acne and the Mask (aka: ‘Maskne’)

Lately, our checklist of items to take with us upon leaving the house has grown…

Keys…check. Cell phone…check. Wallet…check. Mask? Yes, check that too.

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Due to the recent mandate from Governor Polis requiring mask wearing in public spaces until the middle of September (at the earliest), we want to make sure you know how to properly protect the area of your face that is being covered. Masks aren’t the easiest on your skin, so if your skin is a wreck lately, we’re here to tell you why.

When you experience breakouts due to wearing your mask, you’re experiencing mask acne or “maskne” as it is popularly termed.

So, what causes Maskne?

Three things:

  • Friction: the fabric of the actual mask against our skin
  • Moisture/humid environment: we breathe and talk under our masks which causes them to hold hot air – this small area becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast and other flora.
  • Trapped dirt: mixed with the above, our pores get clogged under this small area; and our skin can flare-up with acne or rosacea

So you’ve got Maskne – how do you treat it?

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Cleanse your skin twice a day: if you’re able to wash your face right before and right after wearing your mask for prolonged periods of time, we recommend it. For intermittent mask wearing, we suggest you never skip the cleansing step in your routine both morning and night. Now more than ever, it’s important.
  • Use or introduce products with ingredients like:
    • Retinoids
    • Salicylic Acid
    • Benzoyl Peroxide

(Note: please don’t go out and buy random products that will strip your face of all good oils, contain too high of strengths of any one of these above ingredients, and cause more harm than good. If you need a product recommendation from our experts, our certified aestheticians would love to meet you. We offer consultations for FREE at both our Denver and Greenwood Village locations. We’ll perform a Visia consultation and we promise you will love learning about your skin. Ok…back to it…)

  • Soothe your skin: if you’re prone to breakouts, we know your skin may get angry with you; especially if it’s not used to being covered. A soothing moisturizer (notice we didn’t say heavy) will prevent irritation and redness; and we usually recommend it’s lightly applied after your skin care routine morning and night.
  • Seek treatment: visit your favorite medical spa for a HydraFacial treatment. The HydraFacial treatment is a result driven treatment that combats acne. It cleans (via vacuum like suction) and exfoliates the skin leaving it hydrated, toned and supple. Check out our special below – we can guarantee this almost never happens on the extremely popular HydraFacial treatment!
    • There are other options for acne flare-ups too: depending on your needs, your aesthetician may suggest treatments like spot treating with a chemical peel (glycolic), or Blue LED light therapy.
 

TREATMENT SPECIAL WHILE THE MASKS STAY ON:

Special

 

Don’t have Maskne, and don’t want it? Here’s how you can avoid it…

 

  • WASH YOUR FACE: just like a morning and nighttime routine, we suggest you thoroughly cleanse your skin before and after wearing a mask to prevent oil buildup.
  • REVISIT YOUR SKIN CARE ROUTINE: using the right skin care products can help combat those pesky breakouts and keep acne at bay. It’s important you’re using the right products for your skin (schedule a consultation with one of our certified aestheticians!).
  • ALWAYS WEAR A CLEAN, BREATHABLE MASK…. THAT FITS: choosing the right mask for your skin is just as important as wearing the mask. Disposable paper masks are usually our first choice because each time you wear a new one, you aren’t coming in contact with residual oil or dirt from a previous wear. If you are opting for a cloth mask or a reusable one, cotton is our top choice because it’s breathable and won’t rub on the face as much. We recommend that you sanitize it and clean it after each wear. We also recommend it isn’t too tight, but it also doesn’t move around too much causing too much friction on the skin (you need to find that “juuuuust right” fit – we promise you’ll know when you wear it).
  • SKIP THE MAKEUP if possible. When you wear a mask, no one can see your lower face, but they can see your eyes. Switch the focus for makeup on the eyes during this time and skip heavier products like foundation/concealer/ etc. and let your skin breathe. Never skip SPF, though! For big makeup wearers, that should make your morning routine a little shorter.

 

If you have any questions that you feel only a skin care professional can answer, please get in touch! We’re linking our contact us form, so you can ask us anything. Thanks for letting us unmask maskne with you.

 

The Beauty Room posts new content every Thursday.

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