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June 26, 2020
Oh, the dreaded “Maskne” breakouts caused by wearing a face mask for extended periods of time. If you have been experiencing increased breakouts in the areas that your mask covers (cheeks, jaw and nose) you are not alone. I’m here to extend some information and suggestions that you may find helpful in preventing and reducing the symptoms of Maskne. A huge thank you to everyone wearing a mask to keep others safe and to all of the essential workers out there. Thank you so much for your hard work and sacrifices to keep everyone healthy, it is greatly appreciated!
Why does “Maskne” happen?
Maskne happens due to a perfect storm of friction, humidity and occlusion that creates a breeding ground for acne bacteria. When you add the additional stress breakouts from Covid related anxiety and long work hours it can be really hard on your skin. Friction from mask wearing causes irritation and inflammation and disrupts your skins natural barrier (which is your best protection from bacteria entering your skin), then, the humidity from your breath is trapped inside the mask creating the moist, dark environment that bacteria thrive in. If you also suffer from hormone related breakouts, they become a lot more difficult to control as the environment inside the mask helps bacteria to grow and spread to your surrounding pores.
How can I prevent it?
Tip #1: Encourage a stronger skin barrier by using protective moisturizer before donning your mask each day. Moisturizers containing Ceramides, Cholesterol and Fatty Acids mimic your skins natural barrier. If you think of your skin cells as “bricks” your moisture barrier is the “mortar” between them. Using products daily that contain these ingredients can help to restore and strengthen this barrier making it more difficult for bacteria to enter.
Tip #2: Cleanse your skin after removing your mask at the end of the workday. Don’t over-cleanse (more than twice per day) as this can further disrupt your moisture barrier. Avoid using stripping cleansers and harsh exfoliants as this can also upset your skin barrier. Ingredients to stay away from in your cleansers are any drying alcohols, sulfates and nut or seed shells.
Tip #3: Spot treat with a product that helps to clear pores, reduce inflammation, and reduce acne bacteria. Be sure to use a professionally formulated product as using undiluted essential oils can be too strong for your skin.
Tip #4: If you have a tight-fitting mask you can wear silicone strips on the areas that rub or create pressure to help prevent irritation.
Tip #5: Using a gentle clay mask a couple of times per week helps draw out bacteria, excess sebum and toxins that are hiding deep in your skin. With regular use this helps keep your skin clearer and calmer. Just be sure to always follow up with a Ceramide Moisturizer the keep that barrier strong!
Tip #6: Choose a mask made with a natural, breathable material such as Cotton, Bamboo or Silk. Make sure to always wash your mask between uses or, if using disposable masks, try to use a fresh one each time if possible. Wash your mask with hot water and a gentle, fragrance-free detergent after each use. Natural detergents formulated for use on delicate clothing and undergarments work best.
Tip #7: Indulge in a little self-care to help reduce stress. This doesn’t have to be an hour-long candlelit bath (not everyone has that kind of time). It can be reading your favorite book before bed, going for a walk, remembering to stop and take a few deep breaths when things get hectic, spending some time in your garden or watching a favorite TV show. Whatever self-care looks like for you, it is a great way to balance your mood, which goes a long way to keeping your skin happy and healthy.
If you have chemical sensitivities or prefer natural skin care we suggest FREEDOM or COMFORT FACE POTION to cleanse and moisturize. Our Ceramide Collection has been formulated especially to strengthen your moisture barrier.
BIBBIDI SPOTIBI BOO PORE CLEARING SERUM to reduce redness and bacteria related to Maskne.
Our PURIFICATION and NOURISHMENT Alchemy Masks are both deep cleansing and soothing without drying out your skin.
How have you been handling Maskne? Let us know in the comments.
Sylvan & Joy
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