‘Maskne’ is very common at the moment as so many of us are wearing masks for long stretches of time, especially healthcare workers and those working in the service industries. Maskne is another form of acne mechanica, caused by the combination of rubbing from the mask, which causes local pressure on the sebaceous ducts and irritates the skin barrier, as well as the warm, moist micro-environment under the mask, which dilates the pores, increases oil production and causes clogging of the ducts with bacteria and oil. This causes inflammation of the sebaceous glands, which causes acne breakouts.
To prevent Maskne, we suggest the following tips:
1. Don’t reuse disposable masks as they harbour bacteria, dirt, oil and makeup. For reusable masks, look for lightweight fabrics that don’t create as much friction against your skin, like cotton, silk or satin. Rotate them frequently and wash them daily.
2. Before wearing your mask, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, apply an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturiser, ideally with hyaluronic acid and ceramides to protect the skin barrier, and avoid wearing makeup under the mask if you can.
3. After taking off your mask, we recommend a double cleanse. This will also ensure if prescription products such as topical antibiotics/retinoids which are to be applied afterwards will penetrate the skin more readily. Cleansing with a gentle cream-based cleanser allows a deeper cleanse of the pores. For those will oily skin, using a
cleanser containing salicylic acid can help to remove oily residue, debris and build up of skin cells.
4. Apply a topical retinoid sparingly to keep your pores clean and tight, and use an oil-free moisturiser to hydrate and restore the skin barrier.
5. Using a balancing acid-based mask - such as @biologique_recherche_ireland Masque Vivant - 2-3 times a week can help reduce breakouts while improving skin texture.
If you would like to book a skincare consultation please do get in touch with us on (01) 912 3030