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How to Manage Maskne

Posted on 24 September, 2020

We love a conjoined word ever since the days when J-Lo hooked up with Ben Affleck to create ‘Bennifer’. So what is Mask-ne? Maskne refers to the growing incidence of those people who are experiencing breakouts, oiliness and redness as a direct result of wearing masks. Unfortunately masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future and these kind of effects likely to get worse as we head into the winter. So let’s take a quick look at why they cause  problems & what (if anything) you can do about it.   There are four main issues related to wearing masks: Hygiene Friction Lack of daylight Material of mask   Hygiene Wearing a mask still feels as alien to us as it ever has. We need to wear them in some environments and not others. This leads to our masks being taken on and off frequently throughout the day. When it’s not on sometimes it can be found hanging off a wrist, sometimes stuffed in a pocket, sometimes at the bottom of a bag. That in addition to frequent touching results in a contaminated article being strapped to our faces. Bacteria homed here can easily spread to our skin and start to cause mischief.   What can you do? Try to have a dedicated bag you place your mask in when not wearing – however this bag will also require frequent and regular cleaning. Try to only touch the mask at the back where it ties or loops over your head or ears. Ensure your mask is hot washed daily. If disposable, it should be binned at the end of each day.     Friction Friction simply refers to the gently brushing against your skin of the mask. You may be surprised to learn that something so soft can cause friction, but friction occurs with any surface moving over another. A problem because friction triggers oil production, triggers breakouts.   What can you do? Take your mask off at suitable times and avoid wearing for long periods – where possible.   Lack of daylight Living in the UK means that we experience very little daylight as it is. Now that we are covering our faces, we reduce this exposure even further. This can have a detrimental effect on skin health.   What can you do? Take your mask off at suitable times and avoid wearing for long periods – where possible.   Material of mask Now that we know we have many months ahead of mask wearing, we should all be moving towards reusable masks. But what type of mask should you choose? We are told the most effective masks in the fight against COVID 19 are tightly woven fabric masks.   What can you do?  In addition to this, for skin health, opt for natural fibres such as double layered cotton as opposed to man made fibres – much more likely to be a source of irritation in the skin causing redness and oiliness.     Finally as always if you are experiencing problems opt for medical grade skincare. The pH formula AC kit is an easy to use & very well tolerated skin regime, comprising of Cleanser (use am & pm with tepid water for 1 full minute) Day Cream Night Cream Hydrater   Have a spot cream at the ready for when you feel an intruder starting to surface. These applications always work best when used at the first signs of a spot. Again – my personal ‘go-to’ is Ph formula Spot On. Get in touch to order your skincare now! Revisit your lifestyle habits and see which can be improved: Reduce intake of processed foods Increase water intake Get regular exercise Schedule in some kind of social activities even if via zoom Limit alcohol intake to a few units on just 2 nights of the week Try to stop or cut down on smoking If all else fails & your skin is getting you down – please book a video call!