Maskne: How to banish face mask breakouts

face mask breakouts

The pandemic has seen an influx of new words to the 2020 lexicon. Maskne, anyone? The term, used to describe a skin breakout caused by continual mask wearing, is a prime example of our ever-widening beauty vocabulary. So, what exactly triggers maskne and how can we adapt our skincare routines to ward against it?

Maskne is caused by facial pores being blocked by sweat, bacteria, oil, or makeup sitting on the skin beneath your mask. In addition to pore blockages, the constant friction from the fabric may cause irritation or contact dermatitis on your skin. Over time, this will lead to outbreaks of everything from impurities and blemishes, to inflammation and redness. Not ideal.

But don’t fear, here are 5 tips to combat even the most troublesome case of maskne…

Cleanse – Day & night

Preventing a build-up of bacteria on the skin is crucial for banishing maskne breakouts. To keep blemish-causing bacteria at bay, cleanse your face thoroughly in the morning and at night. Pay extra attention to the chin and jawline — two areas that are often problematic for acne sufferers and can be further aggravated by wearing a face mask for prolonged periods of time. You might also like to double cleanse these zones for a deeply cleansing treatment.

Our mild Daily Foaming Cleanser is perfectly formulated with natural ingredients that soothe and protect your skin whilst leaving it beautifully clean. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, the cucumber extract will replenish the skin, whilst helping to calm irritation and reduce redness. Likewise, the addition of aloe vera is ideal for aggravated skin with its anti-inflammatory properties.

Niacinamide – The wonder vitamin

Gentle enough for daily use, niacinamide is an essential vitamin (an active form of B3) with superb skin benefits. Its healing and anti-inflammatory effects reduce the swelling and redness associated with maskne. The niacinamide also regulates the amount of acne-causing sebum being produced by the skin, ensuring it doesn’t kick into overdrive. In addition, this wonder vitamin can help to fade hyperpigmentation — the red, purple, and brown marks that impurities can leave on the skin.

Our Niacinamide Lifting Mist is an easy way to introduce this vitamin to your daily beauty routine — just spritz the product all over your face as a primer before applying makeup. It not only keeps the skin moisturized, but it visibly improves the texture and appearance of pores. Meanwhile, the addition of hyaluronic acid works as a magnet for moisture to hydrate, plump and diminish fine lines.

exfoliate products

Exfoliate – Unclog those pores

Exfoliating is one of the most effective ways to decongest pores, break down dead cells, and remove any bacteria locked inside the skin. But it’s important to distinguish between the two types of exfoliators: physical and chemical. Where physical exfoliation manually buffs away a layer of the skin using micro-grains, chemical exfoliation deploys chemicals (typically acids) to remove dead skin cells. When dealing with maskne, only use chemical exfoliators that won’t lead to more inflammation or worsen acne scarring.

Once a week, apply our Intense Peel Mask. It contains lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids to thoroughly exfoliate your complexion and trigger the production of new skin cells. The collagen-boosting formula relies on natural and gentle exfoliaters to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells — leaving the skin beautifully clean and radiant. The addition of willow bark extract also helps to clear pores while toning and tightening the skin.

Serum – Salicylic acid & zinc

Serums are formulated with a powerful concentration of active ingredients that can penetrate deep into the skin layers. For maskne, always choose a lightweight serum which is more likely to absorb oil, mattify the skin, and treat those pesky breakouts. Choose carefully here — because heavy serums will leave the skin feeling oily and greasy.

Our Pore Minimizing Serum is ideal for breakout-prone skin with its unique combination of zinc PCA and salicylic acid. The salicylic acid reaches deep into the skin to effectively unclog pores and leave them visibly reduced. At the same time, the anti-microbial zinc PCA alleviates redness, calms irritation, and helps to regulate the excess sebum production responsible for oily skin. The result is enviably smooth and supple skin that feels reinvigorated.

Moisturize – A protective barrier

It may seem counterintuitive if you have oily skin, but don’t skip on the moisturizing! Missing this vital step will leave rough, dry, and red patches around your breakouts. The constant rubbing of the face mask against the skin also causes micro-tears — which allow for bacteria and dirt to enter the pores and clog them up. A lightweight moisturizer is therefore non-negotiable. Not only will it create a protective skin barrier, but it will also minimize fabric chafing. 

Our lightweight Daily Mineral Gel is designed to deliver instant and intense hydration, without a greasy aftermath. Its formula of hyaluronic acid and skin-boosting sea buckthorn — which is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and omegas 3, 6, 9 and 7 — will keep the skin’s barrier intact and reduce the inflammation caused by maskne.