With COVID-19, wearing a mask in public is the new normal. While we know masks help reduce the spread of COVID, it may irritate the skin. Consequently, the new trendy term ‘maskne’, meaning ‘mask’ plus ‘acne’, is going viral. Here are a few important things to learn about the new skincare phenomenon.
What causes maskne?
As we breathe and talk through the mask, warm air is trapped in the confined space between the mask and the nose and chin area. The environment underneath the mask has its own microclimate; the area becomes damp and moist, creating the perfect level of humidity for different types of bacteria and yeast to thrive. It further breaks down the outermost layer of protective oils and fats that holds cells together and protects bacteria from penetrating. Friction can also exacerbate inflammation and irritation by chafing or actual pressure on the skin. Combined, these evoke a plethora of skin problems, such as clogged pores, rosacea flare-ups, irritation, and acne.
How to prevent maskne?
Beauty world does not stand still. As expected, there are new mask-friendly beauty and skin-care products and regimens that can help keep the skin acne-free, healthy and glowing. First and foremost, it is important to note that it is important to change single use masks once they are wet or saturated. If you use material made masks, switching them regularly and washing them before every use is key to prevent dirt and debris lingering on the mask fabric. It might also be worth considering opting for a powder foundation instead of a liquid formula or, ideally, avoiding make up at all around the masked area. Alternatively, shift all the make-up focus to brows, eyes and lashes.
For the health of the skin, wash the skin twice daily with a cleanser to keep skin clean and pores refined. Gentle cleansers can be beneficial but using cleansers with beta hydroxy acids, like Salicylaic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids can help reduce the build-up of debris and excess oil which can accelerate bacteria growth. We recommend MZ Skin Cleanse & Clarify Dual Action AHA Cleanser and Mask, a multi-functional cleanser and mask with a with a blend of low level AHAs to remove dead skin cells and boost cell renewal without being abrasive. Massage it onto the face using 100% natural Red Clay Konjac Sponge for extra-gentle exfoliation.
Another essential step to prevent bacterial penetration into the skin’s surface is ensuring a full-day protection against environmental influences. Enhance skin’s protective barrier with a hydrating, light moisturising serum or cream in the day while using a richer cream or mask in the even to help restore the skins natural balance. Rich in Ceramide 3, MZ Skin Replenish & Restore Placenta & Stem Cell Night Mask aims to fight free radicals and boost skin’s renewal process while deeply hydrating the skin. In addition, it acts overnight to prepare the skin for a full day in mask. In addition, calming sheet masks is an ultimate post-mask treat to the skin. We recommend MZ Skin Vitamin-Infused Mask that encapsulates a combination of soothing antioxidants and brighteners such as Aloe Leaf, Liquorice Extract, and Vitamin C to reduce inflammation and improve skin texture.
How to treat maskne?
There are common daily ways to treat acne and inflammation, such as salicylic acid toner and spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide. For a heavier cleanse, weekly exfoliation tends to work down deep to reduce breakouts, smooth skin texture and promotes overall radiance and luminosity. A refining night ritual mask works extremely well to regenerate skin overnight, resulting in a clear and bright complexion. We suggest MZ Skin Radiance & Renewal Exfoliating Clarity Mask, which contains 10% concentrate fruit acid complex to stimulate cell turnover, eliminate pigmented cells, and refine pores. Follow with Vitamin-Infused Facial Treatment Mask to soothe the skin after the mask treatment.