Is there a question that is more relevant than this right now? If you've noticed acne sprouting up around your mouth and jawline due to wearing a face mask (aka "maskne") you are not alone. It's real, it's annoying, and I have it too, as I am typing this paragraph. None of us are exempt!
If you feel like you've time warped back to your teens, first of all, same. Second of all, just like in our pimply youth, there are ways to manage and treat our inflamed little faces. And thankfully we are older, wiser, and have bigger budgets to work with!
1. Choose your mask wisely: Disposable masks are super convenient but are terrible for the environment and are lined with plastic that retain so much moisture and humidity. To put it bluntly, it is a breeding ground for bacteria. Opt for a breathable material like cotton and wash your mask daily. No need to throw it in the washing machine. Swish it around in some warm water and detergent and hang it to dry overnight.
2. Only wear a mask when you have to: Minimizing the amount of time your face is covered is key. Driving in the car? Take off your mask. Have a couple minutes of downtime and you can safely remove your mask? Let your skin breathe.
3. Skip the makeup: A face of foundation + a bunch of trapped hot air + damp mask = bacteria central. I always notice a flare up in my mask if I've worn makeup underneath my mask. It is so tempting to apply makeup, especially when you have breakouts that you want to conceal but if you want to heal your skin, minimize the use of face makeup.
4. Wash your face at least twice a day & exfoliate: If you're not routinely washing your face twice a day, YOU NEED TO. And if you can sneak in a quick face wipe down midday - even better. It's also time to start manually exfoliating once per week. Don't run out and buy the apricot scrub! Rather, just gently exfoliate your face with a damp wash cloth to loosen up any dead skin so that you can treat your acne with some good skincare.
5. Add an acid or retinoid to your skincare regime: Skincare containing either salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or retinol help fight acne and fade hyperpigmentation. This step is the game changer. *Quick cheat sheet: Salicylic acid penetrates the pores to reduce sebum and fade discoloration. Glycolic acid: Improves the appearance of acne marks and spots and exfoliates the surface of the skin, which gives you a glow and protects your skin from clogged pores. Retinol (a specific type of retinoid) promotes skin cell turnover, preventing clogged pores. It also has wonderful anti-aging benefits and fades hyperpigmentation and discoloration from past breakouts.
Listen, you're maskne won't be cured overnight and it may be something you struggle with until we can safely uncover our faces in public again. BUT I guarantee that these tips will help you manage and treat your acne and make your breakouts less frequent. As always, I hope you learned something new today and walk away feeling more confident and informed.
Thank you so much for reading and keep an eye out for a new FAQ Friday next week! XO,
Rachel (Face mask handmade by Erin Manion (@_twobrushes_).)