SCIENCE UNFILTERED: HOW TO AVOID MASKNE
Find out how you can avoid those face skin problems with Lancôme and these simple tips and tricks!
It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago, the experience of wearing a mask most of the day was known perhaps only to various healthcare professionals. Now, we’ve all had to come to terms with masking up in daily life… As a result, many of us have found our skin struggling to cope, presented with problems we may not have seen since adolescence, such as acne. The coupling of this cause and complexion complication has come to be coined as maskne.
These days, our inboxes are filled with inquiries about maskne. It’s normal that you’ve got questions, and we’re happy to say we’ve got answers. We asked our International Scientific Director at Lancôme, Annie Black, to share some unfiltered science so we can breakdown these breakouts and provide some maskne tips.
What is maskne?
Maskne has come to be the popular term to define the sudden or increased appearance of breakouts brought on by frequent and long term mask wearing. These are side effects of wearing a mask. While pimples are among the most predominant problem, this may include other unsightly or uncomfortable complexion woes like rash, skin redness, dryness, flaking, or congested pores.
Why I am getting breakouts after mask wearing? Prolonged pressure or friction on skin in any part of the body can break down the skin barrier and cause rashes and spots. Scientists even have a name for it: Acne mechanica. Tight clothing, straps or equipment are frequently the cause and its seen in many people, from athletes to truck drivers as well as healthcare workers who wear masks. But the biggest issue for most is the high temperature, high humidity environment created underneath the mask. These conditions are known to trigger acne flares, even if you haven’t had acne since teenage years. For every 1° rise in temperature, there is a 10% rise in the production of sebum. It’s make-up changes too and it gets mixed with sweat and bacteria. And because the skin surface is so hydrated, pores become blocked as well.
What can I do to avoid face skin problems caused by the mask? Just as important as what to do, is what not to do. Resist the temptation to scrub your face, and don’t zap it hourly with spot cream like you did when you were a teenager. Also, skip any harsh peels. None of these will help. If you are breaking out from masks, the best thing to do is avoid the build up of unwanted bacterias with good masking habits. First, make sure your skin is clean when you put your mask on. Alternate the masks you wear and adjust their straps or ties so that they fit well. Change your mask regularly if it’s disposable. If it’s fabric, wash it daily in hot soapy water. Lastly, wash towels and face cloths on your hottest wash cycle to rid of bacteria build up.
While now may be a truly exceptional time, the truth is life is always presenting new challenges for skin —changing seasons, aging, moving to new climates, the presence of pollution— it’s up to us to adapt our skincare accordingly to give our complexion the helping hand it needs in overcoming these challenges, and how to prevent maskne, to look and feel great. So be sure to…
Revisit Your Routine — If you’re struggling with maskne, follow the gentlest possible skincare regime. When you take your mask off, wash with a mild foaming wash and lukewarm water, never hot. Gently pat dry skin so as to avoid further irritation. Apply a moisturizer that won’t clog your pores, and try to wash your face no more than twice in a day. When it comes to wearing your mask, if there are still pressure points after adjusting it, put a protective non pore clogging barrier cream on them before you put on your mask.
Choose the Right Products — Selecting the right products is crucial to traversing these challenging new times for our complexion. That includes both, a good skin care routine and makeup. When it comes to skincare, creams and serums that help support skin’s barrier function are great allies, while makeup products that resist mask wearing will avoid unnecessary touch ups and keep you looking great. Check out a few of our choices to get your through these challenging skin times…
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