It’s now compulsory to wear a face covering in shops, on public transport, and in many other indoor settings to prevent the spread of coronavirus. While some are taking this new rule in their stride and enjoying their new-found privacy on the train in the morning (don’t look @ me), others are battling a pandemic of their very own; maskne. Suddenly people who have never before struggled with acne-prone skin are fighting to keep the blemishes at bay, and experts believe masks are the culprit. And it’s not just acne: people are also seeing an increase in irritation, rosacea, redness and other skin issues. So, while you can’t get rid of your mask – doing so could land you with a fine of up to £100 – there are things you can do to try and beat the maskne. We’re here to explain why this is happening to so many of us - and, more importantly, how we can get it under control.
What causes ‘maskne’?
Additionally, Dr Adil Sheraz, consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British skin foundation explains that “the act of constantly adjusting and touching the mask - and thus, touching your face - will transfer oil, dirt and irritants to the skin”. Combine this with increased moisture from breathing and summer-sweating, and you have a breeding ground for bacteria and the perfect recipe for skin disaster, which Dr Sheraz explains can “lead to blockage of the follicular openings…and cause outbreaks of spots and acne”.
What can we do to stop it?
- Type of mask.
To avoid constant touching and adjusting, Dr Sheraz suggests investing in a well-fitting, multiple-layered mask made of a breathable material, such as silk. Silk is a naturally anti-bacterial material which is ideal for sensitive, acne-prone skin.
We understand that silk is usually considered a more expensive, luxury material that few can afford. However, at TBS we’re all about affordable luxury, so you can snap up one of our high-quality, super breathable silk masks for just £14. As featured on This Morning, our double-layered silk masks have an adjustable nose clip and adjustable ear straps so that you can customise the fit and feel to suit you. Available in 3 colours, there is a style to suit everyone and every outfit.
- Wash your mask.
We know by now that we need to wash our hands more regularly than usual, but did you know that you should being washing your mask every time you wear it too? Otherwise, all that dirt, oil, pollution, sweat, dead skin, bacteria and makeup will build up and transfer onto your face every time you put your mask on – grim, right?
If you’ve invested in one of our reusable silk masks, we recommend handwashing with silk detergent at a maximum temperature of 30 degrees. It literally takes less than five minutes and is so worth it for the fresh fragrance and the knowledge that your mask is free from all that build up from the day before! Silk is also fast-drying so you can wash your mask the evening before and rest easy knowing that your mask will be dry the following morning.
- Avoid wearing makeup under your mask
Remember being shouted at by your parents for ‘wearing all that makeup – it’s going to clog your pores’? - well, we’re sorry to be a Debbie Downer but this is definitely true whilst wearing a face mask. We know this one won’t always be possible – no one wants to turn up to bottomless brunch with half a face of makeup - but if you’re just popping to Starbucks for a caramel latte, maybe ditch the foundation under your mask.
- Skincare, skincare, skincare
It’s no secret that a well-constructed and consistent skincare routine is one of the key components of successful acne prevention and treatment, and the same goes for maskne. We believe there are three valuable changes you can make to your routine (if you haven’t already) to tackle maskne head on:
- If you’re not already double cleansing, we’d recommend starting right away. Going in with a cleansing micellar water, balm or oil before your usual foaming cleanser is a great way to remove any makeup, dirt or SPF before the deep cleanse begins. We love the Emma Hardie Moringa Balm followed by the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser for this job – both are super gentle but will leave you feeling squeaky clean.
New line here
- Add an antioxidant such as Vitamin C into your routine – this will help prevent the damaging effects of pollution which gets trapped in your mask. Oskia’s Vitamin C capsules are a great option – the capsule packaging means your light- and air-sensitive Vitamin C serum won’t deteriorate before you get a chance to use it.
- Make your sleeping surface as clean as possible to ensure that your skin is having a fab time when it’s not in a mask. Our mulberry silk pillowcases provide a cooling, anti-bacterial surface which won’t absorb your skincare products and will allow your skin to breathe and heal overnight. Moisture is key for the health and recovery of all skin types – even oily skin – and silk will not dehydrate the skin like regular, cotton pillowcases. We believe that our silk pillowcases are beauty’s best kept secret and really do provide maximum results for minimum effort (and £££ – remember what we said about affordable luxury?).
COVID-19 has made 2020 a crazy year for all of us, and mask-induced acne is the last thing we need, so we hope our top maskne tips will help you combat this frankly irritating phenomenon.
Need to upgrade your face mask game? Shop our pure silk face coverings here.