Maskne- The curse of 2020

Young woman wering mask. Home office

We are all contending with a range of issues with skincare due to the additional use of masks and sanitisers. One of the buzzwords you may have seen popping up on feeds is Maskne. This is essentially pockets of acne like pimples or blemishes which pop up where your mask typically covers.

The technical term for maskne is ‘acne mechanica,’ and it is the result of the mechanical friction of fabric against the skin

That friction can lead to inflammation and irritation of the skin that impacts the pores, contributing to acne. This can be exacerbated by moisture getting caught in the mask from humidity and sweating — two things we deal with on a daily basis in the summer.

One of the first steps in preventing maskne is choosing the right face masks. The experts all agree that you should stick with lightweight cotton or silk, both of which are gentler on the skin and create less friction than synthetics.

What you might not know is that you still need to use SPF and prevent pigmentation at the same time. The mask will intensify product delivery to your skin. (You’ve seen this side effect of occlusion (fancy term) in action if you’ve ever treated dry, cracked feet by applying moisturiser and wearing socks to bed.)

Treat these breakouts how you normally would — with some much-needed TLC. For stubborn pimples, use spot treatments which have stronger percentages of acne-fighting ingredients. For long-term prevention of breakouts, a consistent acne regimen is so important and that includes Vitamin A.

I would love to say to skip the makeup completely but that is not something many of us will want to do nor is practical to suggest it long term. Mineral formulas are a great idea as they are usually oil free.

If you are part of generation z then Dermalogica’s latest launch will be perfect to assist. Enter the NEW Clear Start FlashFoliant – a clearing brightening foam that works hard so that Gen Z consumers can, too. The chemical exfoliant contains acids like AHAs and BHAs which work in tandem to gently slough away dead skin cells and unclog pores while it soothes the skin. The dispensing mechanism in the cap of the bottle gives the exfoliator its unique foaming form. The cherry on top? FlashFoliant is leave-on – there is no rinse required.  It is a leave-on, flash-foaming exfoliant that helps clear and prevent breakouts while brightening skin It contains the magic  Salicylic Acid (0.5%), a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) derived from Willow Bark, helps wipe out existing and future breakouts and  Tangerine Peel Extract brightens dull skin, while Grape Extract—a potent source of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)—exfoliates dead skin cells to help even skin tone. It is Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free.  How to use (this blew my mind): Invert bottle and squeeze to dispense foam. Apply once daily to cleansed face and neck and allow to absorb.  

Adult acne? SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Cleansing Gel €40.00 is a decongesting cleanser with lipo hydroxy acid foams to exfoliate skin and improve clarity.Designed for aging skin prone to breakouts, Blemish + Age Cleanser combines potent cleansing agents with lipo hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid exfoliators that deeply remove excess oils and makeup, while decongesting pores and brightening skin. Blemish + Age Cleanser gently refines the appearance of pores and helps to reduce breakouts. There is an amazing serum and toner to match this and I have worked with the brand and have seen the results.

For more sensitive cleansing Neo Strata Enlighten €35.00 is a creamy wash formulated to enhance exfoliation and gently cleanse. I recently recommended this to a friend and she loved it. I use it sometimes as a mask when my skin is dull. As the first step in NeoStrata’s daily Enlighten regimen, Ultra Brightening Cleanser helps prepare the skin for maximum benefits from NeoStrata Illuminating Serum and Pigment Controller. NeoGlucosamine, a non-acid amino sugar, gently exfoliates dark spots and the surface cells that can cause skin to appear mottled and dull. A blend of Alpine Plant Extracts, including Mallow, Peppermint, Lemon Balm and Cowslip, helps brighten and clarify the skin. This unique pearlescent cleanser effectively removes oil and makeup, leaving skin healthy and refreshed.

Use a targeted spot treatment if the spots are visible and angry. Uriage HYSÉAC SOS Paste  €11.95 acts right from the first night by accelerating the spot maturation process, causing it to disappear quickly. It acts on spots with its formula that combines the action of purifying schist oil with naturally absorbent green clay and zinc. Yet it soothes locally in addition to these specific active ingredients comes Uriage Thermal Water, which helps to soothe the skin locally. Apply locally to spots in the evening. Leave on all night. It is quite simple and effective.

Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50 PA+++ €42.00  is your moisturising and priming SPF day cream that protects your skin from not just sunlight but screen light, pollution and infrared, and leaves your skin with a peachy tint and dewy finish. Featuring niacinamide – vitamin B3 – and vitamin E for antioxidant protection, Skin Shield is your invisible mineral parasol.  

Skin Shield is not only your daily broad-spectrum SPF, it is your primer, with a peachy tint and a dewy finish – no need to stress about a chalky white cast and no photo flashback. It is non-comedogenic, oil-free, water-resistant, and non-greasy, so it’s perfect for under the mask or makeup and can be reapplied as often as required.