If you're suffering from maskne you aren't alone. This is a real thing that is happening to a lot of people, even those who don't typically suffer from acne. Think about it; there is bacteria by the billions living in our mouths. The warm damp environment that is created while wearing a mask is a breeding ground, and I shudder to think what a mask looks like under a magnifying glass. But alas, this is our lives now, and masks are important, so here are some practical tips to help.
(image from the Irish Times)
1. Wash or switch out your mask daily, and only wear on clean skin. If you can avoid wearing makeup, even better.
2. Make sure you're using a quality moisturizer. This will help protect your skin from friction.
3. Try to stick to fragrance free detergent. The skin on our face can be a lot more sensitive than our bodies.
4. Do not apply harsh products in an effort to dry up acne. This can back fire and cause more oil production and more acne. Think of it as skin rehab, you want to be gentle with it.
5. Apply topicals that will gently help accelerate the cell turn over, but also protect the integrity of the skin. Some of my favorites are: Retinaldehyde Serum and
Glycolic and Retinol Pads used just once or twice a week. These are not necessarily to be used in combination, these are just two options.
More on exfoliation....
So now lets get into what proper exfoliation means. Exfoliation is a way to accelerate cell turnover, which helps keep pores clear, and also reveals a brighter complexion. But too much exfoliation can cause inflammation which leads to, you guessed it, more acne, and even pre-mature aging.
It's no secret that I am not a fan of any physical exfoliant. I think it is easy to over exfoliate using anything gritty, which in turn disrupts the barrier. Instead I am a huge fan of enzyme exfoliation, within reason. I can't give specifics on how many times you should use an enzyme mask a week because it varies by brand and product, and some are much stronger than others.
I can recommend using Color Up's Exfoliate Enzyme Mask one to two times a week. It is so gentle, and your skin will feel incredible immediately after. It's great for those with sensitized skin because of just how gentle it is!