Who knew that the term ‘face mask’ would develop such a new meaning in 2020 (and 2021!)? Just when we thought our skin would be in the clear—literally—after wearing little to no makeup during lockdown, we now find ourselves having to mask up on a daily basis when we leave our homes.
Exactly what it sounds like, ‘maskne’ refers to the acne or irritation you experience from wearing your mask, with hot spots usually focused on the cheeks, chin and nose. While the pros refer to it as acne mechanica—or acne caused by excess heat, friction and rubbing of the skin—no matter the terminology, it can be tricky and frustrating to deal with.
Now that face masks are simply a part of our everyday routine and we wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without one—we’ve all also got our preferences for the type of mask that best suits our needs. From moisture-wicking fabrics to pure cotton and disposable—there are so many to choose from. But, in terms of protecting your skin from maskne? Your best bet is to opt for a reusable cotton mask which will undoubtedly be the best choice for your wallet, the environment—as well as your skin (if washed frequently!).
Given that we’re heading into the hottest part of the year Down Under, proper mask etiquette is key to avoiding maskne. With extra sweat, bacteria and moisture being trapped under your mask, irritation and flare-ups can also be more common. The good news is, a few simple adjustments to your daily skincare routine—as well as wearing a clean mask—can help to keep your skin fresh, happy and clear.
Wash Your Face Post Mask
You likely already have a morning and evening double cleansing routine down pat, but there is now another super important time to wash your face and that’s right after wearing a mask. Not only will this help to remove and clean your skin from any dirt trapped beneath your mask, but it will also help prevent the growth of any acne-causing bacteria. Priori’s LCA fx110 Gentle Cleanser is the perfect antidote to maskne and is packed with antioxidants to smooth and protect. Its luxe gel texture will also help calm irritated skin.
Don’t Forget Collagen
More than ever, it’s time to make your skin as strong and resilient as possible. It’s not the time, however, for super harsh, exfoliating products that weaken the skin’s natural barrier function. Collagen—the most abundant protein in our skin and the one responsible for its strength, firmness and plumpness—naturally declines with age but this process is also exacerbated by external factors (hello, face mask!). There have even been studies conducted which show how lines and wrinkles are more prevalent after wearing a mask for a prolonged period. To help boost your skin’s strength and combat the pulling and wrinkling effects of wearing a mask, a serum like our DNA fx221 Recovery Serum is light enough to wear during the warmer summer months, but strong enough to keep working where your skin needs it most: like the sensitive fine lines around the mouth. This multitasking serum supports the repair of DNA, using DNA mechanisms that mimic our cells, along with vitamins C and E to encourage collagen production and cellular support.
Seal The Deal
As your mask constantly rubs on your skin, it can damage its delicate surface and make your face more prone to breakouts. And although your mask traps in moisture, it’s not the good kind, so a solid face emulsion is still necessary to lock in all the goodness of your skincare products and provide a protective barrier for your skin. We love our LCA fx140 Barrier Restore Complexe as it actually repairs your skin’s barrier function and replenishes weakened skin. Our top tip? Make sure you allow adequate time for your skincare to soak into your skin—not only so each product can do its job more effectively, but also so you don’t sweat them off immediately after you pop on your face mask.
Don’t Forget Sunscreen
We totally understand the temptation to skip several skincare steps when wearing a mask because who is really going to see half of your face anyway? But trust us, a mask-shaped sunburn would be the ultimate disservice to your skin. Choose a lightweight SPF and as with your moisturiser, ensure you allow enough time for it to soak in before applying your face mask.
As a final tip, try to incorporate gentle exfoliation and a treatment mask into your skincare routine a couple of times a week to help prevent the buildup of dead skin cells and encourage the healing of any problematic skin issues. Our LCA Smart Peel Pads or our TTC fx360 Natural Enzyme Peel & Mask are a good place to start.
If you love these product suggestions, try our Recovery Kit which includes all three formulas in convenient travel sizes.