Whether disposable or washable, the face mask is undoubtedly the flagship accessory of this year 2020. Mandatory in shops, enclosed public spaces, public transport and businesses, it is the source of new problems, particularly for the skin. The maskne (a neologism resulting from the contraction of the words “mask” and “acne”) thus designates the appearance of imperfections following prolonged wearing of the mask. In this article, we explain the main causes of maskne and how to avoid it.
What is the cause of masked skin?
Throughout the day, the mask covers a large part of the face. The skin then finds itself in a kind of oven, subject to a phenomenon of maceration. It is no longer optimally oxygenated, which leads to various reactions: excess sebum, dilated pores, blackheads, pimples, redness… In addition, rubbing the mask can cause itching, irritation, intense dryness or contact eczema. The hydrolipidic film, a real shield against aggressions, is weakened, making the skin vulnerable. Finally, wearing the mask changes the skin’s pH, which becomes more alkaline, making it no longer able to act as a barrier against bad bacteria. Faced with this situation, the skin tries to defend itself and reacts, resulting in localised imperfections on the areas covered by the mask: nose, cheeks and chin.
Avoid the masked one: it is possible!
Far from being a fatality, masked skin is a phenomenon that can be avoided, provided you adopt the right reflexes on a daily basis. Initially, we recommend that you alternate the type of mask you wear: sometimes a disposable paper mask, sometimes a cloth mask (preferably cotton) that can be washed. Make sure to change it regularly, every 4 hours at the most, or as soon as it becomes damp. When a mask is soiled or wet, it is less effective and causes more skin problems. To allow your skin to breathe, remove your mask when it is not necessary, for example when you are alone in the car or at home.
Secondly, make sure you adapt your beauty routine according to the condition of your skin and the difficulties it encounters. Double cleansing is an ideal solution in this case. This is a technique that combines two very distinct steps: make-up removal, with an oil, balm or milk (ideal textures for removing make-up, but also excess sebum), followed by cleansing with a cleansing foam or foaming gel. Carried out every evening, the double cleansing removes impurities, regulates sebum production, reoxygenates and purifies the skin. At the same time, don’t neglect hydration, even if your skin is more oily than usual. Indeed, dehydration makes the epidermis even more fragile and sensitive. We advise you to opt for fluid and light textures, which will remain imperceptible on the skin. For example, don’t hesitate to use a moisturising lotion or serum to soak the skin in water. Finally, avoid overly covering make-up, especially foundation, and prefer a tinted cream, or even nothing at all!
Pimples, blackheads… how to eliminate imperfections?
If, in spite of these precautions, your skin is confronted with masked skin, know that there are solutions to treat imperfections. First reflex: cleanse your skin morning and evening to limit the proliferation of bacteria that promote imperfections. If necessary, then apply a scrubbing lotion to remove blackheads and stubborn pimples. On a daily basis, you can use an anti-blemish serum, followed by a moisturising fluid with matifying properties.
Targeted care to be applied locally to the imperfections will help you dry them out and accelerate their disappearance, without any risk of residual marks. Exfoliation is also important to remove dead cells, which can clog pores and make the complexion look dull. To exfoliate your skin, choose a grain-free scrub with ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid or malic acid. Caution: If you use a scrubbing lotion every day, make sure it does not already contain these active ingredients. If this is the case, it will not be necessary to make an additional exfoliation. Indeed, excessive exfoliation can lead to an overproduction of sebum, which is not the desired effect here. Finally, once or twice a month, perform a purifying and detoxifying mask. Turn to a product containing clay, charcoal or rhassoul for example.
You now know what mask mask is and how to prevent it from appearing. Although it can be embarrassing, this skin problem is not a reason to stop wearing the mask, which remains indispensable in the fight against Covid-19. So keep this reflex to protect yourself and those around you.