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How to Avoid Breakouts from Wearing a Mask

Skinfluencer - how to prevent maskne

The first in a series of blogs by skincare specialists Skinfluencer Chelsea, their experts reveal how to prevent maskne 

Keeping breakouts at bay can be a tricky task at the best of times, but with mask-wearing mandatory to fight the spread of Coronavirus, most of us are battling maskne – acne caused by irritation the skin experiences because of masks or face-coverings.

Most commonly appearing as pimples or small whiteheads on the jawline, chin, nose and cheeks, maskne can affect all skin types, but the good news is there are steps we can take to minimise its impact. We spoke to the skin experts at Skinfluencer, London’s hottest aesthetics skincare clinic, to understand how we can give our skin the TLC it needs.

How to prevent maskne

Choose your mask with care

Regardless of the material that the mask is made of, oil, sweat, dirt and make-up can build up under the fabric, which breeds bacteria and can lead to clogged pores, pimples and rashes, especially in areas where the mask comes into direct contact with the skin. This means that hygiene is vitally important at this time, not only regarding the spread of the virus but with regards to the health of your skin. You must not wear the same mask constantly. Disposable masks should be worn just once and changed throughout the day if you need to wear one for extended periods of time.

If you prefer to wear a non-disposable mask, make sure you wash it between each wear. Avoid synthetic materials and choose a mask made of soft, natural fabric like cotton or silk. Silk face masks create as little friction as possible against the skin and can minimise the chance of breakouts. Wash your fabric face masks with fragrance-free laundry detergent. Fragrance in regular detergents can be irritating, so you definitely don’t want it on your face.

Simplify your skin routine

Following a proper regime of cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day is essential to keep the skin healthy and remove debris from the skin morning and evening. However, treat skin kindly and ditch the strong cleansers for now such as those that are acid-based. Harsh facial cleansers can disrupt the outer skin layer, leading to dryness and inflammation. For those experiencing breakouts already, add salicylic acid to your routine. This will clean deep inside your pores to reduce excessive oil and sebum, which helps pimples clear more quickly.

Skinfluencer - how to prevent maskneHydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Maintaining your skin’s barrier is key when you’re wearing a mask, so ensuring your skin is optimally hydrated is vital. Daily moisturisers that contain jojoba, squalene and ceramides help to repair the barrier, and adding hyaluronic acid serums replenish lost hydration. If you’re experiencing irritation, add extra moisturiser or a barrier cream to the areas that get too much friction from your mask. Finally, drink as much water as you can. When your skin is dehydrated, it can kick start inflammation and release a hormone that tells your sebaceous glands to produce more oil and your skin cells not to shed, which causes pores to clog.

Minimise your makeup

If you can, it’s a good idea to let your skin breathe when wearing a mask out and about. Makeup can rub against the fabric of the mask and can cause further occlusion of oil glands and pores, potentially making breakouts worse. Ditch your foundation and instead focus playing up your eyes with fun eyeshadow shades and mascara, or at least opt for makeup especially for problem skin.

Like this? Check out 5 skincare tips for working from home

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