Summer is inching closer, but for some of us the combination of warmer weather, frequent mask wearing and all-round increased stress levels due to lockdowns is bringing about the unwelcome symptoms of mask acne (aka ‘maskne’). And unfortunately it’s only going to get worse as the humidity of summer sets in.
Making some conscious changes to your habits and skincare routine will help to prevent breakouts and flare-ups and restore the all-important balance to your skin microbiome. Read on for our top tips to beat the dreaded maskne.
Five tips for combatting mask acne
1. Opt for a paper mask
We prefer paper or surgical masks as they are generally more breathable (and effective) than fabric ones. With better flow of oxygen, you’re less likely to sweat and create a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria inside your mask. Paper masks are also easy to clean and sanitize – more on this below.
2. Sanitize your mask in the sun
UV light has the power to zap the molecular bonds that hold together the DNA of viruses and bacteria. With summer on its way, this is good news! So when it’s not essential to be wearing your mask, lay it flat in direct sunlight for 15 minutes or more and let the UV light destroy any nasties that might have settled in the fibres. Scientists use this trick when working in the lab – they place their masks under UV lamps and let the UV light sterilize them. If using fabric masks, make sure to wash them frequently in a mild detergent.
3. Up your daily skincare routine
This is a good time to wear less make-up and add some extra nourishment to your skin. We recommend using a gentle cleanser morning and night to de-clog pores and remove toxins and impurities, followed by a revitalizing toner to balance the skin’s microflora and prep it for moisturizer. If your skin is feeling extra dry or lack-lustre, try a face oil under your face mask, or if you’re struggling with breakouts, apply a targeted serum like our Acne Prone Skin Cream underneath your moisturizer or night cream.
4. Get outside and get moving
Stress levels are sky-high right now, which is only serving to exacerbate skin concerns. Stress stimulates the production of androgen hormones, which make the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin overproduce, leading to oiliness, acne and irritation. Regular exercise and fresh air (safely, and within the current COVID restrictions) will do wonders for your stress levels and well-being. Pop on your mask, walk out your stress and let your skin reap the benefits.
5. Support your immune system
Quality sleep is absolute bliss AND it’s vital for strengthening your immune system – so grab a glass of water and get to bed on time. You can also support your immune system by reducing your toxic load. Go easy on processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugars and load up on gut-loving goodies like yoghurt, kefir, almonds, bone broth, ginger and kimchi.