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As it’s now mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport, shops and salons, it’s no surprise that drastic lifestyle change has had a big impact on our skin.

Mask-induced acne known as maskne is on the rise. The condition leaves people suffering with chafed, irritated and blemish-prone skin around the mouth, chin and jawline as a result of wearing a protective face covering for long periods of time.

Plus. If already prone to breakouts, then wearing a mask will amplify the issue.

What causes maskne

For masks to give adequate protection they need to fit well. But it’s the snug fit that’s the root cause of the problem. Like with the condition acne mechanica, which is a type of acne caused by friction, increased heat and pressure, maskne is the result of the constant changing of the mask on the skin, which causes it to become weak, lose water and allow bacteria in.

Trapped breath under the mask, creates a warm, sweaty environment, which results in accelerated oil production leading to blocked pores and and disruption of normal sebum production, hence the breakouts.

How can I treat the symptoms

A clean face covering every day. And if use a reusable fabric one, it needs to be washed thoroughly and left to dry completely
Try not to wear make-up underneath mask and try to use products with salicylic acid which will reduce clogging
The natural barrier needs to be restored, so the Dermalogica ultra calming range would be good
Avoid using artificially fragranced products which can Irritate the skin.
Try to avoid overusing peeks or exfoliating treatments when the barrier is already compromised as it will make the condition worse.
Using a harsh scrub can just aggravate with the friction making breakouts angrier an also lead to the spread of bacteria around the face. Use a gentle exfoliant instead. Daily microfoliant or the new hydro masque exfoliant. And a light moisturiser. Active moist a good option. To help treat the breakouts, age bright clearing serum and the spot fader would be amazing.

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