WHAT IS MASKNE AND HOW DO YOU TREAT IT?
WHAT IS MASKNE?
It’s been a year since we’ve adapted to living with coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To curb the spread of the disease, we have to wear masks. While your face mask protects you from the virus, it may be the center of another crisis on your skin. If you’re experiencing breakouts or pimples when you wear a mask for long periods of time, you might be dealing with “maskne”.
Of course, we’re referring to "mask acne", also known as “acne mechanica" or “mechanical acne.” The maskne definition is nothing new. Dermatologists have long identified this form of acne in athletes and medical professionals who wear facial protective equipment. The term is only gaining popularity now that there’s a need for general mask-wearing.
WHAT CAUSES MASKNE?
Frequent mask wear can trap dirt, oil, bacteria and sweat close to your skin. Naturally, when your skin excretes sweat it freely evaporates into the atmosphere. However, when you wear a face mask, things change. The fabric makes it difficult for sweat to escape, meaning it can clog your pores and create an ideal environment for acne-causing bacteria (c.acnes). This humid environment is exacerbated when breathing and talking behind your mask, because it releases warm air for bacteria to thrive. The resulting acne from the occlusion of your face mask is termed maskne.
Aside from causing acne, constant mask-wearing can damage your skin barrier. The skin is a protective layer, which functions as a barrier to keep moisture in and external irritants and pollutants out. Long-term use of a mask can compromise your skin barrier and trigger inflammation that can cause breakouts and other skin health issues, such as contact dermatitis. If you have dry skin or sensitive skin, your skin barrier may already be compromised, meaning that you’re more likely to develop this type of acne.
WHAT DOES MASKNE LOOK LIKE?
Maskne looks like common acne. It presents as a cluster of pimples, which affect the face in places that come into contact with your mask, such as the nose, cheeks, chin, jaws, and mouth. To pinpoint maskne from other skin concerns such as allergies, simply look out for whiteheads, blackheads and red, small bumps.
HOW DO YOU STOP MASKNE?
Understandably, for now we cannot stop wearing masks. The good news is that you can prevent maskne with these helpful tips:
- Apply a barrier cream containing petroleum jelly under your mask. This extra layer forms a physical barrier, protecting your skin from friction and irritation.
- Invest in a reusable mask made from skin-friendly materials, such as silk or cotton. Disposable masks end up in landfill and shouldn’t be a daily option.
- Look after your skin and the planet by washing your reusable mask after each use.
- Take a break from make-up. Some cosmetics cause clogged pores and trap unwanted impurities under your mask. Apply less or lighter make-up to the lower region of your face.
HOW TO TREAT MASKNE
If you’re past the stage of maskne prevention, you can still treat mask related acne by adopting a mask-friendly skincare routine:
- USE A GENTLE CLEANSER
If you have acne-prone skin, you’ll need to start your skin routine with a gentle and hydrating cleanser. Cleansers that contain salicylic acid will also treat breakouts.
- EXFOLIATE CAREFULLY
Exfoliation helps to eliminate the build up of dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria that sit under your mask. But don’t over do it! Only exfoliate weekly to avoid irritating your skin further.
When managing acne resulting from the use of face coverings, hydration is key. A soothing moisturizer repairs your skin barrier, prevents skin from further damage and locks in hydration. Look for natural hydrating ingredients, such as ceramides, linoleic acid and vitamin E.
Maskne products often contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to fight bacteria. But these acne treatments have unwanted side effects such as redness, peeling, and itching, which contribute to further skin problems. Benzoyl peroxide also has the ability to bleach your cloth mask.
A NATURALLY POWERFUL TREATMENT FOR MASKNE
If you’re looking for a naturally effective maskne treatment, to repair your skin barrier and calm breakouts try Pure Kalahari Melon Facial Oil. You may think it’s contradictory to say “treat maskne with a facial oil”. After all, acne is caused by excess oil clogging your pores. Does this sound like you? Stay put as we walk you through the natural power behind this unique ingredient native to the Kalahari Desert.
PURE KALAHARI MELON FACIAL OIL
Kalahari Melon oil has received praise for being one of the best beauty oils in the organic skincare industry. Indigenous to South Africa, the 100% natural oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the bitter-tasting Kalahari Melon. The oil gets its name from the Kalahari Desert, where its plant grows wild. While it’s not yet as popular as its African siblings, Baobab and Argan oil, it’s fast becoming a holy-grail skincare ingredient, especially for those people with acne-prone skin.
Below are four reasons why this ingredient will be a game-changer in your maskne skincare routine.
ABUNDANT IN ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
The fatty acid profile of Kalahari Melon oil is rich in omega 6 essential fatty acids (linoleic acid), the building blocks of ceramides known to strengthen the skin barrier. If your skin barrier has been compromised by maskne, our oil will repair and restore its resilience.
LIGHTWEIGHT AND FAST ABSORBING
Our Pure Kalahari Melon Facial Oil is lightweight and non-greasy, owing to its high linoleic acid content. Unlike heavy facial oils, it absorbs quickly into your skin so won’t sit under your mask or clog your pores, owing to its low comedogenic rating of 0 -1.
Maskne is aggravated by trapped sebum (oil) beneath your mask. Your sebum contains a ratio of oleic and linoleic acid. If you have acne-prone skin you’re likely to have low linoleic acid and high oleic acid levels. Oleic acid is greasy and pore-clogging. When you apply Pure Kalahari Melon Facial Oil on your skin, its high linoleic acid restores your natural stores and balances sebum levels.
HIGH LEVELS OF VITAMIN E
Nêô Sephiri's Kalahari Melon Oil has the highest amount of vitamin E found in any other plant oil. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E help to reduce skin irritation and inflammation, that cause maskne. It also nourishes, soothes and hydrates your problem skin.
Mask wearing has become our new normal. It's impossible to do away with masks just yet, but you can achieve clear skin and a healthy complexion with our facial oil and maskne tips. Each drop combats your skin concerns and climate change, by positively impacting the remote communities within the Kalahari Basin, South Africa.
Discover our sustainability purpose.