Your face mask is giving you pimples? These tips and products should help keep maskne under control.
You never suffered from acne or the occasional pimple, not even as a teenager, but all of a sudden they appear on your chin? Your face mask might have something to do with that. The constant friction between the mask and your skin can make your skin more sensitive and irritated but it can also lead to maskne. A mask and your breath form the perfect climate – humid and warm – for acne causing bacteria to thrive in.
You also touch your face more often to put the mask on, put it off, pull it in the right place… That, too, can lead to blocked pores and acne.
Luckily, the right routine and products can help clear up your maskne and even prevent it from happening.
1. Wear a clean mask every single day
You put on clean underwear every day too, right? Make sure your hands are clean when you put your mask on and off. And try to not touch your face in between.
A silk, satin, bamboo or cotton mouth mask causes less friction than a disposable one. (And is better for the environment.) Highly recommended is the Breathable Face Mask (17 €), made from bamboo fibre. I like wearing the satin Beauty Pillow Mondmasker (9,95 €) underneath a regular face mask as an extra, very soft layer of protection.
2. Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse
You should be doing it every single night anyway but make sure you clean your face well with a cleanser that gets rid of make-up, SPF, dead skin cells, sweat, oil and other impurities. The pores of well cleansed skin are less likely to get clogged and lead to blackheads and pimples.
Pick a cleanser that does the job efficiently but gently, not harming the skin barrier. A formula that overstrips skin leads to it producing (even) more oil. I am really enjoying Comfort Zone’s Sacred Nature Cleansing Balm (37,50 €) at the moment: it dissolves make-up (and other ‘dirt’) easily. An oil based cleanser is perfectly suited for (more) oily skin, too, as oil attracts oil. Verso’s Acne Deep Cleanse (40 €) has been specifically developed for mixed and/or oily skin that suffers from acne. The formula contains salicylic acid but more on that ingredient in the next tip.
If you have to wear a face mask all day long, Barbara Geusens, the founder of Belgian personalised skincare brand Nomige, advises to “cleanse your skin in between with some lukewarm water and a cotton pad or with a gentle toner that possibly contains exfoliating ingredients.”
BHA or salicylic acid is a classic ingredient used to tackle acne. The acid gets rid of dead skin cells but also penetrates into pores, cleaning them from the inside out. Which leads to less blocked pores, less blackheads and less pimples. Paula’s Choice’s cult product 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (34 €) has already helped tons of people. The more budget friendly Salicylic Acid 2% Masque by The Ordinary (12 €) contains BHA, clay and charcoal. Use it once or twice a week on the affected areas.
If your skin does not tolerate BHA, you can try products with glycolic acid, an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) to get rid of dead skin cells that might block pores.
4. Skip (heavy) make-up
The best option is to not wear any make-up under your mask at all. (No one can tell anyway.) You simply cannot live without it? Use a loose mineral foundation. It does not block pores and is very gentle on (even the most sensitive) skin. Cent Pur Cent’s Loose Mineral Foundation (34,99 €) is Belgian and good.