The coming of each season brings with it changes around the house, our closets and our diets. I don’t know about you, but I get excited to bring my sweaters out of the back of the closet, sip on warm lattes and cook up stews.
While our bodies crave warmth and richer foods, our skin starts to crave richer products. Skincare needs to be updated with the change of seasons as well. This fall, there is extra focus on the skin as many people suffer from the effects of prolonged use of face masks.
The negative effect of mask wearing on the skin is commonly known mask acne or “Maskne”.
The causes of Maskne are simple:
- Our skin isn’t able to breathe the way it’s used to.
- The friction created by the mask rubbing on our skin causes points of dryness, irritation, and for many, acne.
- The environment behind the mask is hot and moist. It’s a breeding ground for microorganisms and bacteria, which gets trapped in there.
For these reasons, our skincare routines needs to be adjusted a little to compensate for these extra stressors on the skin.
Here are 3 simple tips to help you treat and protect your skin from mask acne:
PROTECT YOUR SKIN
If you notice acne appearing where the mask rubs against your skin, typically along your jawline or nose, you need to protect your skin before you wear a mask.
Similar to going outside in below zero temperatures, you need to build a layer of product on the skin to prepare it for prolonged mask wearing.
What you need here is an occlusive – a thicker moisturizer that will create a barrier between your skin and the mask. This can be as simple as a shea butter product or using a thicker moisturizer. I like the Helena Lane Shea Butter moisturizers, they are water-free and create a beautiful occlusive barrier on your skin.
Using an occlusive product doesn’t mean that your skin doesn’t breathe. It just means that you’re creating a protective coating on the skin. There are so many different products on the market (some can be very expensive) but you don’t need to spend a fortune on a thicker moisturizer. Affordable brands like Helena Lane Organic Skincare would work wonders in protecting your skin in below zero temperatures as well as behind a mask.
Remember to protect your lips as well. When you use a good lip product daily, you build up a layer of protection. Your lips may be tucked behind the mask, but they still need a good nourishing lip balm.
CLEANSE YOUR SKIN
Wearing a mask for prolonged periods of time traps moisture and other microorganisms that can cause mask acne. This means your pores may be getting clogged. Using a light cleanser will help keep your skin and pores clear. It will remove sweat, dirt, and bacteria that has been collecting throughout the day.
Using a light foam cleanser like Zyderma Foaming Cleanser will help remove all the impurities without stripping your skin. Using it in combination with the Zyderma Konjac Facial Sponge will help to gently exfoliate your skin while cleansing. Pay special attention to areas of concern where you might be breaking out more.
You could also pair an oil cleanser (like Helena Lane Oil Facial Cleanser) with a second cleanser (like Graydon Aloe Milk Cleanser) for a deeper double cleanse. This can be done a few times a week, as the extra step of double cleansing is not necessary on a daily basis. Just remember to be gentle on the irritated areas of your face, so you can allow the mask acne to heal.
FIGHTING BACTERIA BEHIND THE MASK
Now that you have the steps for protecting and cleansing your skin while wearing a mask, the next step is to fight bacteria and mask acne from forming.
To help with this, I would not recommend wearing foundation or makeup under the mask for two reasons:
- It will create a big mess on your mask and
- It will add more ingredients onto your skin preventing it further from breathing.
You can keep makeup minimal by using a bit of mascara or brow product. Any product that gets trapped behind a mask or visor will not help you fight mask acne.
The product I love for fighting bacteria on the skin is the Zyderma Clarifying Cream. It’s one of the best acne products I have found in the green beauty industry. It helps to fight bacteria and create a healthier skin biome. Zyderma Clarifying cream contains micro silver as a key ingredient. Micro silver is an antibacterial ingredient that helps to continuously fight microorganisms. As the cream absorbs into the skin, it leaves the silver ions behind to do the dirty work.
Try to steer clear of harsh ingredients when looking at fighting mask acne. Avoid salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide if you decide to give a gentler acne product a try. Look for skin products such as Zyderma’s Clarifying Cream which are light and can be used under your thicker “occlusive” moisturizers.
Finally, make sure that your skincare products have absorbed well into your skin before you put on your mask.
A FINAL TIP
Laundry soap might not be the first thing to cross your mind when fighting mask acne. However harsh, heavily scented detergents will also affect how your skin reacts to prolonged mask-wearing. Apart from irritating your skin, you are breathing in these detergent ingredients all day long. That is not good for your skin or your health.
Choose a mild, fragrance-free laundry soap. Emma Rohmann of Green At Home has wonderful recommendations and free resources on her site so you can make better laundry soap choices.
I hope these tips help you keep your skin healthy and happy as we move forward with our new normal this fall. Creating this defense system for your skin will help fight the bacteria formed and protect your skin in the long term.
Maria Velve is a certified make-up artist and mom of two boys. Maria is passionate about supporting Canadian brands whose missions and ethics are in the right place, offering clean and effective beauty products that she can feel good about recommending to her clients. Find out more at www.greenbeautyexpert.ca.