Măsk•nē, n., def: Combination of the words “mask” + “acne”. Usually refers to acne breakouts caused by extended wearing of face masks, but can also be used to describe any skin irritation due to masks.
You know it is real when we have a name for it! Maskne is real.If you know someone who has to wear a mask for a long period during the day, please share it with them. It is so important to know how to approach this new skin condition due to Covid 19 pandemic.
Maskne symptoms may include:Itchiness, redness, sensitivity for touch. May feel like burning. It may be dry with bumpy skin and blotchy. In extreme cases, it can be weeping and raw. It may also trigger past skin conditions like acne, eczema and rosacea. Why is the skin reacting like this and what can you do about it? In short, the skin surface is compromised, and you need to either tweak what you are using or back right of your products and let your skin do its job. Let’s dive in a bit deeper..
THE SKIN – IS OUR GREATEST PROTECTORSkin is designed to be a protector factor in our body. Its main job is a barrier function: keeping all nasties out (UV, toxins, skin debris like sweat) as well as keeping the goodies in (like water and nutrients). Most of the skin protection happens on the outermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum). The protection happens thanks to the top layer constantly renewing itself. The skin renews by the rising of cells that travels from the bottom layer to the outer layer, once reached to the surface it will stay until it hardens up, die, and slough off – this is an infinite process of skin renewal. The second protection is our acid mental: a mix of substances in the skin like hydro-lipid mixed with sweat and sebum, together are forming this protective layer. Surprisingly, these two protectives systems are thinner than our hair.
“WHAT’S ALL THIS TO DO WITH THE MASK”, I HEAR YOU ASKING?The mask holds heat, humidity, carbon dioxide, sweat and exhaled bacteria with other particles. This disrupts the delicate balance of the stratum corneum, acid mantle and microbiome (the good fellas that live on our skin.. like flora in the gut). A good mask that is snuggly-fit, will also come into direct contact with the skin and can cause mechanical damage from friction like cold sores or an allergic reaction to a substance in the mask. Once the skin’s barrier is impaired or compromised, toxins, bacteria and other irritants can enter the skin more easily. Moisture and lipids can be lost, and skin cells can’t slough off as well. This can result in red, sensitive, irritated skin that looks dry, flaky, bumpy and blotchy. It can lead to chaffed, broken skin or infection. Which can lead to and trigger inflammation, which can then continue to exacerbate acne, rosacea eczema and other inflammatory-sensitive skin issues.
SO WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT?
MOST IMPORTANTLY IS – CHANGE THE MASK OFTEN! DO NOT WEAR THE SAME MASK OVER AND OVER AGAIN!Now that we clear that out of the way, let’s have a closer look at what is happening under these masks: The hot, humid environment created under the mask is putting the skin under a lot of stress. If protected from further stress and left alone, it has a remarkable capacity to repair itself. The best thing you can do is just protect it so it can go ahead and do its job. “Seal it to heal it” is a good mantra to keep in mind.
1. “IF IT AIN’T BROKEN, DON’T FIX IT!”If your skin seems to have no reaction or irritation, it may be tolerating mask ok. I suggest you keep on doing what you are doing.
2. IRRITATION? – BACK TO BASICIf your skin is experiencing some form of irritation or reaction, cut back on your skincare to the bare essentials (gentle cleanser and moisturiser). No make-up under the mask, it can clog pores and cause irritation to compromised skin. (it is unnecessary anyway as no one can see it, right?) Minimize the use of products you are putting on your skin. Even if you’ve used them before, since your current skin condition is compromised and you are experiencing skin irritation, you could be developing a reaction or sensitivity. Avoid it by helping your skin do its job, nourish the skin with the tools it needs to repair and regenerate healthier skin cells. Use a cleanser that is gentle on the skin and will preserve the natural oils on the skin (the acid mental). No wipes! And avoid cleanser that has harsh detergents (e.g. sodium lauryl sulphate), as well as no parabens, fragrances, SLS, petrochemicals or any poorly formulated products. You will be safe to use a professional product that you can purchase in a salon, prescribed by a beauty therapist or skin specialist. Use your cleanser sparingly—only once a day, twice a day at most. A cleanser with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory will be ideal. Suggestion: UNSTRESS GENTLE CLEANSING MILK * ALWAYS SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE SO YOU WOULD NOT MAKE MATTERS WORSE. Choose a simple moisturiser with anti-inflammatory properties in it as well. A moisturiser with a protective shield that will be boosting the skin’s natural immune system. Suggestion: UNSTRESS PROBIOTIC DAY CREAM * ALWAYS SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE SO YOU WOULD NOT MAKE MATTERS WORSE. If your skin is very irritated or chaffed, apply a thick cream with zinc oxide (the same ingredient they use in nappy cream) to the affected area. Ideally, you want a product that will rebuild the skin barrier and reduces Inflammations and sensitivity. Suggestion: BIO PHYTO ZAATAR CREAM * ALWAYS SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE SO YOU WOULD NOT MAKE MATTERS WORSE.
3. IF YOU HAVE ACNEWash your face once or twice a day with a gentle cleanser that contains ingredients that reduce the occurrence of comedones and speeds up the healing process as well as ingredients that balance sebum (oil) secretion and excretion. You want an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory product that soothes and prevents breakouts. Suggestion: COMODEX CLEAN & CLEAR CLEANSER * ALWAYS SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE SO YOU WOULD NOT MAKE MATTERS WORSE. Resist the urge to get rid of excess oil by washing more frequently, scrubbing with rough pads, or using a strong detergent. Remember, that oil is part of the skin’s acid mantle, which it needs so it can do its protective job effectively. If your acne is very problematic, you may wish to consider a soothing mask once or twice a week to help draw out impurities, encourage exfoliation, unclog pores and calm your skin. You may wish to consider a product that balances sebum secretion, is anti-bacterial, soothes irritation and redness. Suggestion: COMODEX SOOTHE & REGULATE MASK * ALWAYS SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE SO YOU WOULD NOT MAKE MATTERS WORSE. Give it time. Your skin won’t repair itself overnight. Typically, you should see an improvement in a couple of weeks, but keep in mind that it takes about six weeks for a new cell to be created, work its way to the surface, and be sloughed off. If you’re still having problems, retinol and stronger exfoliants may also help but should be used only on the advice of your skincare professional. These products can be very irritating, and you don’t want to make things worse.
4. LED MASKLED Phototherapy is a great treatment for acne as well as many other skin conditions. The light waves are working on healing the cells from the inside by stimulating collagen production. One of the benefits of LED treatment for Acne is that it combats antibacterial in the skin, reduces inflammation, encourages collagen-boosting by increasing blood circulation. All done with the professional LED light and wavelength, making it a perfect addition to any Acne treatment. It will instantly revitalise dull and tired complexion and will calm irritation and redness. Results with LED Phototherapy are cumulative and a course of treatments taken in close succession is recommended for optimum results. Regular maintenance treatments offer lasting improvement in the appearance and health of the skin.
5. CONTINUE YOUR PRESCRIPTIONSIf your doctor has prescribed medication for a skin condition, do not stop until you’ve checked with your doctor.
6. HEALTHY NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLEA healthy diet that includes adequate water and essential fatty acids (like omega 3 and 6) can help provide your skin with the tools to repair itself. Although it may be difficult, especially these days, try to find ways to reduce the stress in your life, and make sure to get enough sleep. Both have been clinically proven to exacerbate skin issues.
WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTORIf you have a rash that’s getting worse or spreading, if your skin is broken and weeping, or if you see any sign of an infection, call the doctor immediately. If you’ve been trying to help your skin repair itself, and you’ve given it a few weeks but your skin still isn’t getting any better, it may be time to give your doctor a call. If you have found it useful, please share it with friends and family who could benefit from this information. For any questions or feedback please click the link below to send us an email.
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