Maskne: the newest form of “acne mechanica” and, as it turns out, also one of the most prevalent.
But how can a virtual acne program help clear maskne, and how can you start combating it on your own? Today, we here at Clear Skin Solutions are digging deep into the common triggers behind maskne (beyond simply wearing masks!), what you can do from home to fight it, and how a virtual acne program is a safe and effective way of curbing maskne long-term.
Detergent? Fabric Softener? Over-Cleansing? The Hidden Triggers Behind Maskne Are More Plentiful Than You Think
In our last blog, “4 Reasons Why Your Acne Isn’t Clearing”, we wrote at length about the household acne culprits triggering your acne outbreaks— and today we’re going even further into detail about the number of hidden triggers behind maskne (as well as general breakouts!) and what acne-friendly alternatives exist.
Household and lifestyle acne triggers make up the bulk of our frequently asked question sessions when onboarding new Clear Skin clients. So, without further ado, let’s start!
Disposable Face Masks Vs. Cloth Masks: Which are the Lesser of Two Evils?
Before we delve in, I’d like to kick off this section with a personal story: I, Nyki, the owner and founder of Clear Skin Solutions, came in to work ages ago back before face masks were even a thing… and my daughter, Amelia, was in shock at the sight of my face!
To say it resembled an ant hill would be no exaggeration: red, rashy, and bumpy, my skin had not been so bad in years. To make it worse? My usually-fantastic breakout detective skills were giving me dead ends.
It simply didn’t make sense. My lifestyle choices were all acne-preventative: I was maintaining a low glycemic, dairy-free eating habits; my makeup and makeup brushes were non-comedogenic and regularly cleaned; my hormones were being successfully managed. What could have possibly changed that I wasn’t picking up on?
It was then that it hit me: detergent and fabric softeners.
No sooner had this thought struck me that I went home and re-cleaned my pillow cases and pillow sheets with detergent free of acne-triggering fragrances, dyes, and essential oils. I also skipped adding fabric softeners completely, as their associated waxes and greases are common pore-cloggers!
The result? Nearly instantaneous! After three-to-four washes to remove all the acne-triggering ingredients, my breakouts and irritation quickly ebbed.
Now imagine if this was during pandemic times and I had been wearing a reusable cloth face mask to boot. My skin would have been a nightmare!
“Nyki,” you may be wondering, “does that mean disposable masks will keep my skin breakout-free?” Not so fast!
Because what touches your skin matters, we here at Clear Skin Solutions highly recommend only wearing a mask when necessary and to ensure that the skin is properly and thoroughly cleansed once the mask is removed. When it comes to disposable masks vs. reusable masks, both run their risks: detergents and fabric softeners will wreak havoc on your skin if they are not carefully-chosen, and the plastics of disposable masks trap humidity, making it a breeding ground for bacteria.
Reluctant to trial new laundry detergent? Get guaranteed satisfaction with The Laundress Signature Detergent, a long-lasting, highly-concentrated, all-purpose laundry detergent that is safe for both your skin and your clothes. (Sensitive to fragrance or essential oils? It also comes in a The Laundress Signature Detergent Unscented line!)
When in doubt, book an appointment with us today to learn if the detergent you’re using is safe for mask-washing (and how to combat maskne if your current situation requires you to wear one frequently or for long periods of time!)
(Bonus: Love Fabric Softener? Here’s Our Favorite Acne-Friendly Workaround)
While it may sound like we’re demonizing fabric softener (and we are, to an extent!), that doesn’t mean we don’t love it too.
Our favorite natural method for softening laundry is deceivingly simple: use wool dryer balls or clean tennis balls! In addition, adding white distilled vinegar during the rinse cycle and/or a cup of baking soda added to the water in the washer before putting in clothes are both easy, acne-safe alternatives known to successfully soften fabric.
As they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
The Second Most Common Maskne Trigger: Cycling Through Drugstore Acne Products Without a Professional Opinion
Using skin specialist-recommend products with antimicrobial properties regularly and consistently is key to preventing breakouts, especially maskne-related breakouts.
One of the ways a virtual acne program can help with this is giving a skin specialist a chance to analyze not only your skin’s current condition, but also its history and lifestyle factors in order to recommend you an in-depth series of spa-grade products. After all, why shoot in the dark when you could get your product lineup right the first time? Talk about preventing wasted time and money!
To get you started, here are three Clear Skin Solutions-approved products to keep maskne at bay from the comfort of your own home:
- The Mandelic Pads: perfect for keeping skin bacteria-free in a pinch, these easy-to-store mandelic pads are as easy to tuck into your purse or gym bag as they are to use. Swipe the skin beneath your mask two to three times a day to prevent bacteria growth and clogged pores!
- The Sulfur Healing Mask: a therapeutic mask formulated specifically for acne-prone skin, this mask expertly removes impurities from the skin without the risk of irritation or over-drying.
- The Charcoal Healing Mask: the best accompaniment to both the Mandelic Pads and the Sulfur Healing Mask, the Charcoal Healing Mask is a cooling weekly treatment that hydrates acne-prone skin while preventing excess oiliness.
Another Everyday Reason for Maskne Breakouts? Under-Cleansing and Over-Exfoliating
Cleansing twice a day, AM and PM, with a skin specialist-approved cleansing product is vital for controlling shine, eliminating impurities, and ensuring that pore blockage doesn’t occur.
However, exfoliating twice a day (or even twice a week) while frequently wearing a mask is a recipe for maskne-related breakouts. While removing dead skin cells and debris is indeed important in curbing maskne, A) exfoliating more than once a week, and B) using physical exfoliation (i.e harsh scrubbing) vs. chemical exfoliation (i.e acids) are surefire ways to breed irritation and redness in the skin… which will, in turn, be worsened by the friction of frequently wearing a mask!
Turn to a Virtual Acne Program to Receive Professional Guidance on Getting Rid of Maskne for Good
While the above points are fantastic at-home starts for curbing acne, there are common maskne culprits specific to your lifestyle that you may never uncover unless you turn to a professional.
Our five-step Virtual Acne Program provides real people with real, long-term results through personalization, customization, 360-degree treatment solutions, accessibility, and affordability.
Reach out today to learn more about how clear skin is right around the corner!