2020, what a year it has been. Flashback to a mere few months ago: many of us didn't even know where we would be able to get a hold of a quality machine-washable mask. Fortunately, most of us have access to masks now that society is opening back up (A HUGE thanks to our boss babe who rallied to get masks for us at our flagship boutique and salon). With this new introduction of mask usage comes its own brand of irritants: mascne, for instance. We're already stressed enough...a breakout is the last thing we want to worry about!
Mascne is an acne breakout caused by friction from the fabric on your face mask rubbing against your skin combined with trapped oil and recycled air. While many of us are only now learning about how to deal with mascne, this issue is actually something that individuals with certain lifestyles are already all too familiar with. The technical term for this condition is acne mechanica. Doctors whose work requires a face mask, or athletes that wear headbands or protective gear have been dealing with this issue long before 2020. Here are our favorite tips and tricks to treat the not-so-novel mascne (and how to prevent it from happening).
Use a spot treatment.
Oftentimes, our first instinct to treat a breakout is to lather acne treatments all over our face. However, if your breakout is only in one area, being overzealous with an acne product is not going to get you the most bang out of your buck). Using your spot treatment directly and only on the areas that need to be treated is not only a better investment of your money, but also keeps your skin from dehydrating.
Try a masque (the other kind!).
A fan favorite happens to be the Eminence's Advanced Clarifying Masque. Why? This multi-action mask is gentle yet entirely effective. Eminence's clay-based masque absorbs impurities and excess oil while lightly exfoliating the skin. The active ingredient in this masque, salicylic acid, helps treat acne, removes impurities, and unclogs pores. The best part is that the salicylic acid is encapsulated, which means that it is time-released; it's slowly released into the skin in small amounts throughout a long period of time. Therefore, it will keep fighting that acne battle long past the point that you’re still obsessing about that pesky pimple.
Talk to a licensed esthetician.
If you've already been struggling with acneic concerns before all this started, you might be feeling even more frustrated with this added obstacle between you and the clear skin you want. A licensed esthetician is always going to have great customized feedback for you specifically so you're getting exactly the right products and treatment you need.
By all means, DO NOT pick that pimple! Extractions should only ever be performed by a professional dermatologist or esthetician. You would not believe the dirt that lingers underneath our fingernails; picking at that blemish will likely just make the breakout worse by introducing more bacteria into your skin. On top of that, more often than not it will lead to unsightly scarring. Be kind to your skin, beauty - it is so much more delicate than we often realize.
Wash your mask.
Be honest, beauty: how often are you washing your face mask? If the answer to that question is less frequently than after every use, it’s not being washed enough. These times are demanding, we know! If you’ve suffered from stubborn breakouts on your cheeks because you've gone too long between washing your pillowcase, you get the gist. Just as debris, oil, and impurities clog your pores after sleeping on an unwashed pillowcase, these same impurities will wreak havoc on the skin under your mask. Trust us, taking this step will not only prevent breakouts, but it is also important to our health right now. A time-saving tip is to stock up on several cute, machine washable masks and have them sanitized and ready to rotate. It looks like masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future, so we may as well invest in a handful of high quality, machine washable masks.
Implement proper face washing procedures.
Washing your face seems simple enough, right? As a matter of fact, there is a step by step procedure that includes products and techniques that many don’t realize are being skipped:
- First cleanse - The first cleanse is to remove makeup, product, and excess oil from the skin. A beauty industry favorite is the Dermalogica Precleanse. This is an oil-based cleanser that is loved by many because it allows for a proper double cleanse without stripping too much oil from the skin. Bonus: it’s great for removing waterproof mascara!
- Second cleanse - This is the point when your cleanser can really shine. Your skin should now have makeup and products removed so that your professionally recommended cleanser can penetrate your skin, truly removing debris, impurities, and pollution.
- Exfoliate - Another industry favorite is Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant. This light exfoliant is beloved because it is gentle enough to use every day. Exfoliating the skin will remove dead skin cell build-up, which prevents aging as well as breakouts. If you prefer a more active exfoliant, you may opt to only exfoliate once or twice a week.
- Treatment - Spot treat as needed, or use your favorite face masque.
- Tone - Toning the skin will balance your skin's PH and prepare your skin to allow products used after a toner to perform to the best of their ability.
- Serum - Apply your favorite serum. Serums have very small molecules, which means that the nutrients in your serum can truly absorb deep into your skin, providing a concentrated daily treatment.
- Moisturize - Always remember, a moisturizer with SPF is not recommended for nighttime, but is VITAL for the daytime. We cannot stress how harmful the sun’s rays are.
• For professional advice on which of each of these products is right for you, we encourage you to pop by the Sugarhouse Shop!