How to Avoid Getting Acne From a Facemask this Autumn/Winter

With the cold weather drawing in, many of us will be prepping our skincare regimes to battle the dry, itchy and flaky skin conditions the colder seasons bestow upon us. And this year we have an added variable – masks.
With masks now required in shops, beauty salons, places of worship, and public transport, and mandatory for bar staff, shop workers, waiters and taxi drivers, we have to consider how to avoid getting ‘maskne’ (mask acne); a growing problem for many that could get worse in the winter months.

‘Maskne’ is caused by bacteria inflaming and irritating the skin while wearing a face mask. As most masks are tight-fitting, your follicular openings (your pores) can get blocked. When combining dry, flaky winter skin and the humid moisture getting trapped on your skin, this can cause nasty ‘maskne’ breakouts to happen.

However, if you’re concerned that your skin is at risk of winter ‘maskne’, there are some simple things you can do to help. Senior Medical Aesthetician at Transform Hospital Group, Mamuna Arshad, has issued a simple guide on how to tackle acne caused by wearing masks.

· Adapt your skincare routine

Maintaining a good cleansing and toning skincare regime is essential whatever the season, with or without a mask.
Cleansers remove dead skin cells, make-up, natural oil, and environmental impurities without causing any irritation to the skin. This leaves your skin feeling soft, supple, and set for the day ahead. With more bacteria trapped on the skins layer when wearing a mask, double cleansing (washing your face with two cleansers, oil-based and then water-based) is the best way to ensure your face is as clean as possible.
Then apply a lightweight moisturiser with SPF if you’ll be out with your mask on.

· Avoid wearing heavy make-up to help let your skin breathe

You may be tempted to use a heavy foundation to cover up troubled skin during the winter months, but this can add lead to further blocking of your follicular openings. Try and use tinted moisturisers instead of foundation, and powders rather than creams.
If you’re wearing your mask at work for hours at a time, consider wearing just a light foundation on the skin that’s exposed and some eye makeup to keep the skin under the mask free from blockages.
Make sure you always take your make-up off at the end of the day, no matter how light the coverage is.

· Choose the right material for your mask

The most important thing to consider when choosing a mask is the level of protection it offers you and others. After that, you can consider what materials work well for your skin type.
Custom fitted masks are a great way to limit trapped moisture, but if this is not possible, silk, or silk lined masks are best thanks to their breathability.

· Keep your mask clean

If you have a reusable mask, be sure to wash it at a high temperature regularly. If you have a disposable mask, be sure to replace it regularly, after every use if you can.

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