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What is Maskne and how do you prevent it

Due to covid-19, our lifestyles have changed. We have to wear mask if we are outside our house and this health guideline will not going away anytime soon. We are all trying to keep ourselves as safe as possible.
While many of us are finding it difficult to breathe wearing the mask, do you notice that your skin is reacting more than it usually does in our humid Singapore? If you are, you may be experiencing another side effect of covid-19 which now commonly known as MASKNE.
Maskne is not a new term, just uncommon as it only happens to people who constantly need to wear a mask. For example, the hockey and rugby players, FormulaOne Drivers, Motorbike riders or cleanroom worker.
We had many customers asking why skin becomes bad after wearing the mask during their video consultation.
How maskne happens?
There are 4 reasons.
1. Prolong wearing of mask causes the lower face to be in a warm, humid and poor ventilated environment. Such an environment helps bacteria and germs to grow. One of the bacteria is Cutibacterium acnes (pka Propionibacterium acnes). The manifesting of this acne bacteria can cause inflammation and lead to breakouts if you don’t keep the area clean, cool and well-ventilated. People with existing acne or rosacea problem suffer the most.
2. The quality and material of the Mask matters. For example, the cloth mask will need to be washed, if you didn't wash it well, the residue from detergent can irritate your skin. As for disposable, the texture and the edge may rub against your skin and cause skin irritations or rashes.
3. Applying the usual makeup and skincare products such as cream foundation and rich cream may trigger clog pores as the lower face area is now less ventilated. Imagine dirts, sebum, cosmetics mix together and stuck on your skin under the mask.
4. Wearing the same mask for more than one day is not recommended. If you are in a non-airconditioned place for more than 4-5hrs, it is recommended to change mask. After a few hours, our skin will produce sebum, sweat and bacteria. They, including the cosmetics, can cling to the mask. Wearing back the same mask means the grimes and bacteria will be on your face.
So how can we prevent Maskne?
Here are 5 tips that can help you.
1. Try to keep your skin cool and clean throughout the day. Go to the washroom to wash or splash with water every few hours. This will remove perspirations and dirt and cool the skin.
2. Use hot water and gentle soap or your facial cleanser to wash your mask if you are using cloth mask. Buy good quality cotton masks. If the mask is rubbing your skin, apply some moisturiser or vaseline on the edge of your mask to reduce friction.
3. Use a light moisturiser to keep skin hydrated. Avoid using foundation on your lower face. Use a tinted moisturiser instead. They are lighter and provide decent coverage
4. Change your mask every 3-4hrs if your environment does not has air-con. Do not reuse disposable mask for more than 1 day.
5. Spray KYLN Maskne Toner on your lower face before wearing the mask. This is a natural skin toner certified by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority. It eliminates bacteria, including acne bacteria and protects your skin for up to 24hrs.
What if you already have Maskne?
Please use gentle face wash, apply acne serum and apply light moisturiser. Put only clay mask once to twice a week for deep cleansing. Do not try to extract the acne or over-exfoliate. Less is more when the skin is having irritations.

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