What is 'maskne' and how can you avoid it?

No, you’re not overreacting – 2020 is the worst. We’re locked up, we’re let out, we’re locked down again. You’ve had to start wearing a mask and, to put a cherry on top, you’ve realised your face covering may in fact be the cause of those deep, under-the-skin, cystic pimples that are keeping you up at night. 

Enter mask-related acne or, as the beauty world has affectionately coined it, ‘maskne’. Yep, that’s right, Microsoft – I just added maskne to my dictionary because with no vaccine available yet, it’s sadly here to stay.

The technical term for maskne is ‘acne mechanica’, which occurs when your skin rubs against heavy clothing or protective gear. Put simply, your mask is trapping humidity, oil and sweat around your nose, mouth and cheeks. So, what can you do to minimise the demon that is maskne? 

1. Don’t wear makeup under your mask!

First of all, it is annoying AF when your makeup transfers from your face to the back of your mask. Second of all, wearing makeup under your mask is just a downright bad idea because you’re adding to the mix of things that are already getting trapped beneath that bad boy.

The good news is, if you’re wearing a mask, nobody can tell that you’re not wearing makeup underneath it. Take this opportunity to save a little cash by saving your makeup for occasions where you can be mask free and take this chance to focus on your brow game instead! We are also strong advocates for going the extra mile with eye makeup while wearing a mask (yes, coloured eyeliner, we’re looking at you).

2. Adjust your skincare routine

If your skin is flaring up because of your mask, you don’t want to make it worse, right? Look at your existing routine and remove any intense physical and chemical exfoliants for the time being as they will inflame any agitation on the skin. Instead focus on nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid to help boost moisture levels and your skin’s protective barrier. 

But never, ever, EVER skip on your daily SPF!

3. Invest in a Saint Jack Silk Face Mask

Fact: Maskne is made worse by face coverings that are too heavy and not breathable. Also fact: silk is proven to be more breathable than other fabrics that trap humidity (the bad stuff) and are readily reusable after cleaning

Saint Jack masks are made out of two layers of high-quality Mulberry silk, have a pocket for an additional air filter and are easily cleaned to be worn again. Disposable masks have the lifespan of one wear and are made out of abrasive, commercial-grade plastic. Nuff said!

4. Cut yourself some slack

We’re in the middle of a global pandemic and life is hard. Maskne is a super sh*tty side effect of an already sh*tty situation, so don’t beat yourself up if your skin isn’t as clear as it was in 2019! Remember that we’re all in this together, you are certainly not alone and, most importantly, this too shall pass. Your skin will glow and your beautiful smile will see the light of day once again!