Expert Advice

Tips for Solving Maskne With These J-Beauty Secrets

If the stress of a pandemic wasn’t enough, now you’re dealing with mask-induced blemishes. Here are our top maskne tips to revitalize and refresh your mask-weary skin.
maskne tips

Blemishes are something most of us have experienced in one way, shape, or form throughout our lives. In fact, it’s the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting more than 50 million Americans each year. However, while most have learned to recognize and address the common causes and triggers of their acne, there’s a new, widespread type that’s throwing even non acne-prone people for a loop: maskne. 

Maskne is a form of acne mechanica, a breakout triggered by heat, friction, or rubbing of the skin. It isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon—athletes, along with people who work in the medical field, nail technicians, and those in other industries for which mask-wearing is necessary, are accustomed to dealing with this particular type of blemish. But now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, frequent and prolonged mask usage has become the norm for a vast majority of the population, and incidences of maskne are on the rise.  

In the case of maskne, the humidity created by talking or breathing beneath a mask, compounded with added friction and pressure points, disrupts natural skin barriers and provides an ideal environment for bacteria, yeast, and other pore-clogging microorganisms to thrive and cause breakouts. 

Other Skin Concerns From Wearing a Face Mask 

Under these unique circumstances, masks can often make existing skin conditions worse or create new ones where there were none before. 

  • Dry skinIf you’re prone to dry skin, mask-wearing traps harmful impurities that are more likely to cause blemishes due to a weakened moisture barrier. Going from one extreme to another (a hot, moist mask environment to a very dry one when the mask is off) further throws the skin microbiome out of balance and exacerbates dry skin. 
  • MelasmaMelasma, a condition which causes dark patches of discoloration on the skin, is often triggered by hormones, UV exposure, irritation, and heat. Face masks take those last two elements—irritation and heat—and trap them against the skin, triggering the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) to get bigger and produce more of the pigment that darkens and discolors skin. 
  • Skin irritationFor those with sensitive skin, mask-wearing creates a perfect storm of factors to irritate and stress the skin. Irritation caused by friction triggers inflammation which is only exacerbated by the humidity and weakened skin barrier, resulting in breakouts which add to the cycle of suffering. 
  • Dry lips & mouthSpeaking and breathing into a mask causes friction against the mouth that leeches moisture, resulting in dry, chapped lips. It also provides a warm, moist environment for yeast and bacteria to flourish, which can cause angular cheilitis, inflammation or cracking at the corners of the mouth. 

Despite these issues, mask-wearing is an essential part of keeping you (and others) healthy during a global pandemic. So what’s the best way to prioritize health and safety while also being mindful of your skincare needs? By treating mask time as part of your self-care routine, of course. Here are three J-beauty secrets to help you make the most of masking up.

1. Understanding Your Skin Condition Under Your Mask 

The thing that makes masks effective—namely, preventing respiratory droplets from traveling in or out—is what also leads to a potentially damaging environment for the skin around your nose and mouth. Heat and moisture generated from talking or breathing has nowhere to go, and creates a humid mini-jungle on your face where yeast and bacteria can proliferate. If your skin hasn’t been properly cleansed or moisturized, its natural moisture barriers will be weakened and allow any irritation or inflammation to act as a catalyst for breakouts and blemishes.

A great way to prevent that from happening is to consistently clean, tone, and moisturize your skin (according to your specific skin needs) between maskings to ensure your microbiome remains balanced. If prolonged mask-wear is required, and you’re unable to do your standard routine, products like the INMASK SALON With Mask Point Pack (Sittori) are a good solution. These cute, heart-shaped patches can be worn discreetly under a mask to deliver nourishing, long-lasting ingredients to any part of the face (chin, bridge of nose, cheeks, etc.) that is experiencing dryness or irritation. 

“Treating mask time as part of your self-care routine will help you make the most of masking up.”

2. Reduce Mask Friction 

The humid, bacteria-friendly mask environment is typically not damaging on its own if your skin is healthy. However, the inevitable pressure and friction of a mask is what serves to encourage the weakening of the moisture barrier, which is when bacteria and other microorganisms can wreak havoc.

Reducing that friction goes a long way toward mitigating the cycle of damage. In addition to delivering lasting skincare ingredients, INMASK SALON With Mask Point Pack (Sittori) patches are also great for putting a physical barrier between the skin and pressure points, reducing irritation from mask rubbing all while providing essential moisture and nourishment—even over makeup. 

3. Ease Stress While Wearing Your Mask 

There’s no doubt about it—these are stressful times. As if the stress of navigating through life during a global pandemic wasn’t hard enough, imagine dealing with near-constant dread that your skin is being damaged every time you have to mask up. We know that stress can manifest itself in the body as physical pain and even serve as a trigger for breakouts, so these layers of continual stress can feed into an endless cycle of suffering.

But what if wearing a mask was stress-relieving rather than stress-inducing? Today’s conscientious skincare solutions are making it possible. Products that disinfect masks while also imparting essential skincare ingredients and a pleasant, stress-reducing fragrance can help make mask-wearing a refreshing, reinvigorating, and—best of all—stress-free part of your daily routine. 

Discover Curated Maskne Treatments With Japanese Beauty Products

As an important measure against stopping the spread of COVID-19, mask-wearing—and its various skin-related discomforts—is something we need to endure for now. However, once you’ve identified the how and why behind maskne and other skin conditions caused by masks, it should be easier to establish simple routines and careful practices that actively prevent breakouts and ease your mask-weary skin. The three maskne tips above are just some of the ways J-Beauty can help make mask-wearing a pleasant and healthful part of daily life. For more ways to improve your skin health and guard against maskne, check out the product links below. 

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