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Sustainable face masks & preventing ‘Maskne’

Sustainable face masks & preventing ‘Maskne’
Holly James
Beauty Writer3 years ago
View Holly James's profile

As of the 24th July it will be compulsory for everyone in the UK to wear a face mask in shops and supermarkets. If you're an avid shopaholic and like to spend your weekends hunting down the perfect summer wardrobe additions or work in retail, this can mean the skin around your nose and mouth will spend a lot of time under a mask which can result in what has come to be known as 'Maskne'.

The best Face Masks for skin

In all walks of life, whether it be our skincare routine or our PPE, disposable products are not sustainable or environmentally friendly. These, usually cheaper, throw away products are usually more likely to irritate the skin. Therefore it is better for both you and our planet to invest in a re-usable mask that is specially designed for sitting on the skin and can be washed and worn again. We have picked out some of the best on LOOKFANTASTIC to keep you sanitary and blemish free.

Slip Reusable Face Covering

Comfortable on the skin and made out of 100% cotton on the inside, this Reusable Face Covering by Slip won't irritate the skin and will feel soft and comfortable to wear. The mask is specially woven to minimise friction and prevent crease marks for maximum comfort and is lined with breathable cotton. The Face Covering is machine washable, so easy to keep clean to prevent Maskne breakouts.

StylPro Reusable Cotton Face Mask

Crafted from luxuriously soft and supple cotton, the StylPro Reusable Mask is soft on the skin and fitted perfectly to the contours of the face to prevent movement and rubbing. The masks are machine-washable and can be used up to 30 times, making them highly practical and convenient.

*Please note that the masks do not replace the need for proper and regulated social distancing, meaning that staying the relevant distance away from people, not touching your face and regularly and thoroughly washing your hands are still extremely important. LOOKFANTASTIC make no claims about the medical benefits or properties of the masks.

What is Maskne?

Known as 'acne mechanica' in the medical world, Maskne is the result of friction from a fabric on the skin which results in tears, irritation and breakouts. As friction and irritation along with the heat and moisture under a mask can create a hot-spot for bacteria to spread, it is easy for whiteheads, blackheads and spots to form under a mask. Throw in the humidity from summer heat combined with any heavy makeup or skincare products and you have the perfect environment for a breakout. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to stop skin from flaring up and keep the blemishes at bay even if you are wearing a mask for most of your day.

How to prevent Maskne

1. Wash your mask regularly

Just like you wouldn't continue to wear dirty clothes without washing, a mask shouldn't be worn for days on end without being cleaned, especially as it sits directly on the skin. Try and have at least two reusable masks in rotation so that you can wash each after a day or two of wearing to prevent dirt and bacteria build up. After washing, allow your mask to completely dry before using it to prevent any added moisture being exposed to the skin. If you exercise in your mask, you should wash your mask straight away.

2. Wash your face before and after wearing your mask

As a face mask can gather dirt and sweat, it is important to keep the skin clean to keep your mask clean for longer. Try and wash your face with a gentle cleanser that won't further irritate the skin both before and after wearing your mask. If this isn't possible, make sure you are washing your face regularly morning and night.

3. Avoid using harsh ingredients

It may be tempting to pile on the acids and harsh clearing treatments at the first sign of a breakout, however it's important to be kind to your skin and stick to using gentle formulas that won't cause further flare ups. Using strong products on your blemishes can weaken or break the skin's natural barrier which can result in the mask causing more irritation from rubbing, increasing your acne problem. Instead, use acne-prone products designed for sensitive skin such as the Effaclar range by La Roche Posay.

4. Use oil-free skincare and cosmetics

As advised for those with oily and blemish prone skin, stick to oil-free moisturisers and makeup that won't clog pores or cause added build up under your mask. If you can, ditch the foundation on this part of your face (it will be hidden after all!) and go makeup free or opt for a lighter BB or CC cream instead.

5. Soothe your skin overnight

The evening and night time is the best time to allow your skin to breathe and repair. If your mask has caused rubbing and dryness, overnight is the optimum time to apply your heavier, more nourishing creams that will restore moisture, without the worry of it encouraging bacteria under a mask. The REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm will replenish moisture whilst you sleep, using Jojoba and Sunflower Oils to strengthen the natural barrier function.

5. Use a probiotic

The environment under your mask can easily become host to acne-causing bacteria. To keep a healthy balance of good bacteria, after washing, use a probiotic that will support the skin's natural defence barrier, such as the Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster. The moisturising formula will help to strengthen the skin, supporting the upper layer that experiences mask rub on a daily basis. The probiotic encourages cell renewal to keep skin healthy and free of acne causing bacteria.

7. Stay away from sticky lip products

Other than them being wasted under your mask, sticky lip glosses and sticks can easily smudge across your mask adding to irritation and breakouts. Keep your lips moisturised whilst staying safe with serum based balm such as the AMELIORATE Intensive Lip Treatment that sinks straight into the skin without leaving any waxy or sticky residue that can rub off on your mask.

8. Keep hands clean

Of course, the number one rule of staying safe during the pandemic; keep your hands clean! Not only will this help you stay safe from infection, but it will also help keep your skin clear. On a daily basis our hands touch multiple surfaces, picking up bacteria and dirt. When using a mask, we are more likely to touch our face to adjust it or when putting the mask on or taking it off. It is therefore important for both our health and our skin that we regularly use hand sanitiser when out and about after touching any surface.

Shop all Face Coverings and Hand Wash products on LOOKFANTASTIC here.

Holly James
Beauty Writer
View Holly James's profile
Working with brands at LOOKFANTASTIC for over two years I have developed my knowledge of all things beauty from key skincare concerns to niche makeup tricks and haircare hacks. I have a major passion for finding effective solutions that are easily accessible to everyone so that we can all achieve our best, glowing complexion.