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Maskne Is a Real Thing – How do You Prevent It?

From stripping down your skincare routine to making better choices with your face masks, here are some precautions to take.

Look what Miss Rona has dragged in this time. Maskne. A portmanteau coined from mask and acne, it refers to acne caused on the lower half of your face where masks sit. As the pathogen continues its world tour, there’s no escaping face masks. In Singapore, it’s mandatory to have a face mask on at all times in public spaces. We’re a 100 percent for the regulation but have also quickly learnt, we have more to be concerned about than our lipstick smudging underneath fabric masks.

Extended use of face masks can take its toll on the skin, especially, if you live in the hot and humid tropics. A marinate of moisture and oil from perspiration coupled with the friction of face masks against the skin, it’s THE recipe for a skin disaster. But if we had to pick, we’d much rather deal with skin woes than Miss Rona herself.

Now that we know face mask induced acne flare-ups are very much a thing, we can actively work towards preventing them. Starting from the basics…

Pay attention to the type of face mask you’re using. Due to the shortage of surgical masks, most of us have had to turn to fabric alternatives. With fabric masks, you want to reach for ones that are made of 100 percent cotton or a linen blend fitter with a filter. These are the best bets when it comes to breathability and actually protecting you from the virus. Anti-microbial feature is an added plus but you should really be washing your face mask everyday.

Avoid wearing makeup underneath your face mask. Slathering on foundation only increases the probability of clogged pores. We know, we know, this one’s a tough one but if you really think about it, no one is going to be seeing much of your made up face underneath a mask. AND cleaning up smudged makeup is a real hassle anyway. If you absolutely must, opt for lightweight tinted serums or moisturisers.

Strip down your skincare routine to the bare minimum. Now’s the time to go on that skin detox ladies. Stay away from the heavy-duty stuff in the morning and keep the layering of products simple. Have in mind, whatever you’re applying onto your face is going to be marinating under the face mask throughout the day. Cleanser, tinted moisturiser, sunscreen and you’re good to go. What you can double-up on, however, is exfoliating. You want to really get rid of all the gunk that accumulates underneath the face mask.

If you already suffer from acne and inflamed skin, taking the extra step to soothe the skin and keep angry zits covered is an absolute must. Pimple stickers, calming facial mists, anti-pollution serums and spot treatments – you’re going to have to pull out all the stops.


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