Maskne – the side effects of wearing your mask


Fabric masks are part of our ‘new normal’ and the impact wearing these masks have on our skin are not always pretty. Welcome Maskne! 

Face masks are not going to disappear soon, we should try and understand the cause(s) of maskne and find solutions to keep our skincare on point. 

Acne starts when the oil glands that are present in the skin become blocked. The accumulated gland contents become contaminated with bacteria causing infection which then spreads to the oil glands resulting in acne. 

(C) Pinterest | Katie May

How fabric face masks affect your skin 

Bacteria love a warm and moist environment, here they multiply exponentially.

The conditions that are brought on by wearing a mask for long periods of time are ideal for creating a warm environment. Anyone that wears glasses will know how annoying the fogging up of your glasses is when you wear a mask. Exhaled air, trapped by the mask, is warm and moist and creates an ideal environment for the proliferation of bacteria. Therefore, partially or blocked oil glands that may be present in the skin, now stand a far greater chance of becoming infected. 

Inflammation is the enemy! The skin care world is waking up to this; in order to control inflammation and ageing and the skin diseases associated with inflammaging such as acne, we need to use less chemicals on the skin. The new approach to skin care where fewer products are used is called Skip-care skincare. 

How can we prevent maskne or what are the most effective ways of treating it? Thoclor Labs, leaders in using hypochlorous acid (our own body’s Immune Molecule) as a main ingredient in all their products, shares their tips on fighting Maskne

  1. Use a soap-free cleanser to clean your skin thoroughly twice per day, for example Lulu & Marula’s Balancing Cleansing Balm.
R 340.00 ZAR
  1. After you have dried your skin, spray Thoclor Labs GF2 Skin Rejuvenation onto the whole face and allow it to dry naturally. GF2 Skin Rejuvenation contains hypochlorous acid, a natural substance with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. 
GF2 Skin Rejuvenation
R799.25 — available on subscription
  1. Regularly spray your mask inside and out with GF2. This will kill bacteria and viruses that may have accumulated on the mask.
  2. Be cautious of wearing too much make-up and other skincare products under your face mask. This may only contribute to the blocking of your oil glands and heavy make-up may even become a growth medium for bacteria under hot and humid conditions, which exist inside your face mask. 

Pro tip – invest in a few masks so you can rotate them as needed… and it looks cute with your outfits, of course.

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Always, Anne