Remember when we naively thought ‘mask-ne’, that’s mask-made acne if you’ve been (luckily) living under a rock since 2019, would be a temporary issue, well just about into our third year of this madness that attitude seems to be a thing of the past.

Through continued mandates, a focus on safety and just common sense, masks are still a necessity, often in salon, definitely in crowded environments or in certain situations like public transport and air travel and to your, your colleagues’ and your clients’ personal preferences, along with state guidelines. As such, ‘mask-ne’ continues to be a prevalent issue, but luckily treatments for it and preventative approaches are being continuously developed and learned.

In this continued research, mask quality and fabric has proved an enlightening revelation.

“The main skin issue with face masks is the materials they’re made out of, which can irritate our skin. Surgical masks are usually made out of polypropylene, a plastic polymer,” explained the team at Tanologist. “Even your well-made cotton fabric mask can cause irritation because it’s tightly fitted to your face – that causes friction. For a mask to do its job, it needs to be thick or multi-layered. It can stifle our skin, and that leads to clogged pores.”

Silk masks, while also looking fancy, have been recommended by dermatologists online, with a smoother texture that is kinder to the skin and more breathable, while also limiting heat and moisture build-up that usually induces sweat and clogs pores.

Beyond the types of masks used, skincare treatments are paramount in fighting mask-ne. Face masks – like the deep treatment skincare kind, not the ‘mask-ne’ kind

“Face masks are a deep treatment for your skin and offer a ton of benefits, from soothing redness caused by masks to drawing out the impurities that come with constant wearing,” the Tanologist team said.

Clay masks are great for soaking up oils, sweat and debris caused by mask wearing, while masks that combine clay with soothing properties are real winners.

In other skincare necessities, facial cleansers with salicylic acid can supercharge your cleansing routine to fight acne and retinol can be a powerful ingredient in this cause.

“This amazing ingredient achieves both in the same way by increasing your cell turnover. This means your skin produces more collagen, which is essential for plump, youthful skin. This also means it works as an exfoliant to get rid of dead skin cells, dirt, and oil – which can all cause acne,” the Tanologist team said.

It’s important to ensure no skincare, self-tan or makeup products used have pore-clogging components, so opt instead for clear tanning water options and oil-free formulas in general. Make sure you’re double cleansing makeup to take it all off as well.

“On top of everything else that’s happened over the past two years, we don’t need ‘mask-ne’ to stress us out again,” the Tanologist team said. “You might have struggled with it the last time we needed to wear face masks, but now you know exactly how to treat and prevent it. Your skin will be just as smooth and glowing after you take your mask off as it is before you put it on.”

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