How to Solve ‘Maskne’
How to Solve ‘Maskne’
LIFESTYLE TIPS TO PREVENT ACNE (MASKNE)
A really helpful first step in trying to keep maskne away is by choosing a mask fabric that is as breathable as possible. This may sound counterintuitive to the purpose of the mask, but let me clarify that I am not saying you should seek out a crocheted mask full of holes or anything. However, a cotton mask that still has a pocket for a replaceable filter is going to protect you from Covid-19 while still letting your skin breathe better than a mask made from something closer to plastic that lets absolutely no air flow in.
Once you’ve chosen a fabric that will both protect you and let her skin breathe a bit, be sure to wash your face mask consistently. As we mentioned above, acne is largely caused by bacteria, so the cleaner you can keep your face masks, the healthier your skin will be. This is a great tip to take seriously because it also obviously helps keep your face masks free of germs and therefore helps keep everyone safer from Covid-19.
When there are times where it is necessary for you to wear a mask for a long period of time, try to wash your face as soon as you can safely remove the mask. If it isn’t feasible to do a full face wash, at least bring a travel face wipe with you to use or even spray with a toner that has cleansing ingredients like witch hazel or rosemary. Also try to remove your mask and air out your skin as frequently as possible whenever you are in a safe space outdoors away from others.
Reducing stress is one additional way to help keep your skin clear, but honestly, I feel silly even writing this. I know how hard it is to de-stress with everything going on right now. However, if you are able to do things like meditate, write, go for solo walks or anything else that helps keep stress at bay for you, do it. This one, similar to increasing water intake and eating healthy foods, will have the added benefit of not only keeping your skin more clear, but keeping your mind and body healthier as well, which is always a good thing.
WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK TO STOP ACNE
Let’s begin with some ways you can help prevent this new situational acne in the first place. One easy way is to drink more water than you usually do. Water is one of the best and easiest ways to cleanse our system. Since acne is simply a symptom of bacteria, keeping our body free of bad bacteria is a great start to keeping acne away.
Consuming foods and beverages that help maintain a healthy ph balance will also help keep your skin clear. It’s a great idea to keep our bodies as healthy as possible right now anyway, so that if we do catch Covid-19 our body has the best chance possible at fighting it, but keeping your body healthy also helps your skin stay clear.
Not only is it helpful to make healthy food choices in general, but there are also some foods that are specifically known to help fight acne when consumed.
Garlic - Garlic is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic due to the allicin within it. Allicin helps to kill the bacteria that causes acne and also reduces swelling and inflammation.
Green Tea - Rich in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a polyphenol that can improve acne and oily skin, Green Tea is a great thing to drink regularly when fighting acne. With its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, it is a great ingredient to look for IN your skincare products as well.
Rosemary - Rosemary has powerful disinfectant and antibiotic properties which can aid in acne and oily skin treatment. While Rosemary is an herb you can safely consume, you can also apply topically to decongest acne and even out oily skin types. Its antimicrobial benefits give oily and acneic skin an advantage in preventing future breakouts.
SUPPLEMENTS THAT KEEP ACNE AWAY
While we are not medical professionals and can not suggest you take supplements continuously, it is helpful to know that two supplements in particular have been shown to be very successful at fighting acne. The extra neat thing is that both of these supplements have been clearly documented as immune system booster, so they can work double duty if you take them temporarily during the times of needing to wear a mask and hopefully evade Coronavirus. Please be sure to do your own research connected to your personal health status before taking any supplement (for example, some studies say echinacea can be harmful to people with pollen allergies or asthma) but if you’re in the clear, the two options below may really help you keep maskne at bay.
Zinc - Studies have shown that Zinc levels often correlate to acne, with people with lower levels of Zinc seeming to be prone to higher occurrences of acne. While this isn’t a solution that has as many studies behind it as other certain ways to fight acne, it seems like a great option when specifically discussing maskne, since Zinc is certainly known to boost our immune system, which can’t hurt in the times of wearing a mask to stop the spread of a global pandemic.
Echinacea - Research has found that topical use of Echinacea can reduce acne severity, as it readily destroys P. acnes, the bacteria which is most often associated with acne. Echinacea purpurea also has anti-inflammatory properties which help calm down irritated skin. Echinacea is also well known to strengthen your immune system, which again, makes it multi-purposeful while fighting Covid-19 and maskne.
SKINCARE INGREDIENTS TO FIGHT ACNE
While many of the tips above are related very specifically to our current circumstances of wearing a face mask daily, since that is the cause of ‘maskne,’ another way to fight against maskne is to think about preventing and treating it the same way you would with any acne. Here are some of the best ingredients to ward off or clear up acne of any sort, including the new, dreaded maskne:
Tea Tree Oil - Tea tree oil is both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, which helps it treat acne symptoms of red, swollen skin.
Jojoba Oil - Due to anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents, as well as healing properties, Jojoba Oil is great for healing mild acne and even avoiding breakouts in the first place.
Aloe Vera - Aloe has antibacterial properties that can help control and reduce acne-causing bacteria. It is also extremely beneficial in healing damaged skin (most notably burned skin) which includes acne scars.
Kaolin Clay - The job of clays like Kaolin Clay in the battle against acne is to physically remove the acne-causing impurities from your pores.
Bentonite Clay - This adsorbent power may be helpful in treating acne breakouts and oily skin. The clay can help remove sebum - or oil - from the skin's surface, and it may also have a calming effect on inflamed breakouts.
Charcoal - Charcoal is anti-inflammatory, which helps with symptoms of acne. It is also an exfoliator that helps remove dirt, dead skin cells or bacteria that is causing acne in the first place.
Witch Hazel - Many types of acne are inflammatory and therefore react best to anti-inflammatory products, however, we also sometimes get non-inflammatory breakouts (blackheads and whiteheads) and Witch Hazel is especially helpful in these situations. Witch Hazel is an astringent and dries out blemishes that are loaded with too much oil.
Honey - Since bad bacteria is a cause of acne, antibacterial ingredients like raw honey (Manuka Honey also works exceptionally well) work wonders in fighting acne. Honey not only helps balance the bacteria on your skin, but also greatly speeds up healing time for skin damage caused by acne.