Maskne (mask acne) is a common problem in the Corona pandemic that will probably be with us for some time. It occurs under the mouth and nose, i.e. in the area of the cheeks, nose, chin and neck, and leads to inflamed areas and pimples. Sometimes the skin is red and taut. Itching can also be present. Open and closed blackheads (comedones) may also appear in the affected areas.
How does mask acne develop?
There are several factors. A predisposition can play a role. But even in people who have never had to deal with skin problems before, the combination of mechanical irritation and warm, humid climate in the mask can lead to the skin barrier being disturbed and acne-causing microorganisms multiplying. This leads to the formation of a mask with inflammatory pimples.
When the skin suddenly goes crazy, it is usually tempting to immediately reach for aggressive cleansing products. But these can degrease and irritate the skin too much, which in turn can cause new inflammations. The very word "impurities" makes us think that pimples and inflammations can be washed away like dirt. In fact, these "impurities" are an indication of an imbalance in the skin, which is usually also dehydrated and sensitised. Therefore, soothing and consistent care is important to bring the skin back into balance and prevent new pimples.
4 steps to prevent and treat maskne
1. mild cleaning
The skin should be mildly cleansed in the morning and evening. A fragrance- and alcohol-free micellar water or soothing micellar cleansing gel that you can use without tap water is ideal for this. Apply with a microfibre pad or organic cotton pad, stroking the skin very gently. Do not rub! And to remove make-up or sunscreen, it's best to use both sides of the pad in succession. This allows for thorough and gentle cleansing.
2. gentle pore-deep peeling with BHA
The antibacterial beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) salicylic acid occurs naturally in willow bark. Since it is lipophilic (= fat-loving), it can penetrate into the upper area of the pores and free them from excessive cornification. In addition, regular application ensures that the horny layer of the skin becomes somewhat thinner and more even. This minimises horny plugs and blackheads and prevents them from forming again. This light chemical peeling effect is much gentler than mechanical peeling, whose granules can damage the skin, which in turn can cause inflammation. A BHA peel can be used in the evening after cleansing, for example as a peel pad or liquid peel. Intolerance to salicylic acid is very rare but possible. If you get redness or pimples in unusual places after using BHA products, use them only every 2-3 days at first. Sometimes sensitive skin needs time to get used to the product. If the irritation still does not go away, stop using the peel.
3. multi-tasking with niacinamide
Niacinamide (vitamin B3) has an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulates the formation of ceramides, which are an important component of our skin barrier. In addition, excessive sebum production is regulated and the skin no longer becomes greasy so quickly. Niacinamide can also prevent the formation of dark spots after inflammations and pimples. A serum with a maximum of 10% niacinamide usually shows an effect after a few days. The serum can be applied in the morning or in the evening after cleansing. If you apply it in the evening, then after the BHA peeling product.
Here is more information on this active ingredient.
4. repairing care
As a light care after the serum or peel, I recommend a glycerine-based moisturiser with squalane or ceramides to support the skin's barrier function and microbiome. If you have barrier-disrupted skin, you should definitely use an alcohol- and fragrance-free care (also without limonene, linalool, geraniol, citronellol, ...).
You should see positive changes after just one week with this skincare concept. However, you need to give all new active ingredients about two skin cycles (i.e. 6 - 8 weeks) to show significant improvements.
In our practice, we have additional prescription agents as well as medical peels available for the treatment of mask acne. We also offer treatments for sequelae such as pimple marks and pimples.
Get advice - via video call or at an appointment in the practice!