OK, that’s a bit click-baity isn’t it?
I’m not discrediting those with maskne of course. Maskne or mask-acne is a real problem. Thanks to the daily and constant wearing of face masks throughout this pandemic, our skin is being rubbed raw, getting clogged and breaking out around our mouths and chin areas. It’s like we want to protect ourselves, but our skin hates being confined (and who can blame it really!)
That was the problem I had about a month ago.
I was wearing masks for slightly longer than I usually do (or so I thought) and noticed a spot or two pop up. Thinking nothing of it, I went on as usual, masking up whenever I went out, washing my face as normal, just doing everything as normal (so I thought). Yet, the acne got worse and worse.
I had about 4 HUGE cystic acne going on at once around my chin. My chin area was a mess of whiteheads and blackheads and all sorts of heads in between LOL! It was a mess.
I was puzzled. I’d scaled my skincare back. I’d kept everything basic. Yet, it wasn’t getting better.
One day, I had a thought. What if it’s not 100% a problem with wearing masks, or my skincare. What if it was something else, like poor eating habits?
Well, since then, save for the odd spot I still get, which I know is thanks to wearing masks, the most serious of the acne is gone! Here’s the changes I put in effect that did the magic.
Eating more fruit & vegetables
What made me think of my eating habits was when I remembered in the past, that when I eat poorly, and unbalanced meals, I had a tendency to break out around my chin area. This was also something that happens when I eat a lot of beef in a short period of time.
By way of an experiment, I doubled down on my intake of fruit and vegetables.
The problem with living in a lockdown (2021, and yes, we’re still in full lockdown) is that you tend to get lazy about eating properly. You either want to snack (a lot!) or you end up eating unhealthy but fun food – fried food, comfort food. Food like that tends to be short on fibre, and I did notice that I had slacked on eating fresh fruit and vegetables.
So, for a week, I upped my fresh fruit and vegetable intake and I started noticing results.
The cystic acne on my chin began to subside. It’s now all but gone.
The worst of my breakouts began to calm down in just a few days. I noticed it simply because it wasn’t as painful anymore. Increasing my water intake helped too. While at home, it’s easy to forget to drink water, or to just be a bit of a camel through the day LOL
Most of my breakouts along my jawline stopped, subsided and eventually went away. That’s when I realised that what I thought was maskne, was predominantly food related. Perhaps wearing a mask aggravated it, and made it worse, but it was a good wakeup call for me to eat more healthily and more balanced meals.
Back to using acid toners
The 2nd thing I did was to go back to using acid toners.
I’d stopped using acid toners for a while, as my skin seemed to do well without. If anything, at one point, it felt like I was overexfoliating.
When I had a mess of whiteheads and clogged pores on my chin under my mask, I started using acid toners again. My go-to for now, are still Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 and Pixi Glow Tonic, with a preference for the former. With current budget cuts though (in my routine), I’d happily use the latter.
Acid toners have helped slowly unclog my pores, and I’m not feeling a whole mess of bumpy skin around my mouth area anymore. Whew! It is a fairly slow process (unless you get in there as well and squeeze out the spots. Ahem. Not that I’m recommending it, of course. Ahem! :P ) but it will get you there, the way it got me there. For me, I acid tone in the morning and evening, and then I’ll scale back to the evening.
The reason why it works, is because it is giving my skin some exfoliation. While I might have found it unnecessary in the days pre-Covid, I now find it more necessary as it helps keep my skin under my mask smoother and clearer.
A proper skincare routine – no more lazy days
Truth was, I fell into a bit of a rut a month or two back. There is much to get angry about, especially the situation we are forced to be in here in Malaysia, with an inept Government and a raging pandemic. I felt rather lost and malaise set in.
As a result, I got lazy with my skincare routine. In the mornings, I’d slap on some light moisturiser (I was using the Antipodes Baptise) and a sunscreen. In the evenings, I’d just slap on a facial oil. I just figured that as long as I was putting something on my skin, it was fine.
But it wasn’t.
Simultaneously with the 2 realizations above, I made a little more effort with my skincare. I dug out a moisturiser that was creamier and more suited to my skin. I included in a serum. I went back to using my moisture sandwich.
I think all the moisture helped my skin heal. As the cystic acne subsided, and the clogged pores unclogged, I realised how dehydrated my skin was. My personal mantra has always been that well moisturised skin is a panacea to most skin problems, and I found it helped me. My skin began to heal.
Do I still get maskne?
Of course I do. I still get the odd spot here and there, especially when I’ve been wearing a mask for longer than usual. I’m lucky that I don’t have to, as I don’t go out very much. My mask-wearing is quite short.
Yet, I do still get the odd spots around my chin. But they usually go away after a day or two. Most importantly for me, the cystic acne was gone, and my pores were far less clogged. For me, that’s victory enough!
Have you found anything helpful to clear your maskne? Share your tips!
I’m not really complaining about wearing a mask to be honest. I’d rather be safe than sorry. If it means a little breakout here and there, I’ll take it :)