• Cara-Lee Compton


Just when we thought 2020 threw everything it had at us,

we now have to deal with mask acne - maskne.

Is it a real term? Maybe. Is it a real struggle, YES! You've probably experienced some issues with your skin, especially in your mask area, and wondered what is happening.

Well, mask acne is about just as real as this virus and we will simply have to deal with it.

The golden rule applies, 'prevention is better than cure', so let's have a look at how you can deal with this issue before it even becomes one.

Preventing mask acne

1. Scale down on makeup

Okay, this one should come without saying and yet, we are all guilty of it - leave the heavy makeup. The main cause of acne is the clogging of your pores by oil, dirt, and of course something like makeup. On a regular day makeup has the ability to create some skin issues or worsen it, but throw a mask on it and you've got a face-pandemic! Opt for a light concealer and if need be base around the eye area, blend well to avoid the raccoon-look. Highlighter on your cheekbones (above the mask area), some eyeshadow and mascara, and there you have the whole world thinking you've done a proper makeup-job. You will be wearing your mask for most of the day, and for those few minutes you take it off, no one will be close enough to see your half makeup face anyway!

2. Take a breather

Give your face and skin time to breath. When you are in the car or alone in the office, or basically anywhere, where you are not at risk or putting anyone else at risk, take your mask off. You would have felt how damp the inside of your mask can feel, especially if it is pressed very tight against your face. Recommended mask materials are cotton and silk. On this point, try and get a mask that it not too tight and will allow your skin to breath, just enough so you are still safe from the big Rona.

3. Clean and Corona free

Wash, wash, wash. Not just your hands, but cleanse your face as soon as you get home and have removed your mask. Avoid cleansers and soap that is going to be harsh on your face, as your skin is already irritated by the mask. It is important to not neglect moisturising, especially those that struggle with dry sensitive skin! This might also not be the best time to do any harsh treatments like chemical peels. Treat your face like the money-maker it is!

4. Wash your mask like it's undies!

Seriously though, while you're washing your face, wash the thing that covers it! It is extremely important to wash your mask daily, to prevent the previous day's oils, dead skin cells and dirt that gathered in your mask to stick to your fresh face the next day. A bit of warm water and a gentle detergent is recommended - which means no colourants and fragrances that could irritate the skin even more.

5. Maskne got me - what now?

Don't go crazy and try to wash your acne right off. The more gentle you are with your skin, the better! Although a dermatologist will always be your best bet, there are some store bought and over-the-counter solutions for a light or mild form of acne. These include any benzoyl peroxide-containing treatments, such as the Benzac AC 5 gel/ cream (can be bought in store at Dischem and other pharmacies for about R100 or more, depending on the size). This is only recommended if your skin is not already raw and irritated, or else it might just worsen your situation. In that case, call the Dermo and get it checked out!

These are five efficient ways to prevent and cure maskne. Just like every other form of cleaning and hygiene at the moment, we have to go to greater lengths than normal to keep our faces bright and problem free. Create a skincare routine where you incorporate the above do's and don'ts and stick to it like it's your last bottle of hand sanitizer!

P.S. HAPPY WOMEN'S MONTH to all my beautiful readers. I am excited to share some amazing and inspiring content with you.