Jane Rose - August 2020

"Mascne"

Wearing A Mask?  Skin Suffering?

I flew across to Perth from Sydney last week and found myself sweating uncomfortably under my mask.  At the end of a long day masked up, my skin was definitely suffering and I noticed a few breakouts.  With face masks now compulsory in many places and a lot of us wearing them throughout the day, a lot of us are experiencing breakouts.  Sitting here in quarantine, I really feel for workers who have to wear masks all day in hot and sweaty environments.  Their skin will surely suffer.

We’ve had a number of customers contact us to see if we can help with mask related skin health issues, which is why I’m writing this blog!  Inevitably, there’s a new name lighting up social media for the effects of wearing masks for long periods.  It's being called “mascne”.

What Causes Mascne?

Our breath is warm and moist; every time we exhale into our masks, this humid air is trapped within them.  Add in saliva, the very substance we are trying not to share with bystanders.  Human saliva is teeming with bacteria. When it’s contained within your mask and concentrated around the nose and chin, breakouts are inevitable.

Stress is a well known trigger of breakouts and many of us are living with more stress due to the pandemic. Anxiety around job security and money, the health of loved ones, lack of social interaction or being stuck in an unhappy lockdown; all of these increase our stress levels and can trigger breakouts.  

The correct term for maskne is acne mechanica.  Acne mechanica is different from common breakouts; it’s triggered by external disturbance rather than hormonal fluctuations. The combination of heat, friction and bacteria can create a fertile breeding ground for skin complaints.


Mask Management

The most effective way to reduce the chances of suffering from mascne is to change your mask often.  Disposable masks minimise the problem of bacteria and personal hygiene, but many of us are concerned about the waste and sustainability issues so we are choosing washable masks.

If you do use re-usable fabric masks, theres no reason why you cant change it several times during the day.  Have a stash of masks and change them regularly during the day.  At the very least, wash your mask every day and don’t think that turning them inside out is a shortcut to hygiene.

You could also consider spraying the inside of your mask each time you remove it with an anti-microbial spray.  Make sure, too, that your mask fits you well, so that you’re not constantly putting your hands to your face to adjust it; opt for one made from a natural breathable material like cotton or silk.  Adjusting your mask properly will help to avoid chafe behind your ears.

Looking After Your Skin

I recommend minimising makeup to avoid the blocked pores that encourage spot formation.  If your pores are blocked, then the lack of ventilation under the mask will be a recipe for skin problems.  And don’t be tempted to apply more foundation to conceal breakouts, which will only exacerbate the problem. Go makeup free under the mask and emphasise your eyes.  After all, your eyes are where attention is likely to be focussed.

Think about reassessing your skincare, too.  Avoid aggressive scrubs which could potentially increase irritation to skin that’s already under stress.  Use gentle cleansers that aren’t alcohol based in order to avoid making the irritation under your mask worse.

Focus on healing products that will help support healthier barrier function and maintain skin hydration with a moisturiser that will create a lubricating barrier and help the skin, in case of damage, to heal. 

How Can CameLife Help?

Here at CameLife, we can help so we've created a great offer for you.  
The first step is to cleanse regularly, using a natural, alcohol free cleanser.  The camel milk in our natural Facial Cleansing Bar  has a gentle anti-bacterial effect to deal with the build up of bacteria under your mask.  It will also help to promote your skin's natural, healthy biome.  Your cleanser comes in a convenient tin, so you can take it with you to cleanse during the day whenever you can take your mask off.  

Use The Original Camel Balm to treat any spots or dry patches that arise and use it if your mask chafes.  Camel milk has long been used in  skincare treatments because it is so anti-inflammatory.  Camel Balm is concentrated healing camel milk in a tube! 

And finally, to help maintain your skin's natural moisture and the integrity of its barrier layer, we've included a Restorative Day Cream.

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