The Cheek of it! Are troublesome blemishes, pimples or even acne appearing from nowhere on your cheeks or around your mouth? If so, you might be experiencing a new phenomenon known as ‘Maskne’. Here we look at some different reasons why we might be experiencing post puberty acne for the first time.
What is it Maskne? and what can be done about it?
The ongoing global pandemic has given us numerous challenges, one of them being the proliferation of acne, caused by wearing a mask for prolonged periods, also known as ‘Maske’.
‘Maskne’, or its medical term Acne Mechanica, is a type of skin irritation and breakout caused by the continuous friction and rubbing, causing micro-tears (in this case through wearing a mask). Bacteria can build up and clog the pores and thrives in the warm, damp environment from breathing beneath the mask.
How do you prevent and treat ‘Maskne’?
- Use a breathable, smooth fibre fabric face mask
- Keep your mask clean
- Daily facial cleansing
- Moisturising to maintain the skin’s protective barrier
- Spot Treatment to soothe the inflamed area
Acne can also affect us as adults for other reasons
Acne (Acne Vulgaris). Acne Vulgaris is the common form of acne that affects many of us during puberty but can also appear again later in life. Unlike ‘Maskne’, acne is caused by hormonal sensitivity affecting the glands to produce excessive amounts of oil, causing pores to become thickened and inhibiting dead skins cells from shedding efficiently.
Nearly all adult acne is caused by inflammation and clogged pores. Sometimes the condition can be part of your DNA, but even when that’s the case, there’s usually one or more triggers that bring on the acne.
Five reasons why adult acne can occur:
- Emotional or physical stress
- Clogged Pores
Having a regular cleansing regime, keeping the skin clean, dirt free and clear of any dead skin cells by using products containing gentle AHAs all go a long way to minimising the risk of breaking out into acne. Diet should also be looked into, dairy has been indicated as a trigger for adult acne, so it’s worth discussing this with your Doctor if you are concerned.
Acne scarring – double trouble!
Whether the acne originated from a mask or stress, there is always the possibility that it can leave behind some scarring to the skin.
People who have acne scars may feel they are having double trouble: First you have to deal with the breakouts, then you are left with marks as a reminder! To be honest, true acne scars never completely disappear unfortunately, although their appearance usually improves over time. However, mild acne scars do not have to be permanent, as some remedies can help to get rid of them but then again, being patient is also the key to treating them.
How to treat problem skin and acne scarring
Our founder Karen Lee-Thompson recommended the following for anyone suffering from maskne, acne, or any other troublesome spot, pimple or blemish:
"To start with, I will always recommend to use an effective sun protection because most light or darker brown marks can darken with sun exposure. Make sure you always apply an oil-free sunscreen and wear protective gear like a hat when out under the sun (something we don’t need to worry about just yet!)
It is also super important that you mustn’t load your skin with lots of different products when trying to treat acne scars. Practice gentle skincare without scrubbing your skin, as it won't help but may irritate your skin further, making the scars more aggravated or more visible.
I would recommend use of our Daily Base Aqua Gel for everyday gentle cleansing as well as hydrating your skin without overloading it. Following that, you can use Power TonIQ Anti-Blemish Essence to give your skin immediate relief, to calm the area around the breakout and resurface the skin to minimise the appearance of scarring. Also, the earlier you treat the breakouts, the less likely you are to develop acne scars. This formula works particularly well over night. You can also consider using Power TonIQ Dark Spot Correcting Essence as it contains a special blend of proven natural plant based actives to help fight pigmentation.
One final note that I must say before leaving… AVOID picking, squeezing and popping at all costs as by doing that you could increase the chance of turning a minor breakout into a permanent acne scar!"