In England, face masks have once again become mandatory in shops and public transport. Elsewhere around the world, they have become a facet of life during the past (nearly) two years. But wearing a mask for multiple hours a day can leave you with problematic skin, due to the build-up of bacteria from clogged pores. 

Some people have reported the problem of ‘Mascne’ during the pandemic, where spots appear around the jawline, chin and cheekbones as a result of constant mask-wearing. 

As masks look set to be part of our everyday furniture for the foreseeable future, we want to make sure we are practising good skin and mask hygiene to prevent acne breakouts. Here are some tips to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh.

Choose silk over heavy fabrics 

The material our masks are made from can have a huge impact on our skin. Cotton fabric can cause more friction on the skin as opposed to masks made from gentle silk. 

Choosing to wear a silk facemask is not only stylish but makes it easier for your skin to breathe. Silk is naturally antimicrobial and can kill or slow down the production of bacteria on the skin, whereas heavy-duty cotton can cause the opposite. 

If you’re wearing a mask for long periods, purchasing one made from silk is great if you want to invest in the health of your skin and reduce irritability. 

Avoid wearing makeup under a mask if possible 

Wearing a heavy foundation combined with a mask is a recipe for disaster for our skin as it will have double the amount of confinement. 

If you can go without skin make-up and feel comfortable doing so, it might be a good idea to take a break from it if you are wearing a facemask as well. 

Makeup combined with wearing a thick mask can lead to the build-up of blocked pores and cause breakouts. Masks tend to rub off most of your foundation anyway, so why not have some fun with creative eyeshadow looks instead? 

Your skin will thank you for it. 

Wash your face after wearing a mask 

If you’re on the go, this isn’t always possible, but you should definitely be doing this when removing your mask when you get home. 

Make sure to use a gentle cleanser to clean your face and remove the build-up of bacteria that has been sitting behind your mask for the best part of the day. 

Sweat, sneezes, breathing and other bacterias all have been caught behind that mask so it’s a good idea to give your skin the cleanse it deserves when you can finally take the face mask off. 

Wash your masks

Most of us are so focused on having a mask on us or concentrating on wearing one, that it can be easy to forget that we have to wash the reusable fabric ones. 

Ideally, this should be done after each wear to reduce the presence of bacteria that collects on the inside of the mask and can transfer back onto your skin. 

A quick way to wash your mask is to soak it in boiling water for five minutes or alternatively, put it in the washing machine alongside your regular wash load. 

Either way – make sure you keep them clean and stick to the one wear rule. 

Our skin takes a battering from life anyway, but being hidden under a mask for hours on end can cause breakouts if we’re not careful. Carrying out mask hygiene and cleaning our skin after wearing them can help prevent the pandemic skin phenomenon known as mascne.