As we continue to wear masks to protect ourselves and others from the coronavirus, our skin is starting to see the side effects of it with the occurrence of “maskne” and other skin irritations. “Maskne” is caused by the friction of the mask against your skin and the humidity that gets trapped in between them – it doesn’t help that we live in a hot and humid country!
Although these breakouts are also concealed under a mask, leaving skin problems untreated can cause it to get worse or even lead to an infection. Masks compromise our skin’s protective barrier, which makes it crucial for us to attend to it and maintain a stronger, healthier skin barrier.
Don’t use this as an excuse to not wear a mask – keep it on and try these calming treatments instead:
Sulfur is a famous acne-fighting ingredient with the power to reduce the appearance of pimples and prevent future breakouts. This foam-activated mask also gently exfoliates the dead skin cells that clog pores and cause irritation.
A rinse-off formula, this face mask also eliminates dead skin cells and draws out other facial impurities. Salicylic acid helps keep your pores clean and will have your skin feeling refreshed after a hot and sweaty day.
3. Klairs’ Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask
Specifically designed for sensitive skin, this sheet mask contains calming ingredients that reduce redness, irritation and inflammation. It has a cooling effect to lower the skin’s temperature and relieve sensitivity.
4. Chuck’s Glow On Brightening Peony Mask
Niacinamide is beneficial in balancing sebum production and treating acne, as well as moisturising for those dealing with rosacea. This sheet mask packed with anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that help protect the skin’s barrier.
5. Benton’s Snail Bee High Content Sheet Mask
Snail mucin can be used to repair your skin’s protective barrier as it is a humectant with healing properties. The high moisture content of this sheet mask will help soothe damaged skin and improve skin vitality.
We understand that “maskne” can be discouraging, but it is more important to keep wearing a mask. If these facial masks don’t work for you – make an appointment with a dermatologist or esthetician. Stay safe, stay selfless and don’t forget to sanitize your hands!
It’s important to be gentle with your skin from avoiding harsh ingredients to patting it dry, so when it comes to physical exfoliation – it can sometimes cause more harm than good. As rewarding as it might seem (you know, physically scrubbing off all the dead skin), some exfoliants are just too large and end up causing micro-tears in your skin. This is when chemical exfoliation comes in as a more gentle and effective way to polish your skin.
What is chemical exfoliation and how does it work?
Chemical exfoliation uses acids to get rid of dead skin cells, allowing it to go deeper into the pores than physical exfoliants. By safely removing the build up, softer and smoother skin can shine through – helping with texture, pigmentation, acne and even ageing.
What are chemical exfoliants?
The two main types of chemical exfoliants are AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids). You’ve probably seen these letters everywhere, including on cleansers and toners. AHAs are water-soluble and include glycolic and lactic acid, and BHAs are oil-soluble, meaning they can penetrate deeper, such as salicylic acid.
What should I start with?
For texture and pigmentation, start with a gentle AHA such as lactic acid or mandelic acid as they don’t penetrate your skin as deeply as a BHA. If you’re looking to treat acne, a BHA like salicylic acid can help reduce sebum and oil production, as well as unclog your pores.
Can I use them together?
Yes, you can combine AHA products with BHA products, but it is not recommended for beginners. Without a proper understanding of how the ingredients will react, you are at risk of over-exfoliating and even burning your skin. This is a common mistake when it comes to acids as users aren’t aware they need to factor in the PH levels, percentage of acids, timing and their skin’s sensitivity.
How should I start chemical exfoliation?
Start with a low concentration, once or twice a week – over-exfoliating can cause irritation and breakouts. Apply the exfoliant after you cleanse and tone, preferably at night as acids can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun (make sure you wear sunscreen!).
You can find good introductory products from The Ordinary and The Inkey List.