Now that wearing mask has become mandatory, Maskne has become a real problem for many. Maskne, aka mask acne has gained the limelight especially in the humid tropical Malaysian weather. The proper technical term is called "acne mechanica". The constant friction from the mask irritates the skin follices causing inflammation and acne formation. Unsurprisingly, the accumulation of trapped sweat, moisture and sebum underneath the mask also leads to outbreak around the lower facial area, including the nose and around the mouth. I have only suffered from acne during my second pregnancy due to hormonal changes and now it has returned with a vengeance.
As a healthcare worker, I have to be on at least a 3 ply surgical mask all the time, from 8am-5pm, if not a face shield and N95 mask when I perform certain procedures. Honestly speaking, the material of disposable masks has started to irritate my lips as well, causing a flare of my perioral irritant dermatitis (irritating ingredients causing inflamed skin around my lips which can cause chapped lips, itchy and peeling skin around the lips).
As the skin is already sensitive and fragile due to the irritation, conventional acne treatment such as alpha hydroxy acids, chemical peels or Retinoids may worsen the condition. So what can we do?
1. Choose your mask carefully- change to a new disposable mask after sweating. For more environmental friendly alternative, use a good quality cotton mask which is more breathable and can be washed and dried after each use.
2. Use gentle skin care products without ingredients/tools like SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial fragrance, scrubs, loofa.
3. Avoid heavy skincare products in the morning containing cocoa butter, coconut oil, oil based foundation. Save them for nights.
4. Wait for 15-30 mins before wearing surgical mask and N95 after applying moisturiser to allow the ingredients to be absorbed into the skin.
5. Use lip balm or serum. Avoid lip gloss/lipstick that will stick to the mask.
6. If your maskne is really bad and affects your ability to wear masks, please seek advice from your friendly dermatologists.
Sarah Antiacne Cleansing Foam
Thorough cleansing is important to clear clogged pores, gently exfoliate and to prevent breakout. Especially to remove traces of makeup after a day at work.
The active ingredients involve
- Papain Enzyme to remove dead skin
- Menthol helps to eliminate Blackheads & Whiteheads and lighten pigmentation
- Coconut Oil dissolves oil and waterproof makeup, enables cleansing without drying the skin too much
Acne Treatment Duo Serum
This serum simply zaps the zits! It also contains skin loving ingredients to calm and replenish hydration for irritated and tired skin.
The secrets are
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and Lignosus Rhinocerus (Tiger’s Milk Mushroom Extract) fights acne and brightens the skin to maintain youthfulness
- Honey Extract (Black BeeOme™) enhances skin renewal to reveal the baby skin
- Humulus Lupulus (Hops Flower Extract) moisturises and faint lines
- Salicylic-Acid performs micro exfoliation
Enhanced Soothing Serum
This serum provides the calming and soothing effect to allow the skin to heal after a beauty sleep.
The skin loving ingredients are
- Allantoin (Comfrey Plant Root Extract) enhances healing
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
- Calamine relieves Irritation
- Sodium Hyaluronate, glycerin and Panthenol (Vitamin B5) replenish and lock moisture in the skin
- Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract (Pricky Pear Cactus) is rich in antioxidant to prevent premature skin aging
How to use Sarah Antiacne Skin Care Range?
– Apply a few drops of Acne Treatment Duo serum on affected sites only.
– Gently tap a few drops of Enhanced Soothing Serum on the whole face.
What does Dr Yingzangel think?
I tend to use Sarah acne treatment range at night before I hit the sack. This is because the cleanser contains oil which can effectively cleanse traces of makeup which may also be too heavy to be used in the morning. I have noticed an improvement in skin inflammation and blocked pores after 2 weeks. My face also becomes less oily and more supple. However as the cleanser contains fragrance and alcohol, I will suggest those with sensitive skin to perform a patch test first on your arm before first use. Hope these tips help!
Sarah Skin Care