The past year seems like an eternity of mask wearing and perfecting our skincare game due to unwanted blemishes. Let’s start with the basics: What is maskne and why do we get it? Then, we will tackle ten ways to prevent maskne while traveling this summer.
Top skincare concern of 2020: MASKNE! It has been a year of trial and tribulation when it comes to this mask-induced skin condition we like to call maskne. It is a term we used all throughout 2020 to refer to the acne caused by wearing face masks for long periods of time. Maskne is actually caused from the increased heat and moisture underneath masks, as sweat, dirt, and bacteria are trapped. This causes our pores to clog and then consequentially, a buildup of acne develops. The problem with treating maskne is that our skin does not often get time to breathe and regroup.
It has been hard enough dealing with maskne at home this year. With summer vacations approaching, we will add the dry air from traveling on planes into the mix. It’s a recipe for skin disaster. Hot weather causes sweat. Sweat causes excess oil production and warm moisture. Excess oil causes acne. Especially as we head into the warmest months of the year, we have to be mindful of the best practices to prevent this dreaded condition. Knowing the ten ways to prevent maskne while traveling is highly recommended heading into vacation season.
Ten Ways to Prevent “Maskne” While Traveling
Wash your hands regularly. How many times do you touch your face a day? How many times do you touch your children’s faces every day? It is really simple. Wash.Your.Hands.All.The.Time. No excuses.
Wash your face masks daily or use new, disposable masks. Your number one goal is to use a clean, unused face mask every time you wear one. This might mean packing several disposable or cloth masks in your carry-on bag to change after every time you eat. Create a “mask bag” for travel purposes, so if you take your mask off for a few minutes to eat, you can stow it in a clean, sanitary place. Using silk face masks is much gentler on your skin since silk is naturally antibacterial.
Avoid wearing heavy creams or make-up when wearing your masks for long periods of time. If you must wear something on your face, I recommend a lightweight tinted moisturizer. Try NARS or Laura Mercier. Wearing foundation, powder, and concealer on the bottom portion of your face will only increase the likelihood of blemishes forming.
Brush your teeth after meals. Pop a travel size toothbrush and paste in your tote so you can do an oral hygiene fix after eating before reapplying your mask. The easiest way to spread bacteria under your face mask is by food or even your breath after eating spicy food spreading to your skin. Keeping a clean mouth is extremely important in prevention.
Use a gentle cleanser and wash your face immediately when getting home at the end of the day or after traveling. For those with oily or acne prone skin, try a cleanser with salicylic acid, especially immediately before, during, and after travel. For those with dry skin, try using a cleanser with hyaluronic acid or ceramides to protect your skin barrier.
Use an exfoliating cleanser at least twice a week. A gentle exfoliation will ensure that the bacteria is entirely removed from the skin and will allow your skin to heal from the common traveling irritants that affect our skin. My two favorite exfoliating cleansers of the year are Reflekt 1 Daily Exfoliating Wash and Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser.
Avoid touching your face or picking at blemishes. Let the blemishes heal on their own with salicylic acid treatments. Picking at the acne can make the inflammation worse and cause scarring.
Make sure your mask is not too tight. When your mask is too snug, the friction can irritate your skin and cause acne.
Keep your face hydrated with a mist throughout the day. During quick mask breaks while eating on planes, spray a mist to hydrate your skin. The dry air from the airplanes will only irritate your skin more. Try January Labs Restorative Tonic Mist, Chantecaille Rose Water Spray, or Caudalie Beauty Elixir.
Use skincare high in antioxidants and ones that help boost skin immunity. I typically apply Environ Colostrum Gel before moisturizer when I know I will be wearing masks for long periods of time. This aids in preventing breakouts and inflammation.
Please comment below if you have other suggestions! I hope reading about the ten ways to prevent maskne while traveling will help you when packing your bags of skin essentials. Sometimes the simplest of steps make the biggest difference!