Wearing face masks has become the norm all over the world, but pre-Covid, wearing face masks was already commonplace in Japan. Immortalized in movies and even anime, the image of masked up city-dwellers going about their day on the busy streets of Shibuya or Tokyo is a familiar sight to most of us. Worn for multiple reasons such as seasonal allergies or the common cold and flu, face masks are worn by the Japanese as a sign of respect for those around them.
The term “maskne” or “mask acne” has been a trending topic in the beauty community, and if you’re someone who has noticed an increase in inflammation and skin sensitivity, rest assured, you are not alone. With the world still in the midst of a global pandemic, some of us are still adjusting to the daily habit of wearing a face mask. It can be quite an adjustment for those who have not grown up wearing one, and it can even be damaging or irritating to those with sensitive skin.
In this blog post, we will be diving into what maskne really is, what you can do to combat it, as well as some Japanese tip and tricks that you can incorporate into your daily life.
What causes maskne and irritation?
Because maskne can involve various skin conditions, the exact cause of your symptoms may vary. In most cases, maskne is the result of clogged pores. You already have oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells on your skin. But when you wear a mask, these substances can build up more and block your pores. A mask also traps humidity due to your breathing and sweating, which may increase the risk of acne.
How can you prevent and care for your skin while wearing your face mask?
Choose the right mask & keep your mask clean.
To avoid skin issues, be mindful of the type of mask you wear. Try to wear a face mask that: fits snugly, but not too tight, has two or more layers of fabric and is made of natural, soft fabric (like cotton). Avoid masks made of synthetic fabrics, such as nylon or rayon as these materials can irritate the skin.
If you are using a fabric, reusable mask, always wash them after every use. Never reuse a cloth mask without first washing it. Use unscented hypoallergenic laundry detergent, then let it dry completely. And to refresh your mask in the middle of the day, you can use our Aroma Floreeze Spray to sanitise & prevent bacterial growth in the mask.
Use gentle and protective skin care products.
When dealing with maskne, it’s important to simplify your routine and use gentle, soothing products. Switch out your usual skincare ingredients and try not to use or layer any new products which may further trigger reactions. Instead of going for products with strong active ingredients, we recommend opting for products that can hydrate, moisturize and help to strengthen the skin barrier.
With gentle ceramide derived from rice and BiProGE (EDOBIO’s proprietarily developed lactic acid bacteria), EDOBIO’s new SAKETERNAL line contains Sake Lees extracts that you can incorporate into your routine today:
EDOBIO Radiance Booster Mask
A booster for radiant skin, this rinse-off clay mask helps the skin combat damage from external factors. With mineral rich kucha (sea salt) from Okinawa, it softens the skin’s texture and promotes a bright complexion. Click here to explore.
EDOBIO Fresh Balancing Toner
A spray lotion with a lightweight formula, this product contains a carefully selected blend of botanicals for moisture that lasts. It can also be used as a mist throughout the day for additional hydration. Click here to explore.
EDOBIO Intensive Hydration Serum
A unique double-layer serum, this product provides concentrated hydration that rejuvenates the skin while keeping the skin’s natural protective moisture intact. With sweet potato root extract & blueberry root extract, this serum promotes circulation and skin clarity. Click here to explore.
Skip your usual foundation and lipstick.
Wearing makeup in a pandemic has become unnecessary for some as most of our face is covered up by our face masks. Wearing foundation and lipstick under your mask can be bothersome as the humid environment and friction from the mask will increase the likelihood of blocked pores and irritation. Plus, it will probably get rubbed off.
However, if you would still like to apply some makeup to enhance your look, we recommend focusing on your eye makeup instead. Wearing a mask puts your eyes in focus, so fill in your eyebrows and apply mascara to enhance your gaze.
Remember your SPF.
With about half our face covered by the mask, it can be misleading to think that SPF is no longer necessary, However, SPF is still a must! UV rays can and do penetrate through your mask, and if you’re concerned about further irritation, we recommend using a sunscreen that is thin and easily absorbable. And, of course, you’ll want it to be non-toxic because harmful chemicals can also irritate your facial skin.
- Remove your mask every 4 hours
The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends removing your mask for 15 minutes every 4 hours. This will help give your skin a break. You should remove your face mask only when you can practice physical distancing with people who aren’t in your household. It’s also important to wash your hands before taking a mask break.