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What is MASKNE and how can we avoid it in these Maskful times

Janiqueel had a look at solutions to a problem we didn’t know existed a few months ago.

Nowadays everyone wears a mask

A mask of loyalty,

A mask of beauty,

A mask of caring,

A mask of friendship,

Be Careful.

  • Anonymous

Remember those days so long ago say, January when we would leave the house with face bare to the world; with hands washed, but not obsessively so; when our pockets or pocketbooks didn’t bulge with a bottle or two sanitizers; when we had never heard of the skin condition “Maskne”? Remember? Ah, yesterday. Oh, how I long for yesterday, but yesterday’s gone.

It’s time to step up and face (pun intended) the fact that we live in a new world now. A world with challenges we could never have imagined at the beginning of 2020, but that are now the contours of our Covid-19 lives. Let’s start with MASKNE, then. Let’s have a quick look at what it is and what we can do to lessen the ramifications of mask-wearing. Because WE SHOULD BE WEARING MASKS. That’s a fact, a proven fact. We may not like it, but we’re stuck with it. So – let’s cope!

Photo by Dr Axe

What is MASKNE?

Anywhere, but especially in a warm, humid climate – sound familiar? Yes, like right here in the Garden City or anywhere in Southeast Asia (Remember when we could travel around Southeast Asia? Oops, that’s another story of times past) where every day is a summer day. The pores of your skin know that and react by producing perspiration (often is imperceptible quantities) that flush the skin and keep it breathing and supple. Cover your delicate facial skin with fabric and friction comes and breathability goes. Producing a hot-spot ideal for bacteria growth, face masks are like a catalyst for blackheads, whiteheads, and spots. Add a covering of makeup to the mix, and you’ve got a perfect facial storm. Solution – lock the doors, call food delivery, and don’t leave the house until a vaccine is discovered. Janiqueel says so!

DON’T PANIC! There is a way out of this situation that is not so dire. That will work and even produce some long-lasting benefits.

Mask on? Let’s go!!

How to prevent MASKNE:

WASH YOUR MASK REGULARLY. Most commercial masks are made from materials that can be washed a few times. Have a few masks in rotation so that you can wash them after each use (I like a mild solution of baking soda and water) and let them dry before the next use (I hang mine over an open window letting a soft breeze gently dry the material). Some masks are more effectively washable than others. For the ultimate in style, form, and function try these:

Built entirely of soft premium cotton, machine-washable, and form-fitting, the StylPro Reusable Mask is stylish in basic black and is more price-conscious option.

Emphasizing that any mask does not preclude the need to follow social distancing guidelines, manufacturers want customers to know that masks are not miracles and do not preclude the need to BE CAREFUL.

WASH YOUR FACE AFTER AND BEFORE WEARING A MASK. A gentle face cleanser found at most makeup counters or online will do the job. If you’re away from home, it is usually not easy to wash every time you unmask. Many products, though, come in travel-size bottles that fit easily in a handbag and can be used when out and about. And – they’re cute!

AVOID HARSH INGREDIENTS. Even if you’re not wearing a mask all day, it’s important to keep your skin clean and free of makeup residue. Using face cleanser is a start. Follow it with an application of soothing lotion or gel that can be applied before bed or after waking up. Especially important in these days of the mask, the routine is beneficial at any time.

USE OIL-FREE SKINCARE AND COSMETICS. If you are not taking the mask on and off during an outing, you might try going makeup-free under the fabric. Noone sees that part of your face, after all. Avoiding care products that are oil-based is another tip that will make your pores open and happy.

SOOTHE YOUR SKIN OVERNIGHT. If skin could breathe sighs of relief, it would when the cursed mask is finally removed after a hard day of preventing disease. Follow the unmasking with an application of oversight lotions, gels, or moisturizers. Jojoba and sunflower oils are good, as well. Although it may sound counter-intuitive to the “oil-free” imperative (above), these oils are easily and effectively absorbed by one’s skin.

STAY AWAY FROM STICKY LIP PRODUCTS. For one thing, they will mess up the inside of your mask. For another (as mentioned previously) the lip part of your face may not be seen at all. Choose natural, serum-based balms, and lip treatments. And avoid kissing??? Well, you really should. Try quick pecks through your masks and dream of the days of passionate kisses. They will return. Janiqueel promises they will (but she is NOT saying when).

KEEP HANDS CLEAN. This almost goes without saying, but wash those precious patty-cakes often and well no matter where you are. Hand sanitizer is a must, as well, but… REALLY — WASH OFTEN AND WELL — PROMISE?



Janice Leong

Janice Leong

Beauty Editor

Janiqueel loves. She loves to dine, to drink, to travel, to primp, to rave, and to revel. She celebrates her life and believes in loving without boundaries, polyamorously. This philosophy informs her stylish lifestyle blog – janiqueel.com. Here, she highlights new products and services in Singapore and beyond through bouncy writing and vibrant graphics. Her premier subject, model, charmer, and squeeze is her toddling son known affectionately to readers as “Mr. C”.