2021 is on the horizon, and that means New Year’s resolutions are as well. Is sorting out the changes you need to make to beat acne in 2021 at the heart of yours?
If the answer is “Yes” (or if you’re looking to finally clear your teen’s acne for good!), look no further: Face 5 is dedicating December’s blog to setting your skin up for success in 2021.
Keep Your Mask Clean to Best Maskne
While keeping your mask clean may sound intuitive, maskne (or “mask acne”) has been a pain point for many during 2020. Long-term frequent wearing of protective face coverings can cause acne on or around the chin, mouth, cheeks, and nose due to sweat, friction, and inflammatory detergents. The workaround?
- Wash your mask after every use or opt for disposable masks
- Ensure that you’re using an acne-safe detergent if you are machine-washing your masks
- Make sure your mask’s straps are snug (but not constrictive!) to avoid unnecessary friction
- Skip the foundation when you know it’s going to be a mask-wearing day to circumvent excess sweat and makeup-related pore blockage; think of it as a reason to emphasize your eyes instead!
While maskne may be a new term, its basis— acne mechanica, a type of acne that occurs due to persistent pressure and/or friction on the skin— is anything but. Commonly referred to as “sports acne”, acne mechcanica’s main culprit is usually sports gear, accessories (like bras or hats), and medical equipment (specifically casts and surgical tape). Which leads me to my next tip to beat acne in 2021…
Be Regimented in Your Skin Care Routine
Whether it be maskne, sports acne, or your regular breakouts, being regimented in your skin care routine is your key to skin-related success. This is especially true for teenagers grappling with hormone-based acne breakouts: trust me, as a mom who healed her sons’ acne their success never would have been possible if we had been lax with their skin care routines!
As a licensed esthetician and certified acne specialist, here are my top recommendations for getting your (or your teen’s) skin on track long-term:
- Set up an appointment with a professional to be provided an in-depth diagnosis of your skin concerns and the best way to treat them rather than shooting in the dark
- Cleanse A.M and P.M with a fragrance-free cleanser and follow up with a moisturizer rich in ceramides and hyaluronic acid to act as a nourishing barrier between either your skin and your mask or your skin and makeup, sports gear, etc.
- Be sure to take advantage of Face 5’s free acne information page and related blogs (and sign up for the Face 5 newsletter to receive a zero-cost, acne-oriented ebook!)
- Take advantage of Face 5’s wealth of esthetician-approved products or, if your acne is in need of a customized approach, fill out the Acne Rescue Kit Assessment Form to receive an Acne Rescue Kit 100% tailored to your skin’s needs
- (Bonus tip: I personally can’t recommend acne-safe wipes enough, especially for those of you who are constantly on the go. Costco’s Kirkland baby wipes and our toner selection with cotton rounds are my favorites for keeping oil production under control when you’re about and about)
Beat Acne By Keeping Your Stress Levels Down
Last but certainly not least is the importance of self-care when it comes to wanting to beat acne long-term: while stress isn’t a sole cause of acne, it is a proven trigger for both first-time breakouts and chronic acne.
In an interview with Time Magazine about the correlation between stress and pimples, Dr. Adam Friedman, an associate professor of dermatology, had this to say about the stress-related hormone CRH: “These sebaceous glands are also immune organs, and they can create inflammation. At the end of the day, an acne blemish is basically inappropriate inflammation, and so turning on that immune response can exacerbate swelling or redness.”
In short? CRH can interact negatively with the skin’s sebaceous glands, in turn ramping up the skin’s natural oil production and causing breakouts.
So what can you do to keep your stress levels down?
- Make sure to create a self-care routine that’s integrated with your skin care routine; lighting candles, playing soothing music, and having a bath while doing your skin care routine are all common ways to make self-care and skin care go hand-in-hand
- Exercise lowers the body’s cortisol (stress) levels, so getting 30 minutes of light-to-medium exercise per day will work wonders for reducing stress
- Get a proper night’s sleep as frequently as you can
- Open up to your loved ones rather than letting negative feelings or self-talk fester
While it may sound simple, a focus on self-care is essential— especially for teens, whose stage of life is often tumultuous and filled with different stressors.