Lifting the mask on breakouts: how to treat acne and maskne

The constant wearing of masks, lockdown stress, anxiety and increased cortisol levels are stimulating the adrenals, resulting in overactive sebaceous activity and breakouts.

Combine this with so many clients staying at home, and many being furloughed, and the tendency to eat and drink a little differently and often excessively; those few extra biscuits, chocolate bars or glasses of wine can be a contributing factor to the increase in skin issues, exacerbating skin conditions even further.

Skin consultion and analysis

When treating an acne-type skin, it is important to be objective and consider the type of acne are you dealing with to enable you to treat it effectively as varying levels will require a different approach. Only through consultation and analysis (in person or digitally) can you determine the characteristics and see if the issues are localised to the mask area or whether the full face is affected. Questions around the client's diet and current lifestyle habits will raise many indications as to the root cause and assist with your recommendations.

How to treat the majority of inflamed breakouts

If your consultation and analysis show the skin is experiencing mostly red and inflamed breakouts, then choosing a regime of products that will calm and soothe the condition is vital.

For cleansing, choose products with oatmeal or green tea, which are beneficial for reducing inflammation and will help to strengthen the skin's barrier function. A moisturiser with anti-inflammatory botanicals will further soothe and restore. Eve Taylor London’s Ultra Soothing range is a great choice for nurturing reddened angry skin.

To further reduce inflammation, we would recommend essential oils such as sandalwood and niaouli, which are both highly anti-inflammatory and help to strengthen the capillary walls to further reduce skin redness. Eve Taylor London’s Calming Aromatic Serum is my choice, applied twice daily after cleansing. 

How to treat the majority of congested breakouts

If the skin has indicated congested breakouts as the issue, then look to clear and refresh the skin with a deep-cleansing regime. Products containing essential oils such as tea tree, lemongrass and ylang ylang will collectively help to regulate and normalise oil production while imparting highly antiseptic, purifying benefits. Look to use Eve Taylor London’s Purifying range to balance the skin and ease congestion.

If the skin requires additional nurturing, then add a potent essential oil blend into the regime to target-treat individual breakouts. Eve Taylor London’s Clearing Aromatic Serum is a synergistic blend of cedarwood, lavender, lemongrass and ylang ylang, which work in harmony to deeply purify the skin to improve breakouts, ease congestion and improve overall complexion.   

A consistent regime for acne skin  

Clients need to follow a consistent homecare routine to see ongoing benefits, ensuring that they use the products correctly in the right volume and frequency.

Additionally, share advice on wearing masks, recommending they change them regularly, preferably after each use. If possible, they should limit the use disposable masks, which can contain plastics that can irritate skin. Lastly, recommend clients consider their nutrition to see best results. Limiting caffeine, alcohol, and excess saturated fat and increasing their diet with foods rich in vitamins and minerals as well as an increase in hydration will pay dividends to their complexion.

Nicola Coffield, is senior instructor at aromatherapy-based skincare company Eve Taylor London

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