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Maskne - How Masks Irritate Our Skin and How We Can Prevent it

Image: Woman wearing a white disposable mask to cover her nose and mouth

What Is Maskne?

Sadly wearing masks has now become a normal part of our daily routines. Whilst we all appreciate why they are needed in the fight against COVID-19 masks can unfortunately be uncomfortable for some, and may also cause skin concerns to emerge for others. The combined effects of friction from wearing a mask, together with the warm moist environment they create, can cause redness, sensitivity, and breakouts which are being called Maskne. Those with inflammatory conditions such as Eczema or Rosacea are particularly at risk.

Maske may result from both the physical irritation of using a mask, as well as the increased opportunity for bacteria to collect.

The human mouth is teeming with bacteria. Human bites can be as dangerous as or even more dangerous than animal bites because of the types of bacteria and viruses contained in our mouths. Each time we exhale we omit high levels of these bacteria and viruses, and by wearing a mask we trap them close to the skin. As the bacteria and viruses collect, they thrive and multiply in the warm humid environment. The increase in skin temperature caused by covering the face may also cause more oil to be produced by the sebaceous glands. Excess oil can block pores and hair follicles, trapping the bacteria, and causing breakouts and acne.

Face masks need to fit snugly to be effective, and the pressure and friction caused by face coverings can cause microtears to the epidermis which is thinner on the face than on other parts of the body. These microtears can allow bacteria to more easily penetrate the skin. Different types of masks may cause different issues to emerge. Fabric masks which are often made from cotton may absorb natural oils causing dryness and sensitivity, whilst surgical masks can cause more friction irritation. All masks should only be used once, and not touched during use. When using disposable masks remember to dispose of them responsibly, and use a new one each time required. For reusable masks make sure you carefully consider the detergent used to wash them with. Harsh laundry liquids and fabric conditioners may cause a whole host of other sensitivity issues!

We are afraid there is more bad news. Stress is also a well-known trigger for breakouts and sensitivities. We have all lived through very stressful times associated with the global pandemic and this, combined with the problems associated with wearing protective facial coverings discussed above, means we all need a fastidious skincare regime to combat the adverse effects seen as Maskne.

 What can we do to prevent Maskne?

Here are our top tips to prevent Maskne:

  1. Use a clean mask each time a mask is required. Always dispose of single-use masks as soon as you remove them. Always wash reusable masks after they have been worn. Ensure you use gentle, perfume-free laundry detergent.
  2. Avoid the use of makeup under your mask. This increases the chance for pores and hair follicles to become blocked.
  3. Undertake a fastidious skincare regime to ensure skin is clean and hydrated. Look for FREE FROM products which do not contain known irritants.Ensure your products are rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals.
  4. Do not overstimulate your skin. Use a balancing collection of products to clean and calm. Do not be tempted to use excessive products or switch regularly between treatments. Be consistent with your skincare regime. 

Shop our best picks for Maskne treatment and prevention here

How To Optimise Your Skin Care Routine To Prevent & Treat Maskne

Image: Pile of different coloured reusable cotton face masks

1. Prioritise your cleansing routine

While wearing masks and breathing into them, we create a warm damp area for bacteria to grow, making double cleansing more important than ever to ensure our skin is clean. A first cleanse will help to remove any make-up, dirt and bacteria and the second will clean deeper into the pores, preventing any new blemishes. Opt for a high-quality cleanser with gentle ingredients that will clean the skin thoroughly without causing irritation. 

2. Remember your weekly treatments

Another way to prevent Maskne is by giving your skin a treat with a gentle exfoliator to scrub away dead skin and excess oil. This can help reveal a clearer complexion and avoid pores from becoming blocked. 

3. Choose a serum to treat your skin concerns

If you already have Maskne which needs treating, you may find a serum will give you the additional help you need to clear it up. Add a few drops of your serum of choice to specific problem areas, or simply mix in with your moisturiser before applying.

4. Be consistent with your routine 

Make sure to stay consistent with your products and routine to keep your skin balanced. Remember that less is more and a short yet simple routine will be easier to make a habit and keep up with. Choose products wisely by opting for natural ingredients you can trust will nourish your skin. 

With all these tips in mind, here are ARK Skincare's top picks to help you prevent and treat Maskne.  

ARK Skincare's Top Products To Help You Tackle Maskne

Skin Essential Pre-Cleanse & Make-Up Remover

Image: ARK Skincare's Pre-Cleanser and Make-Up Remover

You might be asking yourself if you really need to cleanse twice and now more than ever, the answer is yes! Whether you wear make-up or not, a double cleanse is essential for healthy skin. The first cleanse will remove any traces of dirt, pollution and airborne bacteria from the surface of your skin and the second cleanse will clean deeper into your pores.

Our popular Pre-Cleanse and Make-up remover is described as a spa treatment in a bottle. It's great for removing the first level of grime while active ingredients such as Grapeseed, Avocado and Kiwi Oil deeply nourish skin and protect against dryness. Another key ingredient, Margosa Leaf Extract, destroys bacteria and inhibits its growth on the skin.

How to use: Apply onto dry skin before cleansing with dry hands. Massage in gently all over the face before adding water to form a thin liquid emulsion. Continue massaging then rinse off with warm water. Follow with your Age Intelligent Cleanser.

Age Intelligent Cleansers

After your first pre-cleanse, follow up with the second. ARK Skincare offers three age intelligent cleansers, with nourishing active ingredients specifically for each age group. 

Specifically designed for your teens & 20's

Image: ARK Skincare's Protect Cleanser for teens and twenties

Banishes spots & excess sebum

The best cleanser for your teens and 20s. Our soap-free facial cleanser has been designed especially with younger skin in mind. It cleverly balances oily and dry areas to leave skin clear and comfortable. Natural ingredients ensure skin is treated gently while spots and excess sebum are banished. Your new best friend.

AgeDefend Conditioning Cleanser 

Specifically designed for your 30's & 40's 

Image: ARK Skincare's AgeDefend Cleanser for 30's and 40's

Gentle formula, perfect for sensitive skin

The best cleanser for your 30s and 40s. This ultra-nourishing cleanser helps with skin’s natural exfoliation for a clear, radiant complexion. Effectively removes make-up & excess sebum leaving skin clean, plump and supple. Perfect for sensitivities as the natural ingredients soothe redness and inflammation too. 

AgeDefy Brightening Cleanser

Specifically designed for your 50's onwards

Image: ARK Skincare's Age Defy Brightening Cleanser for 50's onwards

Reduces pigmentation, softens lines

The best cleanser for your 50s onwards. This rich creamy cleanser is the perfect choice for more mature skin. It effectively removes debris and impurities while treating the skin to a combination of vitamins, antioxidants and lipids. Skin becomes brighter and softer while lines and wrinkles are plumped. 

How to use: Apply to damp skin and massage in gently for 60 seconds before gently rinsing off with water. 

Skin Perfector Serums

If you’re looking to tackle specific skin concerns caused by Maskne, our hard-working skin-perfecting serums will make the perfect addition to your skin-care routine to help you battle them. 

Clearing Serum

Banishes bacteria, tightens pores

Image: ARK Skincare's Clearing Serum

For a solution to spots and blemishes, our clearing serum is the one for you. Filled with anti-bacterial properties, it’s the perfect remedy for acne and can even help prevent it by regulating sebum production and reducing excess oil and shine.

Destress Serum

Diminishes look of fatigue

Image: ARK Skincare's De-stress Serum

If you’re suffering tired or irritated skin, try our De-stress serum.  This highly protective serum acts as a second skin and helps to reduce the signs of fatigue caused by environmental and lifestyle stresses. Chamomile provides soothing relief for irritation and Vitamin E and Grapeseed Oil boost moisture levels, leaving skin feeling silky and supple.

How to use: Apply one or two drops directly to problem areas or mix in with your daily moisturiser and apply all over the face.

Triple Action Exfoliator

Evens tone, diminishes fine lines & scars

Image: ARK Skincare's Triple Action Exfoliator

Our three in one exfoliating treatment with physical, fruit acid and enzymatic action has everything you need to give your skin a generous treat.

Bamboo particles help to gently scrub away dead skin, dirt and debris from the surface, creating a flawless, polished texture while Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (AHAs) from Bilberry, Sugar Cane, Sugar Maple, Orange and Lemon increase the range of cell renewal, helping to diminish acne scars and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The Skin Regenerating Enzyme dissolves desmosomes to release dead skin cells, fade pigmentation and improve nutrient absorption.

How to use: Use once or twice per week. Apply to dampened face and neck. Wet hands and massage lightly into skin using circular movements, avoiding the delicate eye area.

Leave on as stated below, depending on your skin’s age-related needs:

Teens and twenties: Wash off after massaging in.

Thirties and forties: Leave on for approximately 2 minutes.

Fifties and onwards: Leave on for approximately 5 minutes.

Remove with a cloth soaked in hand-hot water. (Please note this product will not simply rinse off, it does need to be removed with a warm cloth. Using a cloth should make removal easy) Pat dry. 

Hydration Injection Masque

Rejuvenating treatment, restores vibrancy

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydration Injection Masque

Or rejuvenating treatment masque is the ideal weekly pick me up for skin which looks tired, stressed or lacking in radiance.

The masque instantly cools and calms and can bring instant relief to irritation and redness while Hyaluronic Acid drenches skin with moisture, optimizing the circulation of water through all skin layers and providing 24-hour protection against water loss - perfect for dry skin. It also includes a blend of hard-working vitamins to regulate collagen synthesis and protect against UV damage.

To view all of these products in full detail you can head over to the ARK Skincare website by clicking here.

If you need any help or product advice, please do get in touch via office@arkskincare.com or call the office on 0203 7403303 - we'd love to help!

In the meantime, keep remembering to wash your mask in-between uses to keep your skin as clean as you can!

As we all work together in the battle against Coronavirus be kind to your skin.

Take care & stay safe, 

 

Image: ARK Skincare logo

 

References:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-the-Epidermis.aspx

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen

https://www.verywellhealth.com/sebaceous-glands-1069374

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/skin/face-masks-become-mandatory-prevent-maskne/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/cope-maskne-mask-related-acne/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8374545/How-magic-away-Maskne-Thats-curse-spots-caused-Covid-mask.html

ARK Skincare's Vitality Hand & Body Wash

We’re certain we’re not the only ones who are thrilled to have some normality back after the unbelievable few months we’ve all had. However, keeping ourselves safe and well is still as important as ever, so as well as remembering to keep our distance and wear our masks in shops, washing our hands should still be a top priority. With that in mind, in this post, we'll be focusing on our popular Vitality Hand & Body Wash

Why It’s So Important To Wash Your Hands 

Image: Person lathering their hands up with soap at a sink

When germs and bacteria get into your body, they can make you sick. The most common way germs get into the body is through the eyes, nose and mouth - places we often touch without even realizing.  Bacteria from unwashed hands can also be transferred to other objects, like handrails, tabletops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands. Therefore, it’s really important to keep your hands clean to avoid picking up or spreading germs around. 

How To Wash Your Hands

Image: illustration on how to wash your hands. step 1: wet hands, step 2: apply soap, step 3: rub hands together for 20 seconds (and sing your favourite song), step 4: rinse and dry

No, a quick splash of water under the tap doesn't count! To clean your hands properly, it’s really important to lather up with a good quality soap and use enough to ensure your hands are completely covered before rinsing them off. Always make sure to dry your hands properly too as this will help avoid them getting cracked and dry. To keep hands nourished, follow up with ARK's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream.

ARK Skincare’s Vitality Hand & Body Wash

Image: ARK Skincare's Vitality Hand & Body wash against some marble slates and fresh green plants

Our popular hand and body wash is a firm favorite of many for its gorgeous scent and gentle, softening properties. Our soap-free wash is made from 98% natural ingredients, perfect for those who suffer from eczema or sensitive skin. 

Natural active ingredients include: 

  • Coconut - An amazing natural cleanser which also helps to improve skin's texture. 
  • Sea Minerals - Helps to strengthen the skin tissues, maintain the chemical balance of the skin, stimulate blood circulation and eliminate toxins.
  • Vitamin B5 - helps to keep skin soft, smooth, and healthy. It is also deeply hydrating and helps keep skin quenched by absorbing moisture from the air. 

How & When Should I Use It?

 Our wash can be used as a hand or body wash - the perfect 2 in 1!  Use it on your hands, in the shower, or add to a running bath to create soft, fresh-smelling bubbles to soak in. 

Shower handle against a fresh white tiled bathroom wall.

Press & Awards

Image: ARK Skincare's Vitality Hand & Body Wash. Product Image against a white background.

FINALIST - Best New Bath & Shower Product - Pure Beauty Awards 2019

“Gentle enough for use throughout all stages of pregnancy & beyond” Babyworld

"This is so beautiful, so hydrating, and clears up my eczema flare-ups with no problem!" - Boy Does Beauty, Skincare Blogger

Free Gift With Purchase! 

For a limited time only, you can receive a FREE Vitality Hand & Body Wash when you spend over £49 this weekend! Head over to the ARK Skincare website to find out more. 

How To Tackle Dehydrated Skin: Our Top 5 Tips

Many of us are experiencing dry skin as lockdown takes its toll. Feeling stressed, taking less exercise, and spending more time indoors can all affect our skin. Here are our 5 top tips and favorite products to help keep your skin hydrated. 

1. Say No To Steamy Showers

Image: Water streaming from shower head against white bathroom tiles

A steamy shower can often sound tempting - especially when it’s cold outside. However, hot water can actually strip the skin of its moisture, leaving it sore, red, and irritated. Instead, turn the temperature down a little. Lukewarm water is always best. Moisturise immediately after bathing to lock in hydration. 

2. Remember your fruits and veggies! 

Image: A flatlay of different fruits and vegetables

A daily dose of fruit and vegetables is essential for your diet. There is a proportional amount of water in these foods that can be absorbed by the body, helping to keep you hydrated and give your skin the vitamins it needs for a natural, radiant glow. 

3. Drink plenty of water

Image: Slices of lemon floating in fresh cold water

 

Hydration starts from within. Like the rest of your body, your skin is made up of water. We lose a significant amount of water every day, so it’s important to replenish your body to allow it to function at its best. The NHS suggests you should aim for 8 glasses a day. 

4. Go easy on alcohol 

Image: Woman pouring a glass of red wine

One of the biggest effects alcohol has on the skin is dehydration. Consuming too much can lead to puffiness and inflammation. Alcoholic drinks are often high in sugar too, so overindulging too often can also lead to break-outs and dull complexion. It's important to enjoy a treat now and again but remember to stay mindful! 

5. Invest in natural skincare products 

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist

Healthy, glowing skin is a great way to boost anybody's self-confidence.  When we look good, we feel great. Take care of your skin by opting for products with a high percentage of natural ingredients to help nurture and hydrate your skin. ARK Skincare offers three different age intelligent ranges, specifically designed for each age group, helping to achieve beautiful skin at every age. We also have multiple other ranges, such as our Skin Perfectors to help you tackle specific skin concerns and our Skin Essentials to help you create the perfect daily skincare routine. 

Here are some of our top picks to help you keep your skin hydrated:

Hydrating Serum

Cocoons skin with hydration

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Serum in glass bottle with pipette next to slices of cucumber sitting on a marble slate.

Our best-selling serum instantly hydrates dry, thirsty skin and locks in moisture. Ingredients include Laminaria Algae and cucumber extract which help to freshen and restore the skin’s texture and suppleness. Add 2-3 drops directly onto clean skin before moisturiser or blend with moisturiser and apply together. 

Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

Instantly tightens and hydrates skin, while fading dark circles & diminishing puffiness

Image: ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eyecream next to Aloe Vera on a blue back backdrop.

This instant-effect eye cream contains multiple powerhouse ingredients to help lift, tone and hydrate the eye area. BeautifuleyeTM, created from Persian silk tree extract, is proven to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, while Amino acids boost moisture levels to plump skin and minimize signs of aging. Aloe Vera helps to calm and nurture dry, sensitive eyes. 

Hydration Injection Masque

A Rejuvenating treatment to restore vibrancy 

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydration Injection Masque on a marble slate with an orange half and vitamin capsules

An intensive multivitamin hydration injection masque to quench skin, plump wrinkles and restore vibrancy. This rejuvenating treatment masque is the ideal weekly pick me up for skin which looks tired, stressed or lacking in radiance.

Rich in hyaluronic acid, this is the perfect product to drench skin with moisture and provide protection against water loss. Give your skin a boost with vitamin C to fade pigmentation, Vitamin E to prevent free radical damage and Vitamin B5 for smoothness. 

ARK Skincare’s Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit

Image: ARK Skincare's Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit Artwork, including images of ARK's hydrating serum, hydration injection masque and eyecream with a tote bag

For a limited time only, you can purchase these three products, plus a tote bag as part of our Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit for over 50% off. Click here to view on the ARK Skincare website.

References: 

Alyaka -  5 No-Nonsense Habits To Keep Skin Hydrated Naturally

Insider - Here's How Cutting Out Alcohol Can Affect Your Skin 

Elle - Real Affects Alcohol Can Have On Your Skin 

Cosmopolitan - How To Hydrate Your Skin

 

Living with Atopic Eczema: Our 10 Top Tips

Image: Girl wearing a white tank top scratching her sore red arm

What is Eczema?

Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is the most common form of eczema, a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, dry and cracked. It can affect any part of the body but is most common on hands, the insides of elbows and the back of knees.

  Some may have small patches of dry skin and others may have larger areas of inflammation. People who suffer from eczema usually experience periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe. These are called flare-ups.

Causes of Eczema

No one is entirely sure what exactly causes eczema but The National Eczema Association believes a combination of genes and triggers are involved. Those with eczema tend to have an overactive immune system and when triggered by a substance inside or outside the body, it responds by producing inflammation. This is what causes the red, itchy and painful skin symptoms associated with eczema. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t one specific cure for eczema. Treatment for the condition aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flare-ups of symptoms.

Here are our top tips for managing symptoms and keeping them under control.

1. Don’t scratch
Although it can be tempting, when you scratch or even rub, you can make the itch and your eczema worse. Some people scratch so much they bleed, and that's a setup for infection. Instead, try using a cold compress to cool the skin and apply moisturiser to avoid it from drying out. 
2. Keep a food diary
People with eczema can experience inflammation from eating certain foods. Common triggers are citrus fruits, dairy and gluten/wheat but each person will have unique triggers they should avoid. Keep a note of what you are eating and be mindful of how/if your skin reacts. This can help to illuminate what causes your flare-ups and which foods you should try to avoid. 
3. Choose Skincare Products Carefully: 
Choose products that are advertised as “safe for sensitive skin” that won't include irritants that may affect your eczema. Stay away from products that are highly scented as fragrance can be a number one cause for irritation. People with particularly sensitive skin should always introduce new products slowly over a matter of days. It may also be a good idea to perform a patch test on the neck or inside of your arm to ensure your skin reacts well before applying to a large area. If you wash your hair while standing in the shower, using a gentle shampoo and conditioner is worth considering too.
4. Choose soft fabrics.
Material that is rough, too tight, or itchy can trigger eczema. Allowing yourself to get too warm can make you sweat and cause a flare-up as well. Synthetic materials such as nylon, rayon, and polyester tend to be warmer which can cause itchiness and prolong the effects of eczema so are best avoided. Opt for soft clothes that are gentle on your skin and keep it cool.
5. Learn your allergens
Eczema may flare up when you’re around things that may cause an allergic reaction. These can be different for each person, so it’s important to be mindful of things that may cause you to react. Some of the most common allergens are: seasonal pollen, dust mites, fine fur from cats and dogs, mold and dandruff. Taking note of the appearance of your skin each day can help to identify things you should avoid.
6. Manage stress.
Stress is known to exaggerate skin concerns. Use stress management strategies and take care of yourself. Sleep, eat well, exercise, and consider including meditation or breathing exercises in your daily routine.
7. Choose the right form of exercise
Exercising can lower stress, boost the immune system and help to keep you healthy. However, the downside is that sweat can also trigger eczema to flare-up. As sweat evaporates, the skin dries and is left with a salty residue that can irritate eczema and encourage you to itch. If you are suffering from a flare-up,  try low-impact exercises like walking, yoga or pilates. These can be helpful to relieve stress and give your skin a break.
8. Be aware of your environment
Many people with eczema become itchy if they get too hot. This can happen if you get too sweaty or layer up too many clothes. During the cold winter months, it’s important not to allow your skin to dry out from harsh winds, so always make sure to keep skin hydrated with gentle moisturising creams.
9. Avoid Hot Water
When your skin is irritated, a hot shower can often feel like a great way to temporarily relieve itching. However, dermatologists warn that this can actually make eczema worse. Hot water dries out the skin and causes it to crack and become sore. Turn the heat down and soak in luke-warm water instead as this will absorb into the skin. Moisturise straight after bathing to lock in hydration.
10.  Look after your hands
It is important that we wash our hands throughout the day to get rid of any nasty germs and bugs. With the current pandemic, we are all being encouraged to do this as often as possible to reduce the risk of infection. However, it’s important to take care of our skin too. Make sure to pat your hands dry as opposed to rubbing them as this can make them sore. Always follow up with hand creamYou can read more about how to treat sore hands here.

All of ARK Skincare’s products contain a high percentage of natural ingredients and are made without any known irritants, made with sensitive skin in mind. Find out more about our products on our website

References: