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Beat the breakout! 8 ways to banish teen maskne

Got a teen worried about what wearing a mask all day at school this January is going to do their skin? Read this.

Face masks in classrooms are back until at least the end of January 2022, a must have to keep Covid at bay but an extra burden on teenage skin, already struggling with hormones, Xmas sugar excess and stress breakouts.

Over to Kay Adams (left with therapist Sophie), owner of The Retreat Beauty Salon in Barnstaple and therapist for over 19 years.

1/ Know the enemy

Since July 2020, we’ve been seeing more and more teens walking through our doors with irritated sore, chafed skin around their mouth, nose, cheeks, chin and jawline.

Maskne (mask acne) is a type of ‘mechanica acne’ caused by increased heat and friction to the surrounding skin and pressure. Masks rubbing and breath caught behind the mask increases humidity and temperature and increased sweating and oil results in clogging. The warm, moist environment is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and inflamed and infected breakouts.

2/Clean your mask every day

Clean mask equals clean face so it’s got to be either a freshly laundered one or a clean disposable. Use a 40c wash and if they’re sensitive to washing powder just use the one that’s suitable for them. 

3/Ditch the make up

We all know the temptation to cover up blemishes but if you can persuade young make-up fans to keep it just to eye make-up it will do their skins a favour.

4/ Don’t stress out!

Easier said than done, I know, but it makes a huge difference to your skin. If teens are already dealing with a breakout, stress slows down wound healing by up to 40%. Chronic stress increases hormone levels which in turn causes increased oil production and persistent low-grade acne. Less screen time, yoga/meditation will all help, as will cutting back on sugary and high carb foods.

5/ Follow their cycle

Premenstrual acne affects a whopping 78% of girls and women so taking extra care of skin in the lead up to their cycle or scheduling a treatment can really help.

6/ How to help

Teens can be hard to help because they want perfect skin yesterday! Add to that raging hormones, frustration, tonnes of make-up if they’re girls and the pressure of looking good, especially on socials.

Teens need a structured, strict skincare routine with patience, time and commitment. Everything above is true for teens but some of the products below may be too much for their skin, so I’d recommend the Clear Start range which is designed for 10-21 year olds.

Parents can be a big support by making that first appointment and although the initial layout seems scary, it’s well worth it. Dermalogica products go a long way – little and often!

Being honest with teens and giving them realistic expectations is important. They can experience fantastic results and then get a flare-up which can lead to disappointment and giving up. Make sure they keep going, have a good balanced diet, reduce sugar, plenty of water and good sleep. Oh and less screen time!

7/ Say hello to H20

Keep skin hydrated with a light mattifying moisturiser to improve your skin’s barrier function and protect it from water loss. Drink more water too!

8/ Call in the professionals

A skin consultation is the best way to start to discuss any concerns, your skincare needs and this allows us to recommend a suitable treatment plan along with at-home products to maintain and complement professional treatment results.

A lot of our teens have the Dermalogica Pro30 facial as it’s quick, and affordable for the bank of mum and dad (£40), and we can address a lot in those 30 minutes.

The Retreat Beauty Salon, 13 Cross St, Barnstaple EX31 1BD Tel: 01271 378399.

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