The Link Between Acne And Your Face Mask

The Link Between Acne And Your Face Mask

Wearing a mask daily has become the new norm for all of us, while they play a vital role in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19, acne has since become a common complaint. With this in mind, understanding what type of acne is forming is a key way to prevent it returning.

 According to research,acne is the most common skin condition in the UK with over 85% of us likely to suffer with it at some point in our lives. There are many different types therefore identifying which type you’re suffering from is the best way to find an effective solution. Those four main types of acne are, comedones, papules, pustules and cysts and are all generally caused by three main factors.

·     Over-production of sebum (oil)

·     Blockage of hair follicles otherwise known as pores, where sebum is produced by dead skin cells

·     Over-production of bacteria and consequently inflammation

Non-Inflammatory Acne

Closed comedones are often otherwise known as whiteheads. Often mistaken for pimples that are white and tempting to pick at (excuse the TMI) but are actually white or skin coloured bumps that build beneath the skin until they’re visible. Like most types of acne, comedones form when there is a combination of dead skin cells,oil, and bacteria build up and plug into a hair follicle. Often without a head,skin coloured or white, they can also be a symptom of hormonal imbalance. Open comedones however are otherwise known as the stubborn blackheads, often black due to surface pigment.


The key to preventing this type of acne is to slow down the production of excessive sebum that clogs the skin, topical treatments are great for this! Treatments include;

·     Glycolic acid

·     Salicylic acid

·     Benzoyl Peroxide(over the counter medication)

·     Retinoids

·     Tea tree oil

·     Witch hazel

·     Charcoal and clay masks (to detox the skin)

·     Exfoliation (liquid or granular)

via. YouTube

Inflammatory Acne

Papules are small red bump that develops into pustule acne. Small in size and red, papules do not have yellow or white heads, but if they do accumulate pus they become pustules.  While tempting to pick at when papules eventually become these, it is highly recommended not to do so, bacteria can be spread and risk of scarring can happen. This type of acne can be caused by a variety of factors such as;

·     Stress

·     Diet (too much sugar, so put that choccy bar down)

·     Medications such as Corticosteroids

via. Eat This, Not That


Effective treatment for this type of acne is similar to that of Comedones including;

·     Benzoyl Peroxide

·     Retinoids

·     Anti-InflammatoryTreatments

·     Salicylic Acid

Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne, developing deep under the skin, and resulting from a combination of oil, bacteria and dead skin cells that get trapped deep within the pores. This type of acne tends to appear in those with oily skin and can be stubborn, painful, red bumps that won’t generally go away on their own, dermatologists are usually the best line of defence due to over the counter medications not being strong enough to deal with this.

via. Curology


·     See your dermatologist or doctor to discuss treatment options

If you have any success stories with regards to your acne we’de love to hear them! Send them to us on all social platforms @stylecartel

Charlotte Smith

Editor & Chief

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