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How to Prevent Mascne (Mask-Acne)

Have you been noticing more breakouts since the arrival of coronavirus 2020? It’s entirely possible your new acne may be caused by increased mask usage. We like to refer to this particular type of acne as “mascne” (Mask-acne.) Folks who work in healthcare are very familiar with mascne but for those of us who aren’t accustomed to wearing a mask, this acne is likely an unwanted surprise. WHAT CAUSES MASCNE? Mascne is brought on by a combination of friction, dirt collection, and increased moisture retention. All of these factors contribute to debris and oil on the skin, which is basically heaven for Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that cause comedones or pimples. 1. Wash daily… Wash your mask, that is. If you have a cloth mask wash it every day or buy several so you can change them out daily. Our bodies shed thousands of dead skin cells everyday, so your mask will accumulate more than enough pore-clogging debris after one day of use. Of course, cleansing your face at least once a day is still essential for acne-free skin. You can cleanse even more frequently by investing in some facial cleansing cloths. Colorescience hydrating cleansing cloths ($19) are perfect for removing oil and build-up on the go. 2. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. You’re going to need to exfoliate about twice as often as you were before prior to wearing a mask. Frequent exfoliation allows the corneocytes (the dead cells that form the outermost layer of the skin) to shed more rapidly, giving them less of a chance to clog pores. Individuals with extremely oily skin may have to exfoliate as often as everyday. Pro tip: Opt for gentle chemical exfoliants such as glycolic or lactic acid that do the work for you. Avoid using physical scrubs that damage the skin barrier; these can actually exacerbate acne. We like Biologique Recherche Lotion P50. Colorescience hydrating cleansing cloths ($19) are perfect for removing oil and build-up on the go. 3. Use salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is your new best friend during this time. This is one of the most time tested anti-acne ingredients. Not only will it help shed that top layer of dead skin, but it’s also highly anti-inflammatory. You can find salicylic acid in various cleansers or toners. At our clinic, we recommend a triple therapy salicylic acid treatment kit ($68) for our acne patients. Reveskin’s Acne Purifying Treatment Kit penetrates deeper into the skin than over-the-counter salicylic acid formulations. Available for purchase online for $68. 4. Lather with benzoyl peroxide cleanser daily. Benzoyl peroxide is lethal to acne bacteria. A 60 second lather with this daily will help keep the acne population on your skin under control. 2% Salicylic acid toner, available for $29.50 at Paula’s Choice. 5. Get an anti-acne treatment. Radiofrequency microneedling Vivace treatments decrease sebum production for an extended period of time which will provide acne relief for up to 8 weeks. Skintox (microdroplets of Botox placed in the epidermis) also halts oil production for 2-3 months. Microneedling is yet another great way to put a damper on ongoing acne and will speed reduction of pre-existing acne scars and associated discoloration. Vivace, a cutting edge radiofrequency microneedling device that diminishes acne production. With these tips under your belt you should be able to recover your glowing skin in no time, yet still continue to stay safe while wearing your mask for hours per day! To book a consult for acne at SLK, please request an appointment here.

Fruit Acids: How They Truly Make Your Skin Glow

FRUIT ACIDS Look dewy rather than melty this summer with fruit acids, your key to a low-maintenance summer glow. Summertime is a tricky time for makeup- prone to sweaty mishaps and frequent touch-ups. However, summer should be fun! Enjoy your barbecues, music festivals, and pool parties without an ounce of worry about what your face looks like, with the help of this 10 minute trick. WHAT ARE FRUIT ACIDS? Fruit acids are also known as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), a group of nontoxic organic compounds that have have been used throughout history as beauty aids. This group of compounds includes glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, and citric acid, all of which are found naturally occurring in fruits. (Although many skincare companies use synthetic versions now.) Each of these molecules share a common structural backbone which puts them in the chemistry category known as “weak acids.” Typically, the only alpha-hydroxy fruit acids you will see in skincare are glycolic acid and lactic acid. HOW DO FRUIT ACIDS WORK? Alpha-Hydroxy Acids loosen the intercellular bonds between your corneocytes- the dry, densely packed cells that make up the outermost layer of your skin. Once the bonds are loosened, corneocytes shed easily, revealing the newer layer of skin beneath. The dull cells that were once piled up are now gone, and the resulting smooth surface reflects light instead of absorbing it, which is why skin appears so luminous.  WHERE CAN I FIND PRODUCTS CONTAINING FRUIT ACIDS? REN Radiance Renewal Mask Lancer Caviar Lime Acid Peel Dior Hydralife Sorbet Water Essence PLEASE DON’T FORGET YOUR SPF: Please be aware that Alpha-hydroxy acids are known to increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV light so if you decide to try any of these, be sure to apply SPF everyday. (Which you should be doing anyway). CAN I JUST PUT FRUIT ON MY FACE? No, we don’t recommend leaving fruit directly on your face. The natural acid concentrations won’t be high enough to produce a significant clinical effect. Plus, fruit contains other compounds that can cause photophytodermatitis– rash, burns or blisters triggered by sun exposure. Leave it to the skincare companies to extract and purify your fruit acids first. WHEN SHOULD I APPLY FRUIT ACIDS? You should expect a period of radiance for about 48 hours after applying over-the-counter alpha hydroxys. We recommend application on a Friday or Saturday so you’re all set for your weekend plans. The Dior and Ren products above are gentle enough for everyday use though. If you would like an extended period of radiance, check out our Medical-grade skin peels which use higher, prescription doses of fruit acids. The perfect prep for a long summer vacation.

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