What is maskne?

The term maskne was coined at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a catch-all phrase to describe acne mechanica – a form of acne caused by friction and associated with wearing a PPE mask. 

Acne mechanica occurs when airless environments cause P Acne bacteria to proliferate, friction to break down the barrier function of the skin and trap humidity resulting in increased sebum that further activates inflammation in nearby skin cells.  

Those affected by the condition often struggle with acute and angry acne breakouts appearing on areas of the face that are usually covered by a mask, such as the cheeks, nose, chin and jawline.

How is maskne best treated? 

To best treat maskne and take steps to prevent an outbreak, Dr Yusra recommends making certain lifestyle changes, as well as adapting beauty regimes. Here are her ten top tips for fighting maskne:  

  • Cleansers 

Dr Yusra says “it is really important to ensure that you cleanse your face in the morning and double cleanse in the evening. I love the Obagi foaming gel for this as it removes all make up, grime and deep cleanses pores.” She also recommends pore therapy – a prescription item that contains 2% salicylic acid to reduce inflammation on the surface of the skin and break up excess oil. This will help to reduce angry maskne with pustule spots, quickly.  

  • Hypochlorous acid 

This can be bought over the counter as Clinisept or you can purchase Thoclor, a stabilised and pure form of hypochlorous acid. Dr Yusra recommends using it every day after washing your face in the morning and evening, spraying it onto the affected area and leaving it to dry. Hypochlorous acid acts as an anti-inflammatory and has similar effects to an alpha hydroxy acid, exfoliating the upper layer of the skin gently to reduce congestion. It also has disinfecting properties, killing the bacteria that cause acne, acting as a mild exfoliant and helping to reduce inflammation. 

  • Benzoyl Peroxide 

Benzoyl Peroxide or BPO degrades and releases oxygen to kill P acnes. It can be bought over the counter, or the more effective forms are available on prescription. In accordance with the National Institute of Clinical Evidence, this is the first-line measure for the treatment of acne and works well on moderate outbreaks that are angry, red and painful to reduce inflammation. However, it needs to be used in moderation as overuse can lead to dryness and irritation and so it is best to moisturise well after use. As BPO can lead to post-inflammatory pigmentation; it is important to also layer on SPF if the area is exposed to the sun. Dr Yusra recommends Obagi Clenziderm therapeutic lotion due to its fast acting properties which is available on prescription only. 

  • HydraFacial

HydraFacial is a six step medical grade facial which helps to resurface the skin. Dr Yusra says: “HydraFacial has specific acne protocols to reduce inflammation and acne breakouts. It uses hydrodermabrasion, a salicylic acid skin peel and glycolic acid skin peel and one treatment per week, for six weeks, with progressive medical resurfacing and an increasing percentage of peels will help to control and improve acne quickly.”

  • Exfoliants

Removing harsh and abrasive exfoliants from a beauty regime can also make a difference.  Dr Yusra says: “Do not exfoliate with any harsh abrasive exfoliants because they can cause more problems than good by creating microtears in the skin, damaging the skin barrier function.” Harsh exfoliants could include those that have ingredients such as apricot kernels or crystals. Instead choose a liquid exfoliant like glycolic, lactic or phytic acid to gently remove dead skin, respecting and maintaining the integrity of the skin”. 

  • Oil based makeup

“Stay away from any oil-based makeups” is another of Dr Yusra’s tips for preventing any further breakouts, this is because they are comedogenic and will cause congestion. Oil is a barrier and can trap and encourage bacterial proliferation and break outs. 

  • Makeup brushes

Always ensure that brushes used to apply makeup are clean- make up brushes can harbour more bacteria than a toilet so, clean between use to prevent bacterial spread. 

  • Mineral SPF

According to Dr Yusra, not all SPFs are created equal and many products are actually chemical SPFs that are reliant on a chemical reaction to provide adequate protection. In her experience, many patients with acne will find their skin doesn’t agree with chemical spfs and recommends to use these a mineral SPF instead. This is because chemical SPFs can clog the pores and cause breakouts. Dr Yusra recommends using a zinc oxide based SPF because zinc is very healing on the surface of the skin. Dr Yusra always opts for a mineral SPF herself, with her preferred products being either Obagi SPF50 matte or Colorscience mineral face shield.

  • Clean masks

A clean mask is crucial for keeping the maskne at bay. Good mask hygiene involves making sure that your mask is clean and changing it every time it becomes wet.  Says Dr Yusra “You can also spray Thochlor inside the mask to kill bacteria that stagnates on it during the day. Also consider the type of mask you wear – cotton is more breathable and therefore gentler on your skin”

  • Specialist consultation

For those with persistent acne, Dr Yusra recommends a consultation with a skin specialist. As a result of the pandemic many clinics are now holding virtual consultation so getting sorted with the right blend of products for each individual case can now happen pretty quickly. The Dr Yusra Clinic has wellness practices in both London and Liverpool that cover skincare and skin specialists who offer virtual consults, and products can be shipped worldwide – contact us for more information. 

Dr Yusra Al-Mukhtar

Dr Yusra Al-Mukhtar

Dr Yusra is a distinguished dental surgeon and a skilled medical aesthetic clinician with a wealth of experience in maxillofacial head and neck surgery and skin cancer surgery. She holds an impressive academic background, having graduated with first-class honours in Medical Science and Healthcare Management from Imperial College London and earned Honours and Distinction as a dental surgeon from King’s College London. Dr Yusra is a Level 7 Trainer in medical aesthetics, in line with Ofqual guidelines, and is renowned for her expertise in providing natural-looking non-surgical facelifts and a range of aesthetic treatments. Her commitment to patient well-being and safety is unwavering, making her a trusted practitioner in the field.

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Kinga Podczaszynska
Kinga Podczaszynska
30 April 2024
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I would like to say big thank you for Dr Yusra for today’s appointment and your professional opinion , definitely recommend
Mevish Arif
Mevish Arif
29 April 2024
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Very good experience, made me feel very comfortable . Realistic expectations and Dr Yusra has a good eye and procedure was done professionally with the utmost care .
Hafsa Noreen
Hafsa Noreen
18 April 2024
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I visited the Liverpool clinic for NSR treatment with Dr Lauren she was lovely welcoming and very talented. She went through everything with me in great detail and ensured I was comfortable and getting the right treatment, we discussed my concerns before the treatment so I felt very safe and knew I was in the best hands. I’m happy with the outcome and not to forget the follow up care and call which I didn’t expect. My advice is if you are thinking of getting any treatment then stick with the best professionals in the business and Dr Lauren is an asset to Dr Yusra’s team.
Beth Snape
Beth Snape
24 March 2024
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I have been going to dr yursa since 2022 starting with nose filler and now nose and chin filler and facials! The only team I would trust with my face super helpful and advise on treatments personalised to you and have seen massive improvements in my confidence but also visually with my skin! Thankyou x
Louisa
Louisa
18 March 2024
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I had a consultation and enzyme peel with Olivia. The consultation was very informative and helped tweak my skincare routine. The enzyme peel has rejuvenated my skin and was very relaxing.
E Khan
E Khan
10 March 2024
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Had very bad hallow eyes and dr yusra and her team were amazing with the process. Being a man it can feel uncomfortable to consider these procedures but they do everything to make it as smooth and comfortable as possible. Listen to the advice! Dr yusra analysed my face and realised it was cheeks that needed some help and not the under eyes, its given me such a fresh younger look and I couldn't be happier with the results!
S
S
29 February 2024
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Title: Exceptional Aesthetic Experience I recently had an aesthetic treatment at Dr Yusra Clinic, and I cannot express enough how pleased I am with the entire experience. From the moment I walked in, the staff displayed a level of professionalism and kindness that instantly put me at ease. Dr. Yusra, in particular, went above and beyond in ensuring my comfort. She took the time to calm my nerves and spent an extended period discussing my reasons for seeking the treatment. What truly set her apart was her thorough explanation of the treatment process. She didn't just outline the procedure; she made sure I understood every aspect, leaving no room for uncertainties. Dr. Yusra's genuine care for her patients was evident throughout the consultation. I felt valued and reassured, not just as a client, but as someone she genuinely cared about. She took the time to discuss various products, explaining why each was the best fit for me. Additionally, she offered valuable advice on other concerns I had, demonstrating a holistic approach to my well-being. One of the most comforting aspects of the consultation was the lack of pressure to proceed with the treatment. Dr. Yusra allowed me the time to carefully assess the costs involved and make a decision that I felt comfortable with. Her advice was not only honest but also presented in a factual and easily understandable manner. In conclusion, my experience at Dr Yusra Clinic exceeded my expectations. Dr. Yusra and the entire staff made me feel more important than just a client, providing a level of personalised care that is truly commendable. I highly recommend their services for anyone seeking not only effective aesthetic treatments but also a compassionate and considerate approach to patient care.
Ariana Fraval
Ariana Fraval
27 February 2024
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Wow well what can I say? What a lovely lady Dr Yusra is and so talented! She went through everything with me in SUCH detail and analysis in a way I have not experienced before, so before the treatment I felt very safe and sure she would do a great job. She did! I’m so happy with the teaks to my nose which has been wonky for years after several breaks. She also covered my whole face and discussed many areas where there was volume loss, or over active muscles etc. She was wonderful and I will definitely be booking in with her again! Thankyou SO much Dr Yusra!
Jemma Milne
Jemma Milne
22 February 2024
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I have met Dr Yusra on 3 occasions now and each time she has immediately made me feel at ease, she is so friendly and approachable and has advised me on exactly what treatments would suit me personally. She has maintained a natural look which I love and her knowledge is second to none. I would highly recommended Dr Yusra to anyone. A stunning clinic.
Anisa Ali
Anisa Ali
19 February 2024
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Dr Yusra was absolutely amazing at the liverpool clinic. From the staff on reception, all the way to the entire procedure being completed, it was a very swift and efficient service. She made me feel completely comfortable and explained everything very well. Thank you for the amazing service.