Up close Acne

An Aromatic Solution for Maskne

As if the Rona didn’t give us enough struggles!

Bee and flower Tattoo
Custom Tattoo by Sean Rendon of Iron Forged Body Works in Live Oak, Texas

Just the other day, I received a text from my daughter-in-law showing me her freakin’ amazing new tattoo!  We share a love of ink!

In the text, she brought my attention to the Maskne- Mask related acne- that she’s been struggling with since the advent of extended mask wearing that Rona has required.  In all honesty, I don’t notice things until someone brings them to my attention.  So, when she pointed this out, I was moved with some serious compassion.  I have never struggled with acne, but I’ve known people who have and they’ve all said it’s painful.  I asked her if it was painful and she said “it’s super painful and annoying (insert full on tears emoji).” 

I immediately put on my Aromatherapy hat to create an Aromatic Solution for Maskne.

What is Maskne?

The doctors at the Cleveland Clinic have written a great article explaining the whole thing!  In a nutshell, Maskne has been around as long as face masks!  This issues has been brought to light, though, because now we are all wearing masks for extended periods.  In careers where extended mask wearing has been commonplace, this issue has been prevalent the whole time. 

Is Maskne different from regular ol’ acne?

Maskne is simply acne that is exacerbated by wearing a mask for extended periods.   The warm, moist environment created inside your mask is the perfect breeding ground for yeast, bacteria, and other flora.

Acne happens when the body creates excess sebum, the oil that keeps your skin moist, and clumps together with dead skin cells to clog the pores.  When this happens, a zit or acne lesion (comedone, papule, pustule, nodule, or cyst) can occur.  Risk factors include: genetic predisposition, menstrual cycles, anxiety, stress, oil-based makeup, and climate.  

Acne affects 3 out of every 4 people in the world!  That’s about 6.5 billion people! If you have acne, it seems you are not alone!

Maskne System Creation

I pulled out all of my mad research skills and got to work on an Aromatic Solution!  I thought about what it is that she may need.  

  • Probably something that she could use throughout the day as wearing a mask all day, on top of having painful acne, must be so aggravating and uncomfortable
  • Probably something to soothe the skin overnight and add a healing layer.
Maskne System

***Note: So many people believe that stripping the oils from your face will help reduce the intensity of the acne so they use toners and astringents.  When we strip away all of the oils from our skin, our body believes that ‘because there is no oil, and oil is necessary, I need to start producing more oil’ so your body begins to overproduce the sebum that is essential to the health of your skin.

The Aromatic Solution of the Maskne System that I created was THE EVENING SERUM. 

This serum is a blend of 

  • Jojoba- which is closely related the sebum that our skin naturally produces.  It has a light, waxy aroma and is a nice, thick oil.  Great for all skin types
  • Camelia- Is an amazing nourishing oil for facial blends.  It has no aroma and is a non-oily, very light oil.
  • Patchouli (P. cablin)- was chosen because it is an antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial.  It is also antiseptic, astringent, and wound healing.  Its scent is rich and earthy.
  • Cistus (C. ladaniferus)- is antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and astringent.  It is wonderful for ageing skin and wound disinfecting.  It has a light amber-like aroma.
  • Imortelle (H. italicum)- (one of my all time favorites) is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and wound healing.  It is one of the most amazing oils for skin regeneration! It’s sent is woody, herbaceous, and spicy.

I wanted to make sure that the scent was pleasing since this would be used at night.  I also wanted to ensure that the essential oils chosen were oils that would not be stimulating so that you could still manage to get to sleep after application.

Up close Acne

Next up:
The Maskne Soothing Spray

This spray is a blend of:

  • Witch Hazel Extract- great for skin irritation, inflammation, and pain.
  • Peppermint (M. piperita)- was chosen for its fresh, lifting fragrance and its ability to cool the skin. It is anesthetic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and helps to bring red blood cells to the application site.
  • Carrot Seed (D. carota)- has a very strong, earthy aroma.  It is one of the most amazing essential oils for skin issues.  It is antibacterial, antifungal, hypotensive, and antimicrobial.  

Both of the essential oils in this soothing spray have stimulating qualities.  So, using it throughout the day will assist her body in staying alert and capable.

What’s taking so long?

Unfortunately, at the writing of this article, my lovely daughter-in-law does not have The Maskne System in her hot little hands.  She and my son live in North Carolina while I’m on the other side of the planet on Guam.  The box with her Aromatic solution is going to be mailed out tomorrow containing all of the Maskne goodness.

After she receives her Maskne System, and tries it out, I’m going to ask her to report on how it worked for her.  Whether the results are positive, or negative, I will return here and write a post-script so that you know!

Resources:

Petersen, D. (2016). Aromatherapy materia medica: Essential oil monographs. Portland, Oregon: American College of Healthcare Sciences.

The struggle with maskne is very real. (2020). Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-struggle-with-maskne-is-very-real/

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