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Ask the expert: Skincare and Dermatology with Emma Coleman

Q: Is Maskne really a thing?

A: Yes, many of my clients are struggling with this issue, and maskne comes in many guises; unsightly bumps, dry and scaly patches, rashes and blemishes developing on the chin, around the mouth and basically any part of the face that comes into contact with your mask.Maintaining good mask hygiene by washing and changing regularly, and wearing cotton where possible will help the situation. Read on for more tips:

Prickly Heat can be caused by mask humidity, especially common for those working in restaurants, pubs and cafes, where the environment is warm. A very mild over the counter antihistamine cream or steroid ointment usually calms this down very quickly

Dry skin occurs due to insufficient oxygen supply which means that our skin is less able to rejuvenate, resulting in dry, defunct skin cells collecting on the surface. Additionally, potential friction can make the skin appear rougher. Applying an emollient cream – such as over the counter Aqueous cream or Aveeno – regularly beneath the mask over several hours will help protect the natural barrier. Apply before bed to heal overnight, too.

Red nose caused by the friction of wearing a face mask can potentially lead to soreness, especially when masks are worn for long periods of time. You can calm this down by applying a cold compress once the mask is off, and before bed apply a soothing cream, ideally something that contains Vitamins A and E, to help reduce inflammation.

Acne – A rise in breakouts has seen the skin problem dubbed ‘mask-ne’ and is often caused by heat and humidity over the skin.This is known to trigger breakouts, due to reduced evaporation of sweat from wearing a mask, alongside increased serum production as the skin tries to deal with the unusual conditions.Remove the mask at intervals and spritz the skin with a water-based product to keep the face feeling fresh.

Q: What skincare should I be using now?

A: Autumn is a great time to reduce hyperpigmentation on the face. This tends to lie dormant in cooler months, becoming invisible to the naked eye, and is then reactivated by heat and UV light in spring and summer, so it’s important to protect and prevent at this time of the year. Using products containing Alpha and Beta-hydroxy acids plus a Retinol serum at night time will exfoliate the skin over time to reduce the dark spots. And don’t forget your daily sunscreen during both inside and outside spells – yes direct sunlight exposure through windows can activate melanin and cause more brown spots to occur.

Skin Recipe of the Month:

Pumpkins have high levels of Zinc, Vitamins A and C, proven to have powerful skin healing properties, plus antioxidants niacinamide and flavonoids, exerting a protective effect on our bodies and skin. This no-hassle recipe is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients too.

Spiced Pumpkin Wedges:

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade
  • De-seed and roughly chop a pumpkin into wedges (skin on)
    Save the seeds in a bowl
  • Place the wedges on a baking sheet, drizzle with Olive or Rapeseed oil
  • Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric and one teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Use hands to turn the pumpkin slices, coating them with the oil and spices
  • Place the seeds on a second baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil
  • Roast the pumpkin wedges and seeds for 18 to 20 minutes, turning half way through cooking
  • Serve with salad, as a roast dinner side or alone as a snack and sprinkle with the seeds
  • Keep spare roasted seeds in a sealed container and eat as a snack, or stir into porridge, soups and veggies


If you have a skin or skincare question please drop me an email, I’d love to help:

You can also connect with me @EmmaColemanSkin for daily tips

Tried & Tested |