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Face Time: Is your skin 'mask-off' ready?

It has been a week where your face can be on full display outdoors. How has your skin hold up after two years of wearing masks?

Wearing masks confines many particles and bacteria within a small area, making it a good thriving nest for bacteria. Many have suffered from the unfortunate "maskne", and may still be recovering from it. 

For Ms Diana Yow, battling with acne for 12 years - she had cyclical experiences of mild to severe cystic acne outbreak even through adulthood - has led to the creation of Lumipeau, a local skincare range that tackles end-to-end acne concerns. Lumipeau's range of gel-based products are also specifically designed for our hot and humid weather.

"Mask-wearing initially made my skin more irritated and had contributed to some small acne flares because the bacteria trapped within the mask is contained," she said.

Here, Ms Yow shares her battle with acne and why she believes acne "is not a permanent occurrence and can be remedied".

Has mask-wearing made acne worse?

My skin is prone to developing acne when the environment is dirty and when my body is “heaty” from insufficient rest or improper diet. Although the mask appears to “shield” the skin from environmental dirt, it had initially made my skin more irritated and contributed to some small acne flares because of the bacteria trapped within the mask. 

What's your advice to people who had "maskne" from wearing masks for over two years?

Pimples start forming when the pores are clogged by bacteria, oil and dead skin cells. A mask confines many particles and bacteria within a small area, making it a thriving nest for bacteria.  

Hence keeping the skin healthy and clean is crucial, especially when wearing the mask. On top of spritzing the LumiShield Anti-Bacterial Facial Mist, I would also gargle with mouthwash after meals to refresh my breath to not only reduce the bacteria but to make the overall mask wearing experience a pleasant one.

With so many products in the market, what makes Lumipeau unique to acne sufferers?

Lumipeau products are made with acne battlers' struggles in mind, and this helps us differentiate ourselves from the other acne skincare brands.

I have tried many methods, such as oral pills and skincare products, etc. Although the treatments worked for me then, the acne returned shortly. I had also experienced dry, sensitive skin from products that promised overnight success, and worst, hair loss from some medications.

Lumipeau offers a sustainable solution to acne sufferers by helping to treat their acne and strengthening their skin barrier for the long term through a simple regimen powered by effective ingredients with clinically proven acne efficacies.

What advice can you offer to acne sufferers - those from mild to severe cases? Diet? Exercise?

Keep a positive mindset!

Acne is the number one skin concern that affects 88 per cent of adolescents and adults in Singapore. So embrace acne and not hide it. The more stressed I was, and the more I tried to cover it, the more acne formed instead...it became a vicious cycle. Healing takes time. Cultivate a good skincare regime and good lifestyle habits.

Acne skin is very fragile due to its weakened skin barrier. Therefore it is vital to feed it with good skincare ingredients. But of course, patience is key! Give your skin some time to reap the full benefits rather than keep switching products.

Sufficient rest and balanced nutrition for good skin is an adage that still holds. Our external outlook is a reflection of our internal health. Eight hours of sleep helps regulate hormonal imbalance, and water helps maintain our skin barrier. 

How long will it take for acne scars to fade?

There are several types of acne scars, and the ones that look like dark spots are called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. With safe and proper usage of products, such as lightening serums and AHA exfoliators, you can start to see results as early as three to four weeks.

Acne scars take a longer time to heal, and it is recommended to give them some time to lighten up. There is no fast track to vanishing acne scars, so do steer clear of products or treatments that promise to fade in a few days or sessions. Treatments that give immediate results tend to be potent or harsh to the skin and, in the long run, eventually harm and damage the skin. A safe and sustainable skincare regime is the way to go.