In case you haven’t noticed, mask acne – more commonly known as maskne – is fast becoming a real problem for most of us as the wearing of protective face masks in public continues to be mandatory.
Such a safety measure has indeed proven to help minimise our chances of contracting the virus that affected the entire globe but unfortunately, it brings about an unpleasant side effect to our skin – in the form of maskne.
As mask wearing in public isn’t going to be a thing of the past anytime soon, is there a solution in the beauty realm for us to address our newfound skin concerns?
Before we find out, it’s important to first learn more about what maskne is and its triggers.
What causes maskne?
Medically is known as acne mechanica, maskne is essentially caused by the prolonged wear of protective face masks which leads to friction-related irritation around the mouth, in the areas around the nose, as well as near the ears where the edges of your surgical mask sit.
Combine the occlusive nature of protective face masks – which invariably traps heat – with the humid environment from breathing, talking, and sweating, and what you’ll get is the perfect moisture-rich condition for bacteria and organisms to multiply.
Just like how a mixture of heat, friction, and sweat getting trapped between skin and fabric is a recipe for breakouts on the back, chest or thighs, wearing face mask for an extended period of time causes pores to get clogged and the skin on the lower half of your face to flare up, eventually becoming dry, itchy, raw, and plagued by acne.
What can be done to treat maskne?
To improve the condition of maskne, paying your facialist a regular visit monthly for a deep-cleansing facial is highly recommended. But there’s more you can do at home to stave off bacteria and keep maskne at bay.
One of the ways is to level up your at-home routine with an LED light-therapy mask. Made popular by celebrities Instagramming endless selfies of themselves wearing luminescent masks, this skincare gadget is now readily available in the beauty market for anyone looking to harness the power of LED light – which is usually of the blue (bacteria-killing) and red (collagen- and elastin-stimulating) varieties – without the need for dermatologist’s supervision.
Why an LED mask, you ask? Well, that’s because the high-tech beauty tool is able to help reduce inflammation, acne, wrinkles, and discoloration at depths that topical products simply can’t.
That said, many of the models currently in the market come with a hefty price tag that can stretch up to thousands of dollars. For those looking to give the skincare gizmo a try without breaking the bank, you’re in luck.
Daily Vanity has come across a more affordable version from a local brand called M2GIC, which offers the SOCHIO LED Mask that’s best paired with the SOCHIO facial sheet masks.
Read on to find out if this cost-effective gadget can really help address maskne without burning a hole in your wallet!
SOCHIO LED Mask: What it does
Without any fancy embellishments like other LED masks you might have come across, the SOCHIO device comes with a simple, fuss-free design consisting of a face shield fitted with LED lights and protective black goggles for the eyes.
It is developed with three light of varying wavelengths to offer specific functions: red (620 to 630nm) for anti-ageing purposes, blue (460 to 470nm) for anti-acne properties, and yellow (580 to 590nm) for skin-brightening benefits.
With the red light, the mask can help activate collagen renewal and increase skin elasticity, while encouraging cellular activity and speeding up cell metabolism within the skin. With regular use, it can repair skin damage and help skin appear firmer and more lifted.
Meanwhile, the blue light works on eliminating bacteria growth from the source and minimising pores so that bacteria is unable to reside within your pores and cause breakouts.
Then, there’s the yellow light function which is meant to help improve blood and oxygen circulation while reducing skin pigmentation and roughness. With microcirculation improved, skin can look healthier and more rejuvenated over time.
Together with the selection of facial sheet masks, the duo is considered M2GIC’s star products and has been touted as a cost-efficient miracle worker for the skin as the multi-benefit set can replace 20 different types of sheet masks.
SOCHIO LED Mask: Can this device deliver all the benefits promised at such an affordable price point?
I have to admit, I was a little intrigued when I was offered to review the SOCHIO LED Mask and facial sheet masks.
While I’ve been writing beauty since the beginning of my career, it has never crossed my mind to try any of the light-therapy masks in the market – I’ve always shrugged them aside as I didn’t think that my skin needed these gadgets.
This year, however, has thrown my skin for a loop and I’ve begun to develop maskne around the lower half of my face because of the mandatory mask-wearing as well as my eventual laziness of not visiting my facialist for monthly appointments.
While I have since resumed my regular facial visits, I wanted to boost my at-home skincare routine to lengthen the results of my facial and the offer to review the SOCHIO LED Mask came just in time for me to do so.
I tried the device daily for a week, and used it together with a different SOCHIO sheet mask after cleansing each day as instructed to double the effectiveness and, hopefully, reap instant benefits.
For the first and fourth day of my new skincare regime, I tested the LED mask with the SOCHIO 24K Gold Thread Carving Mask. Designed to fit every curve of the face, this mask variant is meant to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as promote cell metabolism, proliferation, and growth while offering firming and lifting properties.
As I don’t currently have major concerns with skin sagginess, I only noticed a very slight lifting effect in my jaw area after using the gold-threaded mask. I reckon that those looking firming and lifting benefits in their sheet mask will likely see more visible results with this combination of gold mask and LED mask.
On days two, three and five, I reached for the Silk Mask to use with the gadget. Using advanced silk membrane fabric from Japan that feels light and thin on the skin, this mask variant contains 10 powerful herb extracts to stimulate cell regeneration and take care of acne while minimising the appearance of pores and accelerating skin’s natural healing process.
Full disclosure: I was initially concerned about the fit of the LED Mask before the review – I was worried that I might feel claustrophobic or if the gadget may not be able to sit on my face comfortably.
Fortunately, all of the worries went away as soon as I put it on; in fact, the mask wore comfortably on my face and I was not really bothered by the LED lights at all thanks to the protective goggles.
As per instructions, I used the gadget once daily after cleansing for 15 minutes. I found it a little troublesome that I had to first connect the LED Mask to a powerbank in order to use it, but it wasn’t a major deal breaker for me.
Initially when I started using the gizmo on day one, I did feel a slight prickly sensation on my face when the LED light is switched on but that sensation quickly wore off after I’ve completed the 15-minute daily session – that’s about five minutes of usage for each wavelength (red, blue, and yellow).
After testing the SOCHIO LED Mask and sheet masks for a week, I’m pleasantly surprised to see not only positive improvements on my breakouts but also changes in my overall skin tone as well.
The mask-induced acne on the lower half of my face is noticeably reduced after using the combination of the device and sheet masks for five consecutive days, while the uneven skin tone that has always troubled my skin – my forehead area is generally darker than the rest of my face – has somewhat improved as well.
While I do not have major skin ageing concerns, I do struggle with skin dehydration and using the sheet masks for five days has helped change that around. My skin now feels more moisturised and dry flakes have significantly diminished.
Turns out, I’m not the only one reaping positive benefits from the SOCHIO LED Mask and sheet masks either. Just take a look at the skin transformations from some of M2GIC’s customers:
Overall, I think that the combination of the SOCHIO LED Mask and the set of sheet masks lived up to its promises and even successfully helped address my maskne in just five short days.
And thanks to its affordable price point, it’s a gadget that both beauty junkies and newbies alike can purchase to reap the benefits of a LED light-therapy mask without breaking the bank.
If you’ve been on the hunt for such devices but are unwilling to splurge a hefty sum on just a beauty device, I’d recommend you give this a try and let it reward your skin with benefits that extend beyond treating maskne.
The SOCHIO LED Mask retails for S$80, and the full set comes together with a box of facial sheet masks. You can purchase the skincare set from M2GIC’s authorised sellers as well as online distributors. Alternatively, you may also purchase the skincare set by sending M2GIC a direct message via Instagram. For more information and updates, visit the website or follow M2GIC on Instagram.