Habits and external factors affect the skin’s natural barrier; from pollution to tobacco smoke, or even our choice of skin care, these actors can damage the skin’s ability to protect itself. Equally, our emotional state can weaken our skin’s natural barrier, causing irritation from the inside out. In the context of the pandemic, skin irritation is being a more pronounced concern; the emotional and physical stressors of the pandemic environment will inevitably take their toll.
One such example is ‘maskne’. This condition is clinically known as acne mechanica, which is skin irritation brought on by prolonged wear of personal protective equipment. Masks produce friction and occlusion on the skin, which breaks down the skin’s barrier. When this skin barrier is disrupted, the skin is more vulnerable to inflammation and hyperseborrhea.
Maskne’s catch 22
Right now, BPC has a role to play in helping consumers manage the stress of the pandemic. In China, 76% of women agree that using beauty products is de-stressing. Equally, when it comes to tackling complaints like maskne, augmenting your skin care routine is a go-to solution.
However, maskne is a more complex condition; skin irritation of this sort will often be made worse by products traditionally used to tackle acne. For instance, retinoids, acids, or overly aggressive exfoliants can exacerbate the mechanical irritation produced by mask usage. Instead, consumers should turn to gentle cleansing, repairing, and moisturization.
To soothe skin irritation, turn East for inspiration
A compelling solution to any kind of skin irritation are ‘Cica’ products, which contain a calming botanical ingredient called Centella asiatica. This ingredient has been popular amongst skin care users with sensitive skin in South Korea for some time now. As industry insiders know, the Korean market offers a wealth of inspiration. Under the current conditions, Cica is a particularly interesting proposition – especially as the trend gains traction in China, with the proportion of NPD gradually rising from 7% to 12% over the last three years.
This is because Cica has myriad benefits for sensitive skin types, soothing and repairing, whether the complaint is dehydration or acne. Packed with amino acids, beta-carotene, and phytochemicals, and vitamins C, A, B1, and B2, Cica’s anti-inflammatory benefits mean that it is widely regarded as a catch-all treatment for skin irritation.
Unlocking nature’s healing power
Provital has always believed in the calming, healing powers of nature. Combined with scientific innovation, we can harness these powers to create ingredients that soothe and repair. This is why our researchers were extremely interested in the Cica concept, and as a result, formulated our Asiatic Centella oil. This natural ingredient calms and clears the skin gently, without any aggressive mechanical or irritating component – making it the perfect solution for products targeting maskne.
Equally, it has several benefits for other complaints associated with skin irritation. Through the ingredient’s high concentration of essential fatty acids, Asiatic Centella oil can restore the skin’s barrier function by suppressing transepidermal water loss. As the stresses of contemporary life – nevermind the pandemic – increase demand for healing skin care, products containing Cica are likely to enjoy sustained popularity globally.