How to win the battle against ‘maskne’


With the compulsory use of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, the world discovered ‘maskne,’[1] a skin condition describing a set of skin issues related to mask-wearing such as local irritation, increased sensitivity, pimples and itchiness, favored by the particular environment generated by the mask’s presence, friction, pressure, humidity and occlusion.

Even before the pandemic, redness, sensitive skin, hyperpigmentation and discomfort were among the top concerns of consumers all over the world. The sudden surge of these symptoms due to mask wearing has generated a new demand for fast-acting, reliable and clean solutions tackling all these issues at once.

To answer this increasing need of consumers to obtain a solution to mask-wearing skin issues, Givaudan Active Beauty launched Masknyl,™ an active ingredient able to counteract redness, inflammation and hyperpigmentation due to wearing a mask. Crafted by white biotechnology and activated by the skin microflora, this phytoactive ingredient has been designed thanks to our biocatalysis and microbiomics expertise to reveal its efficacy in only 24 hours.[2]

Significant results in only 24 hours

Following activation by the skin microbiome, Masknyl™ offers triple action on the skin at a biological level. Clinical tests on volunteers wearing masks demonstrated that the phytoactive is able to:

  • Visibly reduce red spots and heal skin inflammation in just 24 hours (in particular where a surgical mask has been worn), by -34.2% versus placebo,
  • Control and reduce hyperpigmentation and brown spots in just four days (-3.5% versus placebo),
  • Improve skin comfort and texture, with 74% of panellists highlighting the fact that their skin was softer and less tight.

Mathias Fleury, category manager active beauty, said: “Masknyl™ is a phytoactive ingredient crafted from sophorin (phytomelin), a flavonoid with well-documented benefits in terms of antioxidant action, soothing and wound-healing. Already used in the cosmetic industry at limited dosage due to its poor solubility, biotechnology has enabled us to improve the bioavailability of sophorin (phytomelin) through glycosylation to craft Masknyl.™ This new China compliant molecule is activated by the skin microflora and improves solubility by a factor of 14,000, offering rapid efficacy in terms of soothing and anti-redness activity.”

Smart solution for cosmetic efficacy

Givaudan's Active Beauty team has now crafted Mask Tonic, powered by Masknyl™ to prevent all kinds of skin discomfort due to wearing a mask. Suitable for all skin types and family members (from 3 years old), even the most sensitive, our 92% natural-origin genderless day cream reduces redness and controls hyperpigmentation. Thanks to PrimalHyal™ 300 and Unitamuron™ H22 Green, it protects, repairs and increases elasticity. Application of this light emulsion provides a delicate sensation of freshness, leaving skin perfectly hydrated even when covered.

[1] a word created by combining the words mask & acne

[2] Proved by clinical test on volunteers wearing masks


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