Maskne. If you clicked this post you know what it is and I am sure you are just as frustrated by it as I am. We all know there are a myriad of reasons that we need to wear masks when out and about thanks to our friend COVID, but my skin has been taking one for the team lately. Living in the northeast, wearing a mask at the beginning of quarantine wasn’t too bad. The temps each day were below 70, I wasn’t venturing out much except to go buy groceries and go for the occassional walk around the park. Now, in the heat of summer as things are starting to regress towards normal, I am out more and sweating under my mask SO MUCH. I started noticing Maskne around the beginning of June and I have been testing out products since. I have finally found a routine of products for my maskne that at least reduce it to a tolerable level.
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1. Quality Masks
Okay so this one isn’t technically a skincare product, but it’s still important! The first step to preventing maskne is to build up your wardrobe of facemasks. The CDC guidelines recommend if you are using a cloth mask that you wash it after each wear. In order for this to be feasible, you need to have more than one! I recently stocked up on a bunch of new styles from Target! For those of you with glasses, I recommend the Universal thread masks because they have that coveted nose wire! If you don’t need a nose wire, these solid colored masks are great and both are only $4 for a pack of 2!
2. A Great Exfoliant
Having a mask on all day means that I am sweating, my pores are open and that more dirt and oil are getting trapped in them. One of the ways I am making sure I clear them out is by exfoliating. Now, I do not exfoliate daily! I do it 2-3 times a week and I alternate between a chemical exfoliant and a mechanical exfoliant. A mechanizal exfoliant is the traditional face scrub that you think of, and a chemical exfoliant is a bit gentler and doesn’t have the potential to create micro-abrasions. My favorite mechanical exfoliant is the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. Now, the price is not for the faint of heart but it is SO WORTH IT. If you are a FabFitFun member, you can usually get it for a discount in their edit sales!
My favorite chemical exfoliant is from also from Kate Somerville! It is the Liquid ExfoliKate Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment and I recently added it to my routine. I really love this product and so does my skin! I have normal to sensitive skin and this is gentle enough for me. Be warned: the bottle is glass so don’t drop it! I made that mistake once and was so sad! I immediately ordered a replacement, but it made my wallet cry a bit.
3. A Gentle Cleanser
If your skin is anything like mine right now, it’s angry. You need to help your skin out by getting yourself a nice, gentle cleanser that will work for your specific needs. I have 2 cleansers that I have been alternating between. The first is from the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate line(clearly a favorite of mine!) and that one is the ExfoliKate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash. This foaming cleanser is gentle enough on my skin, but also doesn’t dry me out or leave me greasy! It strikes the perfect balance for my needs. I generally opt for this one at night as a part of my longer routine.
The second cleanser I rorate in is the Murad Essential-C Cleanser which aims to rehydrate environmentally damaged skin. This is my preferred morning cleanser as the citrus-y smells really wake me up! I really love products that incorporate Vitamin C and this cleanser is perfect for making sure my skin is nice and clear to start the day! Any bacteria coming from my hands or pillow when I sleep can be washed away before I ever have to put on a mask.
4. Spot Treatment
While preventing Maskne in the first place is the goal, sometimes we still get breakouts. In order to help treat those breakouts, I have a couple of different spot treatments I use. I know people have very strong feelings about Benzoyl Peroxide v. Salicylic acid spot treatments, but I am in an entirely different boat. I love a sulfur based spot treatment! The reason I prefer sulfur based products is they really quickly dry out even the angriest, cystic spots that I can get. My go-to is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. This is a mix of salicylic acid, sulfur, camphor and calamine that helps draw impurities from the skin and target pesky pimples while you sleep. I use this regularly to treat my breakouts and it is lifechanging!
While I use the drying lotion for bigger zits, I also love the EradiKate Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment for smaller spots that are started up, or even spots that have started to recede from the dryling lotion. It is also gentle enough that it doesn’t dry my skin out! Of course there are also those pesky spots that refuse to come to a head and for those, I use the Mighty Patch Hydrocolloid Acne Pimple Patches to treat those. All of these products combine as my arsenal to fight all maskne that may arise!
5. Great Moisturizers
All of these great products for maskne would be nothing without a moisturizer! One main contributor to maskne can be if the moisture balance in your skin is off, leading to excess oil production. One way to prevent this is to stay hydrated, but you should also have a great moisturizer! I have combination dry/oily skin so I used a couple different products. For days when my skin is oilier, I opt for the Exfolikate Glow Moisturizer. This is a lighter weight moisturizer and leaves my skin feeling supple(love that word) and even abit glowy! For days when my skin is on the dry side, I pair the Ole Henriksen C-Rush Brightening Double Creme with the Mario Badescu Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater Facial Spray for a double dose of moisture! The Ole Henriksen creme legitimately smells like Orange Creamsicle and is one of my all time favorite products. I have recently added the facial spray and I really love it as the final step of my routine, or as a mid-day moisture spritz(plus it is super inexpensive!).
The last moisturizer on my list is one I use when my skin is ANGRY with a capital A. I have borderline sensitive skin and at times it rebels against my makeup, my mask, or just air it seems. In order to soothe it, I love the Kate Somerville(I swear they didn’t sponsor this post–I wish!) Delikate Recovery Creme. This is the only moisturizer I have found that will not further upset my skin when it is in a mood. It is gentle, not too heavy, and everything I was looking for! Run, don’t walk, to your preferred beauty store to get yourself a jar.
While Masks appear here to stay, no one said Maskne needs to be permanent! While I am not a skincare professional by any means, these are just some of the products that have helped me keep my skin in check during this time.
From one misguided millennial to the world, what is your favorite product for maskne?