For the better - or should we say, worst part of 2020, we've all been wearing masks with the goal of stopping the spread of Covid19. While necessary, for some of us, the result of wearing a face covering has some less than welcome consequences. You know where we are going with this: Maskne.
Masks force heat, friction and occlusion on the skin - and when combined with a moist environment from breathing, (ugh) sneezing, talking or sweating, well, this is the perfect storm for maskne. But keep calm and your mask on, because these tips, tricks, and products will keep your skin clean and clear.
First things first - before you put your mask on, it's important to cleanse your face (we know this may seem like a no-brainer). However, it can be tempting to roll out of bed on a lazy Sunday, throw your mask on and stroll to Starbucks for a coffee fix, but please don't, trust us. Remember, dirt and oil can get suffocated under the mask and cause breakouts. So, rule of thumb, always put your mask on over a clean face. Because wearing a mask is so commonplace now, opt for a gentle product, like Cetaphil. The instant foaming facial cleanser effortlessly removes dirt, oil and makeup. Plus, it's infused with skin conditioners and a vitamin E and B5 complex. This is a good pick because it softens and cleans - however will not strip your skin of its natural moisture balance. You can also use convenient face wipes. A scrub-free exfoliant is another option to consider. First Aid Facial Radiance Polish gently exfoliates and brightens the skin. The key players hard at work, are shea butter, willow bark extract, and shea shell powder. These 3 super ingredients remove dead skin cells and improve the look of pores and texture.
It's important to keep your skin hydrated in general, but when you add a mask to the mix, it's a rule. Quench your thirsty skin, please. The friction created between your skin and the face covering can cause irritation (AKA: maskne), so opt for a fragrance-free and/or oil-free product. CeraVe is a classic drugstore option that will get the job done, thanks to hydrating ingredients including hyaluronic acid, which delivers long-lasting moisture without clogging pores. It also increases surface hydration that results in softer, smoother skin texture. Also, check out MIRA-approved moisturizers for glowing skin.
Toners have some astringent properties, so they remove excess traces of oil, makeup, perspiration, and debris from the skin's surface. Hot tip: Spritz a light layer of toner onto the mask, wait a few minutes for it to absorb into the fabric fibers, then pop your mask on - voila! We like Dr. Hauschka's Facial Toner because it's made with all natural and organic ingredients. It supports the skin’s natural processes of cleansing and renewal, minimizes the appearance of pores, and balances moisture and oil content. It also leaves your skin looking and feeling healthy, toned and radiant. Happy consumers say, "I love this toner. It just makes your face feel very clean, refreshed and alive. Very nice! Great for problematic skin." Oh, and the scent is light, fresh, and lovely - a welcome aspect to wearing a mask.
Yikes, that seems kind of alarmist, especially for makeup aficionados, but it's true, makeup trapped under your mask can lead to clogged pores and a dreaded outbreak of maskne. What does this mean in terms of your everyday makeup routine? Well, for starters, ask yourself how long you're going to be behind the mask. If you're heading to a class on campus and anticipate a long lecture, or lab assignment, skip heavy foundation and opt for a light weight finishing powder. High Definition Powder by e.l.f. Cosmetics is an excellent choice. It works overtime to sop up shine, mask fine lines and imperfections, so your complexion will glow. This translucent, versatile loose setting powder creates a flawless, soft-focus radiance, that will make you look angelic. To put it very simply, this setting powder looks and feels clean. You should also think about playing up your eyes, since you'll likely be greeting people with a "Smize" (smile with your eyes). There are endless eyeshadow palettes to experiment with, and don't forget to perk up your lashes with an inky coat of mascara.
If you're a one and done mask person, cool, cool. Blue disposable masks are all the rage, get the job done, and you don't have to worry about them being tainted with germs from your mouth, nose and face because you don't reuse them. However, facial coverings have pretty much become a fashion trend this year, and if you're like us you shopped online for cloth tie-dye, camo, and designer-logo masks - and these need to be worn and washed after each wear to prevent maskne. The CDC recommends including your mask with your regular laundry. (Use regular laundry detergent and the appropriate settings according to the fabric label.) Speaking of masks, don't forget to detox your face with one to help prevent maskne. We like to use Pore Patrol Deep Detox Four Clay Souffle Mask by Bliss - and MIRA community members do too: "I LOVE this, it’s so good for my acne and it goes on really nice, it’s definitely one of my favorite masks." This soufflé detox mask is formulated with French green and Kaolin micro-clays, and willow bark to detoxify and declog pores, without leaving your skin dry or tight. Plus, Bentonite clay keeps oil in check, while glycolic acid gently exfoliates to make sure your pores don’t clog up later on. Wear it for 15 minutes max, up to three times per week for best results. Later, maskne!
Medicated products like retinol or benzoyl peroxide are more irritating under a mask, so don't use products with ingredients on the harsher side while wearing a face covering. We have a better idea: If you are into products that contain retinol, add a night cream to your skincare routine. Help Me Retinol Night Treatment by Philosophy is one of our faves. It is the winner of Allure magazine's coveted editor's choice "Best of Beauty" award for best anti-aging treatment. "I am completely smitten with Help Me! It truly is a miracle in a tube!" says a satisfied consumer. It helps keep pores clean and minimized, reduces wrinkles and discoloration, and boosts tone and firmness - all while you are mask-free, catching some Zzz's. The key ingredient, retinol is infused in a time-release formula, along with a soothing dose of bisabolol (an anti-irritant that protects the skin from everyday damage and stimulates the skin's healing process). Shop for night cream on MIRA
Don't forget to nurture your lips - and trust us, you might forget. After all, your pout is hiding behind your mask most of the time. However, maskne doesn't discriminate and it will come for your pout. Simply select a lip scrub that is not only effective, but also fun and yummy (because we all deserve a side of joy, these days). Winky Lux combines natural sugar and vanilla, plus green tea extract for a comforting, warm latte smell and hint of taste. One word: Delish. Beyond that, it sloughs away dead skin cells, plus protects, nourishes and moisturizes delicate lip skin. Pro Tip: After using Sugared Matcha Scrub, apply Matcha Lip Balm to lock in moisture. There are endless options of lip treatments to shop here too.
Find more acne fighting products on MIRA.