JUST when you thought you had identified all of your breakout triggers, a new one comes along - the all important but ever so slightly pesky face mask. No not the Acid Gold kind, the protection kind. Don’t get me wrong, I love face masks and have been wearing them in public spaces since March. Not having to stop for awkward small talk when you see your ex because you’re in disguise? The dream. Protecting yourself and others? Love it. Congestion & breakouts all along your cheeks & jaw? Not so much.
Whilst the sudden influx of spots caused by wearing a face mask is seriously jarring, don’t let maskne stop you from wearing one. Upping your skincare game can help prevent breakouts and treat them if they do happen.
So, why does wearing a face mask cause breakouts? Pimples are caused by pores getting clogged by excess sebum, makeup, dirt, bacteria & sweat. Our skin cells usually shed throughout the day which stops them building up and clogging our pores, however wearing a face mask hinders that process and instead traps said cells & grimes. Then there’s the fact they make your face sweatier than it would be sans mask in turn creating the perfect, humid environment for bacteria to grow in our skin.
Now for the good news, treating mask acne is probably simpler than you think. In fact, you would treat it much the same way you would regular breakouts - with clarifying, calming & balancing products, making sure to ALWAYS double cleanse in the evenings, treating any areas of congestion or inflammation and protecting the skin barrier.
Remove alllll that sweat & makeup away with Swipe Clean, our oil cleanser that literally removes every last trace of dirt & SPF. Free from essential oils and fragrance and made from a blend of antibacterial oils, massage a generous amount of Swipe Clean onto dry skin for at least 60 seconds, adding water to emulsify. To really ensure that I get rid of everything, I like to remove with a damp, warm flannel. This part I think is particularly essential when wearing SPF! Next, clarify and balance skin with Crystal Clear, our prebiotic gel cleanser, that properly cleans skin without stipping it. A potent blend of prebiotics and salicylic acid re-balances your skin’s microbiome, helping to prevent breakouts and keep skin strong and healthy. You genuinely only need to use a pea-sized amount too so it’ll last you ages. Double cleansing every PM is a fail safe preventive measure and if you’re wearing face masks daily, you have no excuses for skipping this step. That means no more sleeping with your makeup on, like ever, and put down the face wipes once and for all.
Got a spot (or multiple) brewing? CBD Booster is your best friend. With proven soothing benefits, cannabidiol (CBD) helps to treat areas of inflammation including breakouts and spots, whilst non comedogenic hemp seed oil helps regulate skin’s sebum and will help soften skin that’s become dry and patchy due to face masks.
Now time for the face mask we actually love wearing, Acid Gold. A golden, glow-inducing, seriously exfoliating face mask, Acid Gold contains a blend of powerful AHAs and enzymes to banish dead skin cells, targeting congestion & uneven skin texture. Been wearing a face mask all day? Beauty pro friends, health care & hospitality staff we see you! Treat yourself to a golden hour with Acid Gold. After double cleansing, apply a thin layer of Acid Gold and leave for 10-15 mins before rinsing with warm water. Add moisture to the skin with balancing & hydrating Mega Mist before finishing with your favourite skin barrier restoring night cream or oil like Night Nutrition or Strawberry Booster.
Breakouts under control but suffering from mask-induced dry, itchy, sore or flaky skin? You need Babe Balm in your life. A hero, multi-purpose beauty balm, Babe Balm can be used just about anywhere (seriously, anywhere) your skin needs a little extra TLC. Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, we’ve had countless messages from our community on the frontline saying how Babe Balm is one of the only things that has helped to soothe dry, chapped skin. Ingredients like calendula, shea butter & Coenzyme Q10 and hibiscus oil help to soften, repair & soothe skin. For an extra calming hit, use a blend of CBD Booster & Strawberry Booster as part of your night routine.
Other things to consider: Since they aren’t going anywhere any time soon, it’s worth investing in several reusable face masks that are made from good quality, breathable, soft materials such as cotton or silk to help keep your skin happy. Also, washing your reusable face mask after every use goes without saying too, both to be COVID safe and to prevent breakouts.
TLDR: Bad news, mask acne is a thing, the good news, adjusting your skincare routine so that it now includes clarifying & calming ingredients like AHAs, BHAs & CBD oil should bring your skin back to equilibrium - you just need to be one step ahead of the breakout and consistent. If you have to wear a mask all day, we'd recommend cleansing your face and doing your skincare routine as soon as you get home.
P.S. YOU STILL NEED TO WEAR SPF! I don’t care if most of your face is covered now, you still need to protect the skin that is on show. Plus, not using SPF will just make any post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation worse. No excuses! Protect your skin & protect others.
Written by Saoirse, Senior Social Media & Content Exec