Skincare: What is 'Maskne' and How to Combat it

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With our daily routines turned on their head and the ever-present stress of the pandemic, it’s no wonder you might have been suffering from breakouts. But there’s another reason why so many of us have been plunged back into our adolescence, and it’s right under covering our noses. “Maskne” - mask-induced acne - is very real and it’s wreaking havoc on our skin. Excess friction and bacteria being trapped against our skin can cause our skin to become congested, leading to the now ever-present breakouts around the cheeks and chin.

With further lockdowns looming, it doesn’t seem as though a mask-free future is coming anytime soon. However, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to tackle our pandemic pimples. Read on to find out more about the tools and tricks you need in your beauty arsenal this winter.

Stick to a cleansing regimen

The backbone of any good skincare routine is, of course, cleansing. To avoid causing any further irritation, be sure to pick a gentle cleanser, which will also prevent drying out your skin.

Here are some of our top picks:

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser - £7.12

Available from

This cleanser has become a must-have since millions of us spent the first months of lockdown obsessing over Skincare By Hyram. It nevertheless lives up to the hype. Containing 3 essential ceramides to protect the skin’s natural barrier, and hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture, this product is a godsend for irritated skin.

Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk - £22.00

Available from

This extra-gentle cleansing solution tackles inflammation and cures irritation, using nutrient-rich, natural ingredients and oils including calendula, which leave the skin feeling healthy and hydrated. The product is designed to leave skin feeling healthy, hydrated and free from irritation. Ren specialises in creating sustainable and cruelty-free products, which will clean your complexion and the planet.

Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash - £36.00

Available from

This cleanser features effective active ingredients to remedy and prevent breakouts. Salicylic Acid gently exfoliates to remove dead skin and unclog pores, leaving your skin optimally cleansed, while natural ingredients like Camphor and Menthol cool the skin to reduce inflammation and redness.

Wash your mask regularly

This may seem like a no-brainer, but all the skincare products in the world won’t help you unless you stay on top of this. Our masks are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria that can wreak havoc on our skin, making regular cleaning an absolute must. It’s advisable to buy multiple masks, so you can throw them in with your laundry throughout the week. Also try to refrain from wearing the same mask on consecutive days, where possible. If you use disposable masks, these have been recommended for one time use only and shouldn’t be washed and reused.

Let your skin breathe

Another obvious tip, but one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Some makeup is known to clog up our pores, add a mask to the mix and you’re looking at some serious flare-ups. Going makeup free, even for just one or two days a week, gives your skin the opportunity to breathe and reduce breakouts. If you don’t fancy going barefaced, tinted SPFs offer some much needed coverage, whilst protecting your skin.

Take a look at some of our favourites:

Origins GinZing™ SPF 40 Energy-Boosting Tinted Moisturiser - £27.20

Available from

This lightweight, oil-free formula works to hydrate, energise and protect your skin, without clogging your pores and leaving a greasy feel. Featuring caffeine, a natural anti-irritant, this moisturiser is great for skin suffering from mask-induced irritation and inflammation.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser SPF30 - £24.65

Available from

Made using clean, vegan ingredients, this moisturiser provides protection and a radiant finish. The hydrating gel cream replenishes irritated skin, meanwhile, mineral makeup evens the complexion and provides coverage where it’s needed.

THE INKEY LIST SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen - £14.99

Available from

This sunscreen is magic in a tube, protecting skin from pollutants, preventing signs of ageing, while Shea butter calms and hydrates irritated skin, all at once. Suitable for even acne-prone and sensitive skin, this formula plays well with the rest of your skincare and makeup routine; so no need to worry about pilling.