MADDENING MASKNE MAYHEM.
Updated: Aug 30
You guys. This one’s about to get real serious. Since the mask mandate came into effect and the world turned upside down, so has the quality of my skin!!!
I’ve always personally struggled with my acne. So when it comes to my skincare, I don’t play around! After a lot of research, I can say that my acne is finally starting to turn around. Thus, here I am with the answers. Stress is only going to make you break out more, so let’s all take a few deep, meditative breaths before we discuss our options. We’re going to get through this maskne mayhem together, y’all!
Firstly, let’s talk about exactly what you’re putting on your face. I recall when I was a teenager and my hormonal acne was RAGING, the first thing my dermatologist told me was that I needed to sleep on a hypoallergenic, silk pillowcase, wash them often, and to wash them with unscented detergent, hold the fabric softener!
Lucky for us, Nordstrom heard our cries and came through with a new collection of masks made from 100% silk fabric. I’d say that it’s definitely a solid idea to invest in a few of them. Then, bust out the gentle soap and make it part of your nightly routine to wash that thing you’ve been wearing all day. It’s covered in makeup (if you wear it), sweat, and sebum!... Ew.
SIDE NOTE: Anna Lien-Lun Chien M.D. at Johns Hopkins pointed out that most commercial masks are soaked in formaldehyde to disinfect them. Therefore, it’s possible that you could be experiencing an allergic reaction to your mask. In conclusion, switch up what fabrics you’re wearing. Please.
Now let’s review our skincare routine. Is your cleanser gentle? Does it have fragrance in it? What are the ingredients? These are all questions you should ask before putting anything in your Sephora cart! You should be washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser, with no fragrances in it. If you’re acne-prone, like me, look for something with a little salicylic acid in it as well. Cerave cleansers have been all the rage lately. Cerave is formulated by dermatologists and they carry a variety of cleansers to choose from that are based on your skin type.
The next step in your routine should be a toner, as per usual, to rebalance the pH level in your skin. I’d personally recommend this Aloe Toner from Mario Badescu that’s made for sensitive skin. If you’re not sensitive, their other witch hazel based toners are also quite lovely.
This last step is just as important as the first one. The kind of moisturizer that you’re using is a big fat deal. If you’re using anything with an oil base, toss that ish out. Like now. Oil-based anything is probably clogging your pores as we speak. The kind of moisturizer you’re using is also important if you’re experiencing irritation because of the friction from your mask. According to Maryann Mikhail M.D. on Good Rx, she recommends moisturizers with ingredients like ceramide and hyaluronic acid (aka the fountain of youth) to help protect your skin. Literally right NOW I have another window open with this Hydrogel Cream from Honest in my cart, and I will be purchasing it as soon as I’m finished writing this article. So, apply a light layer of cream real quick before you pop your mask back on. Your skin will thank you!
If you’ve followed these tips and your skin STILL isn’t healing, PLEASE see your dermatologist. These are just tips and should not be confused with an actual diagnosis.
Navigating your acne can be a bit of a trial and error process. Hopefully, these tips can provide you with some kind of relief. Just remember to wash your masks often and wash your face before you fall asleep!