Argh—as if struggling with acne daily wasn’t enough, now I am being forced to wear a bacteria-capturing device on my face if I want to leave the house!!! Every time I wear a mask, I get a slew of bumps on my nose, neck and chin the following day (which often become cysts and dark spots that take forever to go away). Unfortunately, I’m not the only one who is dealing with this incredibly frustrating problem.
I have tried multiple solutions, but none have completely solved my maskne. I have changed my beauty regimen a couple of times, and tested a myriad of skin care products, preventative serums and acne gels (both pre- and post-masking). I even began taking an oral antibacterial medication for a couple months that left me feeling nauseous—and still broken out. I have resigned to managing my maskne with a regimen that ‘mostly works.’
Here is what has helped keep my maskne to a minimum:
Clay masking weekly. The Eminence mud mask has been a lifesaver and is effective at managing breakouts after they occur. My skin is less inflamed and my acne heals much faster after use. Make sure to spot test ahead of time and reduce frequency if you have sensitive or drier skin.
Washing masks after each use. I cannot even imagine how bad it would be if I didn’t do this. I have found reusable cotton masks to be the most comfortable and breathable, and make sure to carry extras with me so I can replace them every hour or so.
Minimizing mask time. I strategically wear masks for the least amount of time possible (while following health and safety guidelines). I sprint through Target, rely on others to run errands, and utilize home delivery options. I know this isn’t possible for everyone due to work, life situations, etc.
Exercising without a mask. I run during off-peak times and have come to enjoy solo workouts. If possible, find less crowded places outside where you can be socially distanced from others, or workout inside your home.
Not wearing face makeup. This one is actually pretty great—plus, what’s the point if your face is covered?! I still wear sunscreen and try to stick to my skin care regimen as much as possible.
Using ‘breathable’ skin care products. I’ve found that light, non-oily moisturizers are less problematic for my skin, and that using anti-breakout serums at night and under masks can combat breakouts. If you are prone to scarring, you might want to consider incorporating brightening or resurfacing products into your beauty routine.
If you have found anything that has worked for you, I’d love to hear about it below. I look forward to the day when we can hopefully throw all our masks away (so my skin has a fighting chance) and we can see everyone’s smiles. If you’re struggling or at your breaking point with acne during this season, please know that you’re not alone.