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We’ve been dealing with the pandemic and wearing masks for almost a year now — I started lockdown in mid-March 2020. Truthfully, I don’t leave my apartment often. I work from home, I get groceries delivered, and I take online yoga classes.
So, I don’t have to wear a mask much. But, about a month ago, I was running lots of errands that couldn’t be done from home — Walgreen’s trips, post office visits, and okay, getting takeout. And after just a few days, my face was full of zits. I realized the pain I’ve been hearing so much about: Maskne.
I really don’t get breakouts often, so I semi-freaked out and started searching through my cabinets to see what I could find to help my skin calm down and get back to normal. Here’s what ended up working:
- Always use a clean mask. I have built up a good collection of reusable masks and even when I just wear one to walk to the mailbox, I toss it in the dirty clothes pile to wash. Don’t reuse a mask you’ve worn without washing it first — it’s better for your skin and for preventing the spread of COVID and other viruses. If you have to wear a mask for an extended period of time, I’d recommend packing a second clean mask to wear halfway through your day. My absolute favorite mask is from Black female artist Amina Mucciolo — the masks have the adjustable nose piece, adjustable elastic, and a pocket for a disposable filter, plus they are so bright and colorful. You can get disposable masks, too, in case you don’t have a clean fabric one.
- Wash your face twice daily with a good cleanser. I have fallen victim to quarantine life and there are times I get out of my skincare routine, which is problematic on many levels. Nothing like a smattering of zits to get me back on track! I started using the Exfolikate Daily Foaming Cleanser twice each day to get rid of the blemishes and prevent new ones from popping up.
- Get into a regular routine of doing at-home facials. Pre-COVID, I used to steam my face once per week, do a weekly Microderm treatment, and used all sorts of oils and creams to give myself a clean glow. Meh. Admittedly, I’ve been doing the bare minimum to get by. I bought a bunch of masks on clearance after the holidays and found that the Seoulista Correct & Calm Instant Facial does the trick — at least until I’m ready to get back into my routine.
- Treat any current blemishes. Because I don’t often get breakouts, my beauty stash didn’t have much in the way of zit treatment. So, I picked up a Thayer’s Blemish Stick from the drugstore near my apartment. I really like using it because it’s a clear roll-on formula, it smells good (lemony), and it’s under $10. I like using it after I wash my face and before any moisturizer. I also keep it on my nightstand and apply it randomly throughout the day.
- Go extra strength on the stubborn pimples. The Blemish Stick is good for new pimples when they’re still small. But, if you’ve got some painful ones, go for the big guns. I had a few packs of Mighty Patches — have you tried these? I get them in my Birchbox sometimes and they are really good for getting rid of pimples. I have used similar patches in the past, but these stay on really well (I like the Original pack, but they have lots to choose from). You can sleep in these, but if you work from home, of course, you can wear them anytime. An even cooler trick? If the zit is under your mask, you can wear it then, too!
I hope this post is helpful if you’ve been having issues with acne as a result of wearing a mask. It’s another thing we have to deal with right now and it’s not fun. What kinds of things work for you?
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