We are proud to wear our masks for every moment we're out in public, to protect each other and stop the spread of COVID. But let's be honest, as the weather gets warmer and our skin adjusts to this new reality of wearing a face covering for much of the day, we're having to take extra care to prevent breakouts and find ways for our skin to breathe.
We did some research to find some clean beauty ways to prevent acne, keep your skin clean and fresh throughout the day, and balance your skin's oil levels. Here's our top tips for dealing with maskne.
1. Choose a breathable material for your face mask
Not all masks are created equal! First of all, some materials are more effective than others. But certain materials are also more abrasive than others. Natural materials like cotton and silk can be easier on your skin, especially for dry complexions. Make sure to choose a material that's breathable but still effective at filtering out particles in the air. We won't pretend to be medical professionals, but experts have been saying that thicker woven materials like flannel may do a better job of blocking viral particles and that layering different materials may also add an extra layer of protection, quite literally.
If you're looking for comfort and breathability without sacrificing functionality, we have a new cotton face mask that might be perfect for you. It has 3 layers of thin, 100% cotton fabric (with fleece in the middle layer) for excellent filtration and breathability. Our masks are made in Portland by Hidden Opulence, a Queer, Black Latinx owned design house dedicated to sustainable practices.
We have also heard that if you're especially acne prone, an athletic material on the layer closest to your face like upcycled nylon or spandex could help wick away sweat, which might reduce breakouts.
2. Keep your mask clean
Washing your mask as often as possible can help get rid of bacteria, dirt, sweat and other buildup that could be causing your skin problems. It's a good idea to have a few masks in your rotation so you can switch to a clean one every day or every few days depending on how often you go out. This will help your skin and reduce your risk overall. Make sure to use high heat to disinfect your laundry and a good biodegradable laundry detergent to reduce pollution.
3. Simplify your skincare where you can
This might be a good time to go makeup free! If you can choose a lighter weight foundation or even go without makeup while you're wearing a mask, it might help your skin breathe more. If you still want to wear makeup, choose your formulas carefully, research the ingredients and how they interact with your skin type, and simplify where you can.
Make sure your SPF isn't clogging your pores either! Our tinted facial moisturizer is noncomedogenic, meaning it won't clog your pores.
4. Cleanse periodically throughout the day
Make sure you're cleansing the area under your face mask regularly throughout the day to remove dirt, oil, pollutants and sweat. A good idea is to keep a spray bottle full of a gentle cleanser or toner like micellar water and a few reusable cotton rounds to cleanse every few hours.
Anytime you feel sweat or oil accumulating under your mask, take a moment to wipe away any residue with your gentle cleanser and if possible, take a break to let your skin breathe in some fresh air.
If your skin needs a protective or hydrating layer, follow it with a reapplication of a lightweight facial oil or other moisturizer that's right for your skin type. Hyaluronic acid is good for helping your skin deal with changes in the weather, as well as warding off breakouts, so it's a good ingredient to look for in your skincare.
5. Wash your face when you get home
You may want to cleanse your face more often than you usually would. Washing your face as soon as you get home can remove sweat, dirt, oil or grease from the day and let your skin recover while your mask is off.
You might want to shift to a slightly more cleansing or detoxifying facial soap for the time being as well. For oily and acne prone skin, we recommend the Muddy Buddy or the Abyss Facial bar with charcoal. You can also leave the bar soap on your skin for a minute or two before rinsing, to let the clays do their work.
For combination skin, our Fresh Face bar will help keep your skin clean and fresh. For dry skin, if you're experiencing irritation and abrasion from your mask, you'll want to find ways to keep the moisture locked into your skin as a protective layer. Our Turmeric Carrot Rose bar does just that, along with some lovely anti aging effects. The Flora facial cleansing bar is equally hydrating while offering a balancing effect for your skin to reduce inflammation and regulate sebum production.
6. Try multimasking!
You've mastered multitasking, but have you ever tried multimasking?
Chances are, different areas of your skin need different treatments right now. Multimasking is the act of applying different masks to different parts of your skin. It's where you apply a more detoxifying or cleansing mask to areas where you have breakouts and a more nourishing or hydrating mask to your dry patches. Maybe you want to treat the lower half of your face or your t zone with a powerful clay to draw out impurities and balance oil levels, and use a more vitamin rich or exfoliating mask on other areas. Multimasking essentially helps your skin achieve the right balance by creating treatment zones that are customized to what your skin needs.
Clay masks are one of the best things you can do for acne prone skin. For any one dealing with breakouts, we recommend bentonite clay, kaolin white clay, and french green clay. You can also use activated charcoal for an even harsher detox. For dry or sensitive skin, we recommend rhassoul clay and pink clay.
Be gentle with your skin right now, and make sure to exfoliate regularly, mask once or twice a week, and feed your skin what it needs.
Image from Pinterest