What Is ‘Maskne’ and How To Treat Face Mask Irritation

We know that wearing a mask or face covering is a must while we move ahead in this weird new post-covid normal — but we’ll admit that protecting ourselves and others can come with some not-so-desirable skin side effects. From maskne to dryness, irritation and redness – here’s some of the changes our skin is going through right now, plus tips on how you can help it out…

 “Wearing a mask is a significant change in the environment for our skin, which is not used to being covered up” says Claire Balas, skincare expert at Institut Esthederm.

“The lack of oxygenation and the contact with the mask material itself can lead to breakouts and an increase in the skin sensitivity.”

Add to that, a mix of humidity from our breath and the hotter weather we’ve been experiencing and you’ve got yourself a recipe for skincare disaster. Reusable masks (although the best option for the environment) can also become a problem if not washed properly as any bacteria, dust and pollutants can become embedded between your skin and mask. Bit gross really.

But, we don’t want you to ditch your mask— and actually, once armed with the right knowledge there’s no need to, either. With some simple skincare switches, you can safely protect your skin, yourself and others.

Protect

Applying a moisturising balm to the skin before your face mask provides a layer between your skin and the face mask fabric. The Skincare By BEAUTY BAY Thirst Class Rich Moisturiser is perfect for helping to reduce any risk of friction irritation, keeping your skin feeling comfortable. It’s packed with colloidal oatmeal to help hydrate, soothe, and restore the skin, as well as oat lipid which is rich in ceramides, a natural component of the skin which helps to retain moisture without clogging pores.

Treat

If your skin is naturally on the oily side, the thought of regularly wearing a mask might make you shudder in skin horror. The increase in humidity from our breath circling in an enclosed space, together with a build-up of oil, dirt and makeup can result in increased breakouts, whiteheads and irritation. But now is not the time to throw in the mask altogether. Instead, opt for treatments that will nix any blemishes in the bud. Skincare By Beauty Bay’s Dot-A-Spot Blemish Stickers work to draw out excess sebum from developing blemishes, as well as reducing the size of already present spots. Plus, you can pop them on under your mask and no one will even notice you wearing one!

Blemishes aren’t the only problem regular mask-wearers might be facing right now. Itchiness, redness and general skin sensitivity can also be heightened. For itchiness and redness, try Institut Esthederm’s Intensive Vitamin E2 Serum— a potent antioxidant serum, which will reduce the sensitivity level of the skin. It’s an add-on product which can be used in any skincare routine before your moisturiser, simples. 

Rehydrate

It’s a good idea to refresh your skin throughout the day when you’re not wearing a mask – to rehydrate and allow your skin to breathe. You can do this over your makeup by spritzing a couple of pumps of Skincare By Beauty Bay Make It Rain Face Mist throughout the day. Formulated with a blend of minerals that hydrate and energise the skin, it’s the perfect post-mask pick-me-up.

Cleanse

If you’re regularly wearing a mask, it is important to pay extra attention to cleansing at the end of the day. Opt for a soothing formula like Skincare By Beauty Bay’s Super Jelly Cleansing Gel to reduce any irritation, whilst still ensuring your pores are getting a deep clean, washing away any pollution, grime and bacteria that may have built up throughout the day.

Then, if it’s blemishes that you’re worried about, follow with a spot treatment like Skincare By Beauty Bay’s Soothe Paste Blemish Treatment (coming soon). Formulated with salicylic acid, the OG breakout clearing ingredient, plus prebiotics to soothe and balance the skin, this leave-one blemish cream creates a protective barrier over the spot to clear the pore and stop excess bacteria getting in.

Shop Our Product Recommendations