Throughout the last year, maskne became an inevitable part of life. Snugly fitting face coverings protect us from a potentially deadly virus, but they also gave rise to a new skincare concern: Maskne (acne brought on my continually wearing a mask). Makeup, oil and sweat can get trapped beneath your mask, and if that mask is also dirty, you’re looking at a recipe for breakouts, especially when sweating or working out.
We’re not out of the maskne woods just yet, so it’s important to make a few tweaks to your skincare routine to prevent and help cure those breakouts.
- Start Double-Cleansing
More than ever, it’s imperative that you double cleanse. That doesn’t just mean washing your face twice, but rather, washing your face with two different agents. You might choose to start with micellar water, a makeup wipe, or this cult-favourite Makeup Melt, then follow up with something that won’t just get the gunk and grime off—it’ll refine your skin too. This AHA Cleanser, which has fruit acids that gently slough off any dead skin cells laying around, is a great option.
- Shower Right Away
Even if you’re able to wash your face right away, there’s no better feeling than jumping into a shower after a hard workout. Try to have a cool rinse, which helps to tighten pores. You can also prevent acne on common problem areas like your shoulders or back—especially along your bra line—by choosing a body wash that has moisturizing ingredients that cleanse as they hydrate, aloe, like sunflower seed oil, olive oil, and coconut oil.
- Clean Your Konjac Sponge
If you’re using your konjac sponge to exfoliate after you work out, there’s a good chance it’s harbouring some bacteria. Make sure to wash it regularly with hand soap— you should do this anyway whether you’re active or not—to be sure that you’re not unwittingly contributing to even more breakouts.
- Use Biotech Spray
The new darling of the skincare world is Hypochlorous acid.
It was originally developed by plastic surgeons to speed up healing and cellular recovery. It has powerful antimicrobial properties, is super gentle on even the most sensitive skin, and it won’t dry out or mess with your natural pH balance. Hypochlorous acid can help eradicate redness, irritation, and skin damage—all without stripping your skin’s barrier. Spritz some directly on your skin after you work out and spray it on any soft surface that touches your skin, like your makeup brushes or pillowcases.
- Clean Your Clothes
Unless you always remember your towel at the gym, you likely rub your sweaty face on your shirt a few times per workout. Make sure you’re not contributing to the spread of bacteria by regularly washing all your gym clothes with a non-irritating, natural detergent, like this Laundry Soap. It’s perfect for use on all washables including silk, linen, wool and most synthetic fabrics—including your nylon-spandex blend leggings.
- Change Your Mask
It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to change your mask every time you work out, as they can harbour gross bacteria that’ll latch onto your skin. Sure, at the beginning of the pandemic, you may have had no choice but to wear disposable masks until you could get your hands on one that was suitable for working out. But now, there’s no excuse to use single-use masks. These machine-washable iterations are pre-washed in California and ready to use straight from the packet. They come in sets of 5 so you can change them every weekday.
- Don’t put it down!
Putting your face mask down on a restaurant table while you eat is a bad idea. We like these mask straps, because they keep this mask safely around our necks when not in use. They make any mask with ear loops fit better, too, which is super important.
Face coverings are going to be with us for a while. But with a few tweaks to your skincare routine, they don’t have to negatively impact your complexion, so can remove your mask with confidence!