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Tried and tested

How to treat maskne during a pandemic

Humeara Mohamed
Writer and expert3 years ago
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Ah, maskne: a frustrating collection of mask-wearing-induced {blemishes} that we’re all a tad too well-acquainted with. The 2021 buzzword that’s (unfortunately) been on everyone’s {lips}, maskne is a most unwelcome side effect of life during a pandemic. However, all hope is not lost — with these {skin care} heroes by your side, you can confidently go about your day with {masks} in tow and {maskne} most definitely not.


The easy answer to ending maskne would be to simply stop wearing a mask, but alas – thanks to a certain C word – that’s no longer an option. So, rather than going maskless, go for {Dr. Barbara Sturm’s} pack of four {Nano-Silver Masks}. Irresistibly soft and silky, the anti-microbial, anti-friction, nano-silver infused fabric has been shown to have anti-bacterial benefits for your skin – so these masks actually help your maskne, rather than irritating it further. Lightweight and breathable, the material also prevents glasses from fogging up, (excuse us while we dance for joy at the fact that we can take a trip to the supermarket and actually see) while avoiding inflammation-inducing chafing, which is often experienced with single-use masks. As friction is less of an issue – and the clever material doesn’t suck up your valuable skin care – your skin moisture levels are left a little more balanced, and the result is happier, healthier skin.

A must-have accessory to daily mask-wearing, {DISCIPLE Skincare’s} {Maskne Mist} can be spritzed onto both face and mask to soothe, comfort, reduce redness and kill blemish-causing bacteria. It uses 90% tea tree – a known salve for blemish-prone skin types – to assuage angry complexions while disinfectant eucalyptus boosts circulation and detoxifies skin.


The proud owner of many a rave review, {THE INKEY LIST's} {Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment} is the purse-friendly answer to your problems. Whereas a lot of spot treatments can dry out skin (leading to an overproduction of oil and – you guessed it – more spots), this formula uses {hyaluronic acid} to maintain healthy moisture levels as other spot-busting ingredients get to work. The newest need-to-know ingredient on the market, succinic acid is a bio-based chemical that’s derived from corn, and it works to physically reduce the size of blemishes. {Salicylic acid} completes the trio of hardworking ingredients by unclogging pores, exfoliating and calming. The result? Spots are cleared – fast.

Made for late-stage, surface-level pimples, the {GOO GETTER Surface Zit Hydrocolloid Patches} by {ZITSTICKA} adhere to skin to protect blemishes against picky fingers and outside aggressors. Ideal for wearing under face coverings to protect aggravated spots from further friction, these tiny treatments harness niacinamide, vitamin C, salicylic acid and tea tree to absorb and drain fluid while fighting impurities and reducing your chances of scarring.

Clay but not as you know it, the {Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial} by {Glow Recipe} is made with hyaluronic acid-infused whipped clay that hydrates skin as it purifies pores so that you never have to deal with tight or dry skin. A pro at whipping pore size into smaller shape (with a 94% success rate in reduction of pore size during clinical trials), consider this your ticket to softer, brighter and clearer-looking skin.

A pretty addition to your dressing table, the {Plenaire} {Violet Paste Blemish Solution} is a rather different type of spot treatment. And by that we mean: it doesn’t dry. While some might see this as a messy drawback, it in fact means your skin won’t dry out as the lilac-hued formula works to combat redness, regulate sebum production and draw-out spot-causing bacteria. Azelaic acid helps to refine and illuminate congested {complexions}, while anti-bacterial zinc oxide comforts and purifies, and BHA salicylic acid unclogs pores. Also suitable to be used as a thin layer under {make up}, this is a treatment that actually works, plus, it’s {vegan} and smells of Parma Violets. Need we say more?


On par with a microdermabrasion facial when it comes to smoothing uneven texture (yes, seriously — it’s clinically proven), {Murad’s} {Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial} shifts dead skin cells via enzymatic, chemical and micro-mineral exfoliants to boost radiance, minimise the look of dark spots and enhance the penetration of following formulas. On your marks, get set, glow.

Famous for a reason, the {Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant} by {PAULA'S CHOICE} is no stranger to the average skin care routine, but it really comes into its own when used to battle maskne. Ideal for blemish-prone, oily or combination types, the non-abrasive formula is laced with salicylic acid to remove dead skin cells both on the skin’s surface and within the pore. Green tea extract delivers a good slurp of {antioxidants} to soothe and protect, while methylpropanediol enhances absorption – so you really get the most out of every ingredient. With a fluid-toner like consistency, this is super easy to add to your routine – simply swipe on with a cotton pad after cleansing and toning.


So, all of your hard work has paid off, and now you’re left with scars. Flat, red, will-they-ever-disappear type scars. But worry not, for {ZITSTICKA} {HYPERFADE} is here. Five star-rated and featuring patches that release self-dissolving microdarts that melt within two hours of application, these dermatologist-recommended stickers are proven to lighten and fade the appearance of fresh or stubborn dark spots. Brightening, regenerative ingredients (like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, ascorbic acid and tranexamic acid) dilute post-zit damage from the inside-out – restoring tone and texture to its former glory.

Brimming with seemingly endless five-star reviews, the {C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum} by {Sunday Riley} is also famous among those in-the-know for it's scar-reducing capabilities. A super-stable form of {Vitamin C} fuels the efficient formula – allowing it to brighten and dramatically improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone without the worry of oxidisation. An all-round winner, it even targets dehydration and fine lines as it bestows unrivalled radiance and glow.


Our final tip? When you wear make up, try skin care/make up hybrids that offer coverage without compromising your skin with irritating ingredients – instead working to improve your precious complexion. Our current favourites include the {Clarifying Spot Treatment} by Dr. Barbara Sturm, the {Vital Skin Foundation Stick} by {Westman Atelier}, and the itsy bitsy beautiful {Dew Balm} by {Saie}. You’re welcome.

Humeara Mohamed
Writer and expert
View Humeara Mohamed's profile