As summer heats up and mask mandates come down, a lot of us are hesitant to show off the bottom half of our face for a multitude of reasons. There is a new variant of Covid-19 floating around for one. Another reason may be you live with someone who cannot receive the vaccine due to an allergy or are early on in your pregnancy. Maybe you have young kids at home and don’t want to remove the mask. It could possibly be a comfort thing and I respect that immensely. I am not telling you you should go mask-less and be happy-go-lucky, vaccinated or not and I am certainly not telling you what to do.
What I will tell you though, is about my experience with maskne at the beginning of last year at the tipping point of quarantine. I had some of the worst breakouts under my mask this year that I never anticipated would have to me. Me! I am a licensed esthetician for crying out loud and I had some of the worst flare-ups I’ve had in my whole life.
Maskne is a play on words; the combination of the words mask and acne and an influx of people globally saw this happening as a lot of us were locking down. Acne can be caused by a large variety of reasons which I won’t dive into too many details or anything like that here. From small bumps under your stratum corneum to large, red pustules to even lots of little whiteheads, a lot of people were feeling self conscious - even under the items covering the bottom half of our faces.
I want to also preface this: I am not a medical doctor. I cannot diagnose you or tell you this will cure everything going on in your world. I am but a humble licensed esthetician and cosmetologist. These are just some of the things I did in order to combat the juicy bumps hidden in the depths of my layers of my skin. Also, everyone’s skin type is different so please keep that in mind as well. (I have dry to sensitive skin.) Some of these tips are obvious so I apologize if this information is boring or a no-brainer. With that being said, let’s hop into my steps:
Tip One: Drink Water
Wow. Very boring right? Depression cured. Anxiety gone. Thanks Lexa for this most obvious advice. I know, I know. But, I hated drinking water with a passion. It was so boring to me and I even had to set reminders on my phone to tell me to drink water. My kidneys loathed me. However, while I was in red, inflamed pain, I made the connection that when I drank more water, during that day, the next day, I was looking less-inflamed or my acne was down a significant amount. Not saying water is the magical cure that will solve your problems, but it certainly was helping me and continues now that I have slotted it into my routine.
Tip Two: Stress Less
Double wow. Very profound things I’m throwing at you here. But, it’s true! I feel like once I stopped watching the news and the numbers rising every day and the tolls climbing I was significantly happier and I felt like my skin was thanking me. I make sure to do at least an hour of something I want to do for myself everyday, whether that’s reading, video games, watching a movie, I feel so much better when I am not holding on to the stress from work/ the outside world.
Tip Three: Cleanse Your Face As Soon As You Wake Up, Come Home From Work, Go To Bed
Here is where it might get complicated for some people. It sounds a lot more complicated than it truly is. I use the Aveda Sensitive Cleanser in the morning and right after work. Cleansing off the work day feels so good to take it off right when I come home. In the evening right before bed, I will cleanse my face once more to ensure maximum purity of the face with the Aveda Gel Cleanser. You could argue that I’m cleansing too much, which I totally hear you. However, this is what works for me. Figure out what works best with your routine and skin!
Tip Four: Tone After Every Step
Toning is like that breath of fresh air after the cleanse! I often spray toner on my face throughout the day as a pick-me-up. Toner restores the pH to the skin while delivering moisture, minerals, and vitamins to the skin. It’s like coffee to your skin, I swear. I use the Aveda Skin Toning Agent.
Tip Five: Exfoliant I Don’t Have To Wash Off Of My Face
This is new in my routine. If I felt a pimple coming on I would be aggressive with it and pester it and only make it worse. I would try to dry it out or pick it out and I have acne scars from doing that to myself. Now, I use the Aveda Exfoliant once a day if I am feeling like there’s something happening underneath my skin. And the best part is: you don’t have to wash it off! I know it seems like I have a complicated skincare routine, but it’s four steps at maximum. If the exfoliant feels like it is burning, you will have to remove it because it should not feel like that as I’ve had to explain to my roommate when she wanted to use it for her maskne.
Tip Six: Hydrate After You Tone
This one is important! Do NOT skip this step, even if you are an oily person! After you tone, be sure to use a moisturizer you like on your face. Like I said, I’m dry and sensitive so I like to use the Aveda Hydrating Masque as my moisturizer. It’s light, colorless, and odorless and is cool like a gel so I feel like it calms my face down after I wash it or when I wear it to bed.
If you feel like you are struggling with your maskne or inflammation with your flare-ups, I suggest you seek medical advice from a doctor. I hope you enjoyed something a little different from the hair articles I usually write. Have a great day and remember to stay hydrated!