We'll come right out and say it: So far 2020 has been seriously anxiety-inducing. We're anxious about ourselves and our loved ones getting sick or gravely ill; we're anxious about job security; we're anxious about our kids going back to school; we're anxious about attempting to return to normal life.

The absolute last thing in the world we need right now is a breakout. And yet, we spend hours each day with our face masks on—sweating! The perfect breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria, oil, and debris. If you're like us, you're seeing some angry bumps and clogged pores on your chin, jawline, nose, and even on your cheeks. That, my friends, is not a coincidence. But we're putting our foot down. Here are our top ways to combat and prevent pesky mask acne.


Sure, your makeup probably doesn't usually break you out. But smother your skin with a mask, sweat a little, and the ingredients in your makeup that were once so innocent could become major pore-cloggers. Blame increased ingredient delivery, thanks to the occlusive mask covering your skin. (It's the same reason sheet masks are effective: the active ingredients aren't able to evaporate because of the fabric covering the skin.) So do up your eyes—you can even rock foundation and concealer on the top half of your face!—but leave the bottom half bare.


Even if you're not wearing makeup underneath your mask, your complexion is bathing in a not-so-pretty mixture of excess oil and sweat. As a result, acne-causing bacteria is running rampant. Don't give it a single extra moment to fester: As soon as you get home, wash your hands, remove your mask, and use a cleansing cloth or micellar water to eliminate as much of the bacteria as possible before your full, nightly cleanse.


No matter how carefully you follow the advice in this post, some of that excess oil, dirt, and bacteria is going to make its way into your pores. Clear those clogged pores out before they have a chance to develop into full-on breakouts by upping how often you're exfoliating. We especially love treatments with alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic or lactic acids, which slough away impurities more gently and effectively than a physical scrub. You may need to exfoliate more frequently than when you weren't wearing a mask—so slowly work your way up to exfoliating an extra time or two weekly.


You may have figured out the ideal regimen to keep your skin perfectly balanced, sans the oft-drying acne treatments of your teenage years. Well, it may be time to bring in the big guns again, at least in the areas where you're breaking out. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are acne standbys for a reason. They work! Our H2Glow Serum features willowbark extract, a natural cousin of salicylic acid, to refine the pores. If you're into a more natural approach, The Everything Oil's black cumin seed oil has a three-pronged approach to fighting acne: It balances oil production, staves off inflammation, and fights acne bacteria.


Extremely simple, and extremely effective. The less you wash your mask, the more acne bacteria will have time to multiply... and get up close and personal with your skin. Wash your masks at least a few times per week for the biggest impact.

August 17, 2020

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