The Clean + Cruelty Free Guide to Combatting Maskne

If you’re not familiar with maskne (you lucky duck, you!), it’s basically extra acne and irritation caused along your chin and cheeks as the results of wearing the facial coverings we’ve all come to know (and less-than-love) over this past year. As someone who finally got my longtime hormonal acne under control pre-Covid (thanks, clean beauty products!) this came as a torrential downpour on my parade (and confidence).

I’ve been an acne sufferer since I hit puberty, and I started getting pretty significant breakouts around 5th grade (about the same time I got braces AND glasses…). It really messed with my confidence for a long time; even after the big cysts started clearing, I still got a lot of tiny bumps and clogged pores that just didn’t seem to go away. My skin was flaky and dry, yet oily and super-sensitive. I would have so many nights where I cried after taking off my makeup because of the reality of what was underneath.

I tried a myriad of different products, from over the counter scrubs to prescriptions, and nothing helped until I switched to only using natural and cruelty-free products when I was in college. The products made it so much better that I was even able to stop the medications I had been taking for years to help control my acne. What used to be a constant fixture on my face was reduced to an occasional dot or two here and there and, most amazingly, I was finally as happy being makeup-free as I was with a full face of it on!

But, alas, as all good things must come to an end, this mostly acne-free bliss dissipated when facial coverings became the norm. I suddenly had numerous, painful blotches on my jawline, chin, and cheeks that just didn’t seem to go away. I knew I had to do something, and fast, to soothe my angry skin…

After a lot of trial and error, and a visit to my local esthetician, I was finally armed with a routine that helped keep the newfound maskne under control (though admittedly not eradicated completely…). Here’s what I came up with, and the products that keep my skin comfortable during these unusual times:

1 | Wash with a gentle cleanser, like Farmaesthetics Fine Herbal Cleanser.

A gentle cleanser is a must when your skin is irritated! I’ve learned through the years that, at least for me, in times of skin stress, harsh exfoliants and peels aren’t the best. This cleanser is my favorite because it removes makeup and dirt without stripping your skin of moisture.

2 | Use a microfiber makeup remover pad if you need a little extra scrub.

My mom got me some of these for Christmas last year, and I love ’em! They easily remove all your makeup without tugging, pulling, or irritating. Plus, they’re washable and reusable, even better for environmentally-friendly beauty buffs!

3 | Use masks to combat the effects of maskne!

Masks formulated specifically for combatting acne are the best way to soothe your skin. Look for ingredients like yogurt (the probiotics can help balance your skin!) and clay (it’ll draw out dirt and oil!). My favorite is the Clear Skin Probiotic Masque by Eminence Organic Skincare! I use this mask once a week when my skin is at its worst and it clears up pretty quickly!

4 | Follow up with a simple moisturizer containing honey.

Honey is magical and restorative when it comes to stressed skin. It moisturizes, has antibacterial properties, and feels so soothing. My favorite intensive moisturizer for face, body, and pretty much everything else is Egyptian Magic! It’s a simple, natural moisturizer with honey, bee propolis, olive oil, beeswax, bee pollen, and royal jelly that deeply moisturizes and repairs skin. I mostly use this at night since it’s a bit heavier of a cream, but even with my combination oily/dry skin, it doesn’t irritate and really helps anytime I have acne.

5 | Use cotton or silk facial coverings and wash them often!

Cotton and silk are both breathable fabrics, and silk is especially gentle on the skin because it doesn’t pull or create friction on the skin. If you want a fabric that’s a little less expensive and easier to care for, though, cotton is always a good option! Either way you go, make sure to wash your masks a few times a week with a gentle detergent to keep things clean. Your skin will thank you!

Staying safe shouldn’t mean sacrificing your skin, so I hope these tips will help keep your skin glowing!

Xx Tabi

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