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Like “pandemic,” “lockdown” and “social distancing,” “maskne” has become a new, unwelcome buzzword from 2020 to now. Maskne basically means acne caused by wearing face masks. It can be due to masks rubbing against skin, lack of hydration, or sebum, sweat and moisture trapped in masks. The YesStylists have gathered to share their ways to fight this new and common skin issue.
Maureen: It’s been a year since the pandemic struck. How do you guys feel?
Dianne: I feel like it’s been a decade. 🙄
Agnes: It’s been a tough one, but I’m hanging in there.
Michelle: Personally, I can’t rmb a time when masks weren’t a big part of my life. 😂
Sarah: Yes, exactly! Nowadays my face feels so naked without that extra protective layer. 😂
Melanie: Can’t believe that masks have officially become our daily “accessory” lol.
Maureen: To me, wearing masks is a love-hate relationship. I look better with my mask on XD and I wear less makeup, which is supposed to be good for skin, but sometimes I get maskne. T T
Dianne: My skin has been at its worst this past year! I never used to worry too much about it, but now there’s always a pimple! 😢
Agnes: Wearing a mask is definitely the new norm, but I still get low-key irritated with the amount of friction it has against my skin when I wear it all day.
Melanie: I hate wearing masks, especially during summer. It gets gross with the heat and sweat around the mouth! That said, I feel extra warm wearing a mask now that it’s super cold.
Agnes: I guess there are pros and cons to wearing masks. 😜
Sarah: I low-key like wearing a mask because I can hide all my acne patches and spot treatments underneath 🙈. Except masks are also the reason for some of those breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle. 😅
Dianne: Acne patches are a god-send! Some people on TikTok are using hydrocolloid bandages and I don’t think they work as well as my trusty K-Beauty spot patches. 🙈
Maureen: Exactly! Which acne patch do you guys use?
Sarah: I’ve been using PURITO’s waterproof All Care Recovery Cica-Aid since forever, but do you have any maskne-specific recs?
Maureen:That one’s nice. I’m using G9SKIN’s AC Solution Acne Clear Spot Patch, which are quite big so they can adhere better on skin. They also come in 60pcs per pack, so can last for a while before I reorder.
Michelle: I haven’t tried that yet! I usually go for the classic COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch. The G9SKIN one sounds perfect for my ever-expanding cluster of pimples. 😂
Sarah: Ah yes, adherence is so important! I had the cringiest moment when I was at lunch with a friend and she pointed out that my patch was falling off. 😂
Maureen: That’s why I secretly peel them off before showing my face. 😳
Melanie: How long can they stay on, and can we use them even when wearing makeup?
Sarah: I sometimes use acne patches when I have base makeup on, but they definitely adhere better on bare skin! They can last all day. 👌
Dianne: Pimple patches are great at ensuring the skin doesn’t get irritated further by wearing a mask, so it’s a win-win scenario for me! 👌
Dianne: I’ve been applying Barr’s Centella Calming Gel Essence as my version of a spot treatment recently. As someone with uber-oily skin, I find the usual spot treatments too heavy, unlike Barr’s gel essence which is AMAZING! The lightweight gel absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel clammy underneath my mask!
Maureen: I’ve never tried this brand before! Do you apply it just on the spots?
Dianne: I apply it all over, but I add a bit more over acne and reddened areas during my night time skin care routine.
Michelle: Sounds great! I love cica products!
Sarah: It’s hard to find an acne treatment for daytime wear coz formulas usually get rubbed off by my mask or hair! Can you put this on right before you head out?
Dianne: Yes! It also controls oil and water levels so it’d work well with your combi skin, Sarah. It’s not fast-acting but definitely calming. It’s very gentle so it’s great for sensitive skin too. 👍
Agnes: Do you think this gel spot treatment is more effective than the patches?
Dianne: I don’t think I can compare the two of them. They work well together. I use a patch when the pimple looks very red and aggressive. Once the gooey stuff is out, I soothe my skin with the gel essence.
Maureen: I just read the ingredient list. There is as much as 85% cica extract in the formula, so it should soothe well. 😮
Dianne: Cica is fab for irritated skin! It’s my go-to ingredient. Does anyone else have a fave ingredient when their skin is being problematic?
Michelle: It’s def cica for me, but tea tree and chamomile work great for my temperamental skin as well! As long as I stay away from witch hazel, I’m fine.
Dianne: 😮 Yes! How could I forget tea tree! It’s great for controlling sebum. 💚
Maureen: What’s wrong with witch hazel?
Michelle: Every time I use it, my skin breaks out even worse. 😭 Think it’s just me though.
Maureen: Oh no, I have sensitive skin too. What products would you rec that are witch-hazel-free yet soothing?
Michelle: Dear, Klairs’s Rich Moist Soothing Serum is my go-to these days. It’s full of cica and other fruit extracts, including grapefruit and celery. This serum is always a skin saver – plus it’s so hydrating!
Sarah: Grapefruit and celery are such interesting ingredients! What do those extracts do for skin?
Michelle: Grapefruit is supposed to be good for evening the skin tone, while celery is a skin brightener! For me, soothing serums and creams are always great for keeping acne to a minimum in the long run.
Sarah: I’ve read that it’s important to strengthen your skin barrier when dealing with mask-related skin issues, so I’ve been using gentle, low-pH toners and cleansers!
Agnes: What do you recommend?
Sarah: PURITO’s Defence Barrier pH Cleanser and Centella Green Level Calming Toner! They’re both infused with cica and other natural extracts to soothe, moisturize and strengthen skin. 🥰
Maureen: Also cica! I figured a gentle cleanser plus ice cold water work wonders in closing pores and hence preventing acne. I’ve been washing my face more frequently than ever to remove sebum, so my skin is always fresh and clean.
Sarah: I haven’t heard of that ice cold water trick! I’ve also been super strict about washing my face before and after putting my mask on, and it’s made a difference! Unfortunately, it’s also drying out my skin. 😢 How have you guys been keeping hydrated?
Agnes: Using hyaluronic acid popped up a lot during my research on how to combat maskne, so I’ve been using MIZON’s Hyaluronic Acid 100 nonstop! It’s my personal favorite now because my face is getting noticeably less dry throughout the day.
Sarah: I tried the mini version of that ampoule for one of our previous Small Talks and I loooved it! It’s super lightweight and hydrating.
Agnes: I’ve also been carrying around facial wipes since I don’t wash my face when I’m out and about or in the office. I highly recommend MISSHA’s Super Aqua Ultra Hyalon Cleansing Water Wipes. They’re packed with layers of hyaluronic acid. 😉
Melanie: For a quick pick-me-up throughout the day, you guys can also give SIORIS’s Time Is Running Out Mist a try!
Dianne: That’s Zoe’s fave!
Melanie: I carry this mist with me whenever I go hiking. 🤘 It’s enriched with botanical oils for long-lasting hydration, so it’s great for dry skin. It can also be used as a toner.
Maureen: For hydration, I’ve been using iUNIK’s Noni Light Oil Serum lately. It’s dense but non-sticky, plus super nourishing.
Michelle: Ah, one of your fave brands!
Dianne: I’ve never tried oil serums! I guess I’m averse to anything oil-based since I have oily skin. 😂 Is it great for acne?
Agnes: Also, what kind of oil is in this serum?
Maureen: It’s surprisingly soothing, thanks to the noni extract in it. The serum also contains macadamia, jojoba, olive, argan and rosehip oils.
Dianne: 😮 That’s a long list of oils! I guess it’s good to keep skin hydrated esp now that it’s winter.
Sarah: Yes, it’s hard to get all the moisture you need during winter! I’ve taken to sheet masking regularly for that extra hydration boost – plus you can get many other benefits as well.
Sarah: I’ve been using Dear, Klairs’s Rich Moist Soothing Tencel Sheet Mask, which has hyaluronic acid and panthenol for moisture, cica and aloe for soothing, as well as ceramide to strengthen the skin barrier! I’ve heard great things about its Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask, which offers anti-inflammatory and cooling care to target maskne.
Michelle: Cica again! I’ve tried the Midnight Blue Calming Cream but not the mask…yet!
Dianne: YESSS! The Dear, Klairs sheet mask is sooo soothing. You can see the difference right away!
Maureen: And Dear, Klairs again. 👍
Melanie: I have another Dear, Klairs item in my list of recommendations! For cloth mask fans like me, try using its Rich Moist Facial Soap to wash your masks. At first, I used my normal body soap to wash my cloth masks, but this turned out to be one of the reasons I started to breakout. Some soaps have fragrance or other ingredients that cause irritation. I recommend using a gentle bar soap to wash cloth masks.
Maureen: I don’t usually wear cloth masks – I wear surgical masks instead. Any tips on choosing cloth masks?
Melanie: Cloth masks aren’t for everybody. Some may find them too thick and uncomfortable coz they’re harder to breathe in, and they suffocate the skin more compared to surgical ones.
Melanie: An eco-friendly alternative is to use silky masks instead. They’re gentler on skin and the material is not as thick, so they don’t really “scratch” and irritate skin.
Maureen: Just like wearing silky lingerie or PJs. 😏
Melanie: Yes exactly!
Dianne: My other alternative is just to stay at home. 😂 It has all the perks! You can have a sheet mask sesh, not wear a surgical mask, and be in your PJs all day lmao.
Agnes: Agree. This is the ideal solution to beat maskne!
Dianne: When I do go out, I don’t wear makeup at all! Not even base makeup like concealer or BB cream. I sometimes apply eye makeup but that’s the extent of my makeup nowadays. No one can see half of our face anyway. 😂
Sarah: Omg, I totally feel you. I’ve gotten lazy with applying makeup bc there’s no point, but my skin has actually thanked me for it! The only thing I’ll put on is a little under-eye concealer to help me look more alive. 💀
Agnes: Exactly. I only apply eye makeup nowadays,. It’s good to let your skin breathe, despite majority of it being covered by a mask. >.<
Michelle: I’m with you there. I do miss showing off my lippy collection, but I guess that can wait!
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