F*ck it, Mask Off

I’ve seen a lot of people complaining on social media about having to wear a mask due to the pandemic. Claiming that it makes them feel subhuman, sad they can’t connect to strangers or smile – i obviously have nothing to say about this except to laugh so hard i almost give myself a hernia. On the flip side, some people are actually dealing with a legit and annoying side effect of having to wear a little bacteria chamber over their faces: acne.

it’s not a surprise that the skin underneath a mask that you are wearing all day is suffering – it’s being constantly warmed up by our own hot breath and thick material. our pores become clogged from sebum, dirt, makeup and sweat – and wearing a mask prevents our skin from naturally shedding its cells = a beautiful recipe for a breakout. I’m going to post some things i think you can do to help combat the maskne and try and get your skin back to better health.

1. I know this sounds obvious, but if you’re wearing a cloth mask please make sure you’re washing it. Wash it on a high temperature in the washing machine and with a gentle detergent. I know it’s already recommended by the guidelines to do this, but i know how easy it is to forget. It’s also a good idea to have a mask for everyday so there’s always one fresh. Consider swapping out non reusable masks for reusable ones made from breathable material such as satin or cotton. My masks are from MadeByMLS and this lovely seller on Etsy.

2. Make sure you’re DOUBLE CLEANSING as soon as you get home. I posted on my instagram story about how i try to do my skincare routine as soon as i’m home and for some reason it was met with a lot of shock, as some of you didn’t realise you could do it that early and thought it had to be done immediately before bed!! there’s many benefits to doing your routine asap; you get to remove the crap off your face sooner rather than later and it also allows time for the products to sink in rather than rushing through your steps. start with a cleansing oil, milk or balm before rinsing and going in again with a 2nd step cleanser such as a foaming cleanse. I’ve been using The Inkey List Oat Balm Cleanser (they’ve reassured me it’s vegan by the way) which i rinse off with warm water and a muslin cloth and then go in with Bybi’s crystal clear cleanser. forget the face wipes – they won’t help you. *you can use my affiliate code DEMI20 on Bybi to get 20% off.

3. Of course cleansing doesn’t rid your face of spots just like that – you’re going to have to work on it. One of my favourite ways to combat spots at the moment is with Cosrx acne patches – theyre colloid patches that contain salicylic acid, a BHA that exfoliates your skin. it’ll penetrate the spot and clear out the gunk from your pores (you can see it on the patch when you remove it!). I wear them either overnight or sometimes during the day if it’s a bad one. Don’t get these confused with those god awful pore strips (the ones that go over your nose – you’re at risk of stretching your pores and making them appear bigger which then means they just fill right back up with crap!). If patches aren’t your thing or you feel like you need to it harder, try Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid or Cosrx Whitehead power liquid as a toner after your cleanser. try it three times a week ideally in the evening, and be sure to keep your skin moisturised and wear spf in the day!

4. If i’m suffering from a breakout – regardless of the cause I start upping my masking regime. I’ve been using a couple of masks frequently over the last few weeks; The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid Mask and Bybi Acid Gold Mask – both are exfoliating masks containing AHA’s, and i have found them both incredibly helpful for dullness and blemishes. try masking a couple times a week for short amounts of time.

5. With breakouts comes scarring and pigmentation. I try to use something relatively calming and complementary in my routine for this such as Cosrx Centella Blemish Ampoule. I use it day or night and it has helped calm down the redness I get from spots.

6. If you have to wear a mask all day maybe give the make up a pass – there’s no point adding in something that can make the situation worse.

7. Concentrate on hydration as well as exfoliating. I’ve love adding in oils to my moisturiser. I mix Bybi Night Nutrition or The Ordinary NMF with oils such as Squalane oil from Good Molecules or Bybi’s Strawberry Seed Oil Booster. I also like to use Bybi Babe Balm on very dry areas like my cheeks!

Some of this may seem really straightforward but it’s all about consistency and doing the steps well. The combination of it being warm and having to wear these masks for several hours a day is always going to have your skin acting up. Eliminating spots completely may not be possible but you certainly should be able to reduce the severity of the outbreaks by thoroughly cleansing your face AND mask, and encouraging cell turnover through exfoliating and nourishing it with hydrating products.

I hope your skin goes back to being healthy and less stressed soon (and that we can some day soon put these masks away for good 😭)


Demi – Colleen x