Over the past two years, constant mask-wearing has compromised our flawless complexions. Whether we went for surgical masks or invested in chic fabric masks, it’s done our skin no favours, and we’re spottier than ever.
But now that mask requirements have been lifted in most places, our skin can breathe (almost literally) a sigh of relief.
Many of us will still be fighting the lasting effects of maskne, so we’ve put together this post-maskne skincare routine to give you back your glowing, plump skin in no time.
Double-cleanse your skin
If you’re not double cleansing, you’re doing it wrong. TikTok introduced us to double cleansing during lockdown, and it’s essential to keeping your skin clear. It involves washing your face twice but with two different types of cleansers. Your first cleanse should be with a cleansing oil or balm – they’re designed to get your makeup, sunscreen, and any grime build-up off, leaving a blank canvas for your second cleanse.
The second cleanse is probably your usual cleanser – a creamy one if you have dry skin, or a foaming one for oilier complexions. After the first cleanse removes all your makeup, your second cleanse can really get deep into your skin to clean out your pores and leave it baby soft and smooth.
When we had to wear masks, double cleansing helped get rid of all the oil and sweat that built up under those masks. But just because we don’t need to wear masks anymore doesn’t mean we’re free of this!
Pop on another kind of face mask
Mask mandates might be over in most places, but we still recommend wearing one – the wash-off kind! Face masks are a deep treatment for your skin and offer a ton of benefits, from soothing redness caused by masks to drawing out the impurities that come with constant wearing.
Clay masks are the winner for soaking up the oil, sweat, and debris caused by constant mask-wearing. Certain types of clay, including bentonite clay and kaolin clay, are proven to absorb excess oil from your pores – and excess oil is ultimately what leads to spots forming.
You can also use a mask that combines oil-absorbing clay with soothing ingredients. This will add a boost of skin-plumping hydration and make sure your skin isn’t dried out. This is perfect if you’re struggling with the after-effects of maskne because it often starts with irritation caused by friction and heat.
Adding a clay mask into your routine will help keep your skin gorgeously clear in the long run.
Review your skincare routine
There’s no doubt that mask-wearing was one of the biggest causes of the spots occupying too much space on our faces recently. But it’s not the only cause of acne – so to banish blemishes once and for all, it’s time to add acne-fighting ingredients to your skincare.
Facial cleansers with salicylic acid can supercharge your cleansing routine, adding an acne-busting ingredient to it. You could also incorporate a serum or a toner with the ingredient a few times a week. Salicylic acid is one of the very few ingredients proven to get into your pores – and once inside, it gets to work clearing all that nastiness out.
Retinol is well-known as an anti-ageing powerhouse, but did you know it’s also amazing in the fight against acne? This amazing ingredient achieves both in the same way by increasing your cell turnover. This means your skin produces more collagen, which is essential for plump, youthful skin. This also means it works as an exfoliant to get rid of dead skin cells, dirt, and oil – which can all cause acne. Plus, starting retinol in your early twenties means you get a head start on fighting signs of ageing – win-win!
Finally, make sure that none of your products, whether that’s make-up, skincare, or even self-tan, have ingredients that could clog your pores or cause acne. If you love your self-tan, switch to clear tanning water – the pigment in traditional tanners is a major source of acne. If you’re currently using a pigmented facial tanner and you want to give this a try, use a tan eraser to create a blank (and glowing!) canvas. When it comes to make-up, look for oil-free formulas and make sure you’re taking it all off properly by double cleansing.
On top of everything else that’s happened over the past two years, we also had to deal with unhappy maskne skin. You might have struggled with it when we needed to wear face masks, and now that the mask mandate has mostly been lifted, you may be dealing with the after-effects of it. These three steps will help your skin recover from two years of mask-wearing and keep it beautifully clear in the long run.