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4 ways to prevent and treat maskne according to skincare experts

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04th Sep 2020
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The mandatory-wearing of face coverings in stores and on public transport is a welcome healthcare guideline in the fight against Covid-19. But what is not welcome is the noticeable changes wearing a mask has on our skin. Luckily, dermatological experts from top skincare brands La Roche-Posay, Vichy and CeraVe, have shared expert advice on achieving healthy skin while covering up.

Friction and sweat are a terrible combination for the skin causing a breakdown of the protective barrier, leading to skin irritation, redness and sensitivity. There can also be changes to the skin microbiome, which is the invisible layer of microbes that live on the surface of the skin. When in balance, the skin is healthy, but when unbalanced, inflammatory skin conditions, such as rosacea, eczema and acne, can be exacerbated.

Here are four ways to protect your skin, even when covering it up.

We’ve got skincare covered, even when you’re covering up. Photo: Getty Images

Scroll down to find out how to get 25% off premium skincare at McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy online

1. Cleanse your skin properly

This may sound obvious, but there is wiping your face and then there is cleansing your skin thoroughly. When we wear masks, the skin is unable to breathe and behave normally, which means the skin cannot shed dead skin cells properly. This can lead to blocked pores. If your skin has become more congested make sure you are doing a double cleanse in the evening, preferably using a cleanser with ingredients such as salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and unblock the pores without aggravating it.

What the experts recommend 

CeraVe’s SA Smoothing Cleanser (€9.37) contains ceramides for hydration and to restore the skin’s barrier along with salicylic acid to gently exfoliate the skin and unclog blocked pores.

Vichy’s Volcanic Mattifying Cleansing Cream (€12.75) is a clay to foam cleanser with an oil-absorbing clay and a deeply cleansing foam. This contains salicylic acid for exfoliation, charcoal for detoxification and purifying volcanic clay and perlite for oil absorption.

La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Micro Peeling Purifying Gel (€12) cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and deeply unclog pores from dead skin cells and sebum. It also contains zinc to reduce sebum and purify the skin and glycerin for hydration.


If the skin is dry and irritated from wearing masks for a prolonged period, then opt for a hydrating cleanser, such as CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (€7.50). Thanks to ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this fragrance-free, non-foaming, gentle cleanser will rid the skin of impurities while respecting the protective barrier.

The La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser (€10.69) is an SOS cleansing milk that soothes irritated skin and removes impurities with ease, leaving skin feeling soft and comfortable.

Vichy’s One Step 3-in-1 Cleanser (€11.21) is a cleanser, toner and eye make-up remover that gives skin a deep but gentle cleanse, leaving it feeling hydrated and appearing more radiant.

2. Balance the bacteria on the face

Due to poor ventilation when wearing a mask, the excess moisture is a perfect breeding ground for ‘bad’ bacteria that will cause breakouts on the skin. Use a cream that will rebalance the bacteria on the skin and reduce inflammation. You can either use a spot-on targeted treatment if you are just suffering with the odd break out or a cream more suitable for larger areas of treatment.

What the experts recommend 

La Roche Posay’s Effaclar duo+ (€13.12) has been a go-to for oily to acne-prone skin sufferers for many years now. It’s specifically formulated for oily, blemish-prone skin in adults and teenagers. It’s a dual action daily gel moisturiser that reduces the appearance of blemishes and blackheads, controls shine and helps protect the skin from the causes of red and brown-coloured marks that are often left by spots. It keeps skin hydrated for 24 hours.

La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc (€8.25) is a facial mist toner featuring zinc sulphate, specifically designed to target key signs of oily, blemish-prone skin. It’s ideal to spray on to the skin before wearing a mask, reapply after removal of mask or throughout the day. Skin is left mattified and looks less greasy and shiny.

Vichy’s Normaderm S.O.S Sulphur Anti-Spot Paste Normaderm SOS Sulphur Paste (€13.12) is a targeted care clinically proven to reduce the appearance of blemishes. Enriched with 10% sulphur, niacinamide and glycolic acid, the sulphur paste reduces the appearance of pores and instantly targets the appearance of blemishes with a drying action.

3. Moisturise

One of the most important things to remember is to keep your skin hydrated. Dry skin will compromise the skin’s barrier and lead to further disruption in the skin. Making sure the skin’s barrier is strong and healthy is a must. This can be achieved with a cream, serum or both.

What the experts recommend 

La Roche Posay’s Hyalu B5 (€29.95) serum repairs, hydrates, replumps and help to reduce skin irritation and signs of ageing all at the same time thanks to its powerful active ingredients. It contains hyaluronic acid for hydration, vitamin B5 helps improve the skin’s natural repairing process and helps stimulate repair of damaged skin.

La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Ultra 8 ‘Hands-free’ Moisturising Mist (€15.65) is an instant light and easy-to-use moisturiser to comfort and soothe even the most irritated skin. Thanks to the combination of glycerin, allantoin and La Roche-Posay Thermal spring water, the formula instantly comforts the skin through intense hydration. This is perfect for on-the-go hydration, apply whenever needed, even on top of make-up.

Vichy’s Mineral 89 (€18.75) has become somewhat of a staple in many people’s skincare routines. It’s your skin’s daily dose of strength that helps to fight external and internal aggressors. It contains only 11 ingredients and 89% of Vichy’s Thermal Spring Water rich in minerals and plumping hyaluronic acid. The combination of these two active ingredients helps to reinforce and strengthen the skins natural barrier.

CeraVe’s Facial Moisturising Lotion (€10.50) contains three essential ceramides (1, 3 and 6-II) to help restore and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. It also contains niacinamide which helps to soothe and comfort the skin.

4. Use an SPF

You should wear an SPF daily to help protect the skin from UV damage and premature ageing. It will also help reduce your risk of developing ‘mask’ tan lines.

What the experts recommend 

La Roche Posay’s Invisible Fluid SPF 50+ (€14.62) is a very lightweight SPF with great broad spectrum protection. It can be used all over the face including the eye area, is extremely water-resistant (which also makes it great for sports), suitable for sensitive skin, recommended for all-year round and is also available in a tint that gives a healthy glow with maximum protection.

CeraVe’s Am Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25 (€10.50) is a fabulous moisturiser containing an SPF of 25. This will give all-day hydration thanks to its slow-release technology providing the skin with ceramides while giving you protection from harmful rays.

Vichy’s Capital Soleil Mattifying 3-in-1 SPF 50+ (€13.12) is enriched with green clay that provides broad spectrum UVB and UVA protection while absorbing excess sebum.

For all of these skincare products, and more, visit McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy. For 25% off all of the above premium skincare brands, visit now. Exclusive online offers ends September 17, 2020.

Main photo: Getty Images

Product shots: McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy