Now, almost 11 months into this pandemic, we are well acquainted with the “darkness our old friend” that is maskne. Maskne (literally mask + acne), is the phenomenon of extra blemishes resulting from everyday mask wearing. And you’re not imagining it. There was even an article about it from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Learning how to take control of my skin has–in many ways–led to learning about how to take better care for myself during this time. For me, my skincare has become somewhat equivalent to a religion–complete with my own shrine of creams, potions, and elixirs. It is something I look forward to every morning and night. The soothing, tactile experience of applying a rich cream before bedtime or my cold, avocado melting cream under my eyes first thing in the morning is truly meditative. Improving my ingredient literacy has become a fun pastime. Butyl 4 hydroxybenzoate? A naughty paraben of course that is not invited to skincare family cookout. This is all to say that developing a skincare routine and really taking the time to get to know me and my skin has significantly helped my daily mental framework. And if this is “new normal”, protective face masks really are the final step to your skin care routine. Of course while the best thing to do is to prevent maskne is prevent it from occurring in the first place, masks are the inevitable and necessary reality for at least the foreseeable future.
We here at HMNKIND are no strangers to maskne. We–like many others–noticed breakouts and flare ups from our protective face masks. So in the process of creating masks, we knew comfort was key. Health safety, we believed, went hand in hand with comfort. That is, creating masks that felt soft, fit well and stayed put would be a solution to the problem of people constantly touching, adjusting and removing their masks due to discomfort. So, we looked to the pros for advice. We partnered with Korean beauty skincare experts known to constantly define and pave the future of skincare. We created the APM face mask that was antibacterial (no more maskne!), buttery soft and made from the same material as beauty sponges. Its ultra plush, light-as-air foam minimizes irritation and lets skin breathe– without ever compromising viral filtration effectiveness. Its antibacterial technology is built into the cellular structure of the condensed polyurethane foam, making it the first line of defense against microorganisms and other pollutants. We even have the tests to prove it.
So, aside from wearing your HMNKIND mask, here are some extra tips to keeping your skin happy, calm and nourished.
- Prioritize anti inflammatory skincare - You don’t have to be an ingredient junkie like me to prioritize anti inflammatory skincare. In fact, I have found that nothing compares to the all healing power of the cucumber. An affordable, moisturizing, balancing tried-and-true home remedy. Just take a cucumber and use the small side of your box cheese grater to turn it into a paste. Apply. Rinse after 20 minutes.
- Pimple patches - Google them. Seriously. They’re the new blackhead nose peel strips.
- Clean your brushes, tools and (mask!) - If you've ever experienced getting a facial or having your makeup done by a professional artist, you may have noticed the infinite number of spatulas or brushes they use to apply products. This is for hygienic purposes meant to assist with a “no-touch” application of skincare. Don’t touch your face, and if you do choose to wear products under your mask use brushes and tools. Wash them AT LEAST once a week. Wash your mask daily.
- Moisturize - I can’t tell you how many of my oily-skinned people choose to forgo moisturizer. This is so wrong on so so so many levels. Your skin is producing more oil/sebum, which in turn causes more acne, to compensate for how dehydrated it is deep down. So kind of like how I need therapy, not more White Claw Hard Seltzers–so too, what your skin needs is more water not oil. The point is, to all my oily-skinned sisters and brothers, just stick a lightweight water based gel cream and you’ll be good to go.
- Prioritize your well-being, mental/physical health and relationships - Even if you choose to ignore all these tips, do not ignore this. More than ever, people are experiencing feelings of anxiety, isolation, and fear during this pandemic. So, choose your happiness. Choose your green smoothie. Choose to call your mom. Choose a daily routine that stabilizes and grounds you. Choose your happy place (mine is skincare). Choose you. Especially now. Seriously, our skin is 85% just a reflection of what is happening on the inside–mind, body and soul.
"Be kind to your skin. You will wear it for the rest of your life."