How to avoid face mask spots and keep your make-up flawless - according to experts

By Helen Johnson
Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 2:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 2:35 pm

Wearing a face covering is now an everyday part of life for many, but it can bring with it steamed up glasses, a flushed face, and, for some, spotty skin.

Although wearing a face mask may be something people now do day in and day out, this doesn’t mean our skin has instantly adapted to the practice.

Alongside spotty skin, smudged lipstick and rubbed-off foundation might be something you now contend with on a daily basis, as a result of wearing a face mask over your make-up.

However, the good news is that there are ways to adapt both your beauty and skincare regime, in order to ensure skin is cared for and your make-up remains flawless.

Adopt a good skincare routine

If you’re suffering from spotty skin due to wearing a face mask, then there are certain things you can do to try and prevent or reduce mask acne - also known as ‘maskne.’

“Whilst maskne seems a relatively new term, it actually refers to a medical condition known as Acne Mechanica. This is different from what we often associate with teenage acne (Acne Vulgaris) which is often caused by hormone changes, increased oil production, blocked pores and inflammation,” Jenna Unwin, skincare expert and founder of Million Dollar Facial, explains.

Acne Mechanica isn’t caused by hormonal changes but actually by friction, heat and pressure on the skin, explains Ms Unwin, and is made worse when the skin is not exposed to air.

The degree to which ‘maskne’ can affect each of us will depend on several factors, including:

• Skin sensitivity• Duration of mask wearing• General health and well being• Cleanliness of the mask

However, by implementing simple changes to our skincare routine, ‘maskne’ can be both prevented and treated.

A good skin cleansing routine can help unblock the pores and remove excess dirt and oil, and regular exfoliation will help to remove dead skin cells.

Washing or replacing your face mask regularly, deep cleansing your skin with an exfoliating scrub, and using a nourishing balm if wearing a mask for extended periods of time can all help with the impact wearing a mask can have on our skin.

Taking regular breaks for fresh air - where safe and possible - can also help reduce the build up of anaerobic bacteria on your skin.

Smudged lipstick and rubbed-off foundation might be something you now contend with on a daily basis (Photo: Shutterstock)

Choose the right mask for your skin

Not all face coverings are equal. Alongside regularly changing your masks and washing them if they are reusable, Suzie Potts, founder and principal at AquaRosa Make Up School says making sure you’re wearing the right mask for you can have a huge impact on your skin.

Ms Potts says, “Choose the right mask. If the mask is so tight on your face that your lips can’t move freely when you talk, it’s too tight. It will rub more, causing your make-up to rub off and possibly irritating the skin.”

If washing a reusable face mask, you should make sure it’s washed at a high temperature, with not too much detergent and well rinsed, adds Ms Potts.

“Left over soap on the fabric can irritate skin so you have to try and strike a balance,” she advises.

You could also opt for a silk mask, as these tend to be softer and kinder on the skin.

If you’re a fan of a brightly coloured lipstick, then opting for a lip stain can prevent any transfer or smudging (Photo: Shutterstock)

How to achieve flawless make-up when wear a face covering

As Zoe Johnson, manager at Dickeybow Boutique in Leeds, West Yorkshire, explains, “Continuing to wear makeup while wearing a mask can be tricky and can take a toll on your skin.”

However she reiterates that “investing in a good skin care routine to help combat any problematic skin. Making sure you properly cleanse and remove all makeup is key.”

Ms Johnson explains that tea tree oil, which you may already have lying around the house, is an effective way of drying out blemishes. Although it may be tempting, you should try not to pick at them.

If you’re a fan of a brightly coloured lipstick, then the boutique owner explains you can still wear a bold lip while wearing a mask without any transfer or smudging, if you opt for a lip stain.

She adds that one of her favourites is the Maybelline New York Superstay 24 Hour lip stain, as they “will not budge and come with a hydrating balm.”

Makeup artist Zoe Peplow, who owns BLUSH by Peplow, advises, “When applying makeup, keep the skin under the nose area as fresh as possible and opt for blush and lip stains, as opposed to creams and powders which will stop your makeup rubbing off when wearing your mask.”

She also suggests adding an oil based moisturiser after your usual skin care routine, which will ensure a stronger barrier for your face and keep the skin supple throughout the day.

Yorkshire-based makeup artist, Cydney Beasley, advises applying a soft glam smokey eye look, and a good mascara which has “lengthening properties”, if you wish to “detract from the mask to your eye area.”

She also suggests using a primer before applying your make-up, explaining, “You need to use products that give the illusion of clear, dewy and radiant skin. A good moisturising, long lasting primer is key.”

Ms Beasley advises opting for a light coverage foundation or BB cream, and not setting this with powder in order to let your skin breathe. However, if you do opt to set your make-up with a powder, then “a translucent loose powder is most effective at absorbing excess oils and is easy to top up throughout the day.”

Danielle Gregory and Samantha Allen, Founders of Doll Beauty, advise concentrating on the key areas such as the chin, nose and T zone when applying powder.

“With the flow of warm air from inside the mask rising directly towards your nose and forehead, these are the key areas to concentrate on,” the make-up brand owners explain.

They also recommend using a setting spray - both before applying make-up and after you’ve finished your look - as this can help with longevity and prevent make-up from rubbing off on your face mask.

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, Yorkshire Evening Post.