Here are our mask-wearing skincare and skin hangover recovery tips

Our guide to pandemic year-end grooming will have you feeling confident about being within the streets this festive season

05 November 2021 - 10:13
By Nokubonga Thusi
Image: Getty Images

Let’s face it, the wearing of masks is now part of our reality and whether stepping out to meet up with the boys for a hangout or heading out to an outdoor pholas; masks are mandatory and so should your skincare. 

One would argue that skincare isn’t that important as a mask covers most of the face anyway but on the contrary – it becomes even more important. Maskne is a term given to the effects that wearing personal protective equipment or fabric face masks has on the skin.

The acne that occurs as a result of face masks is usually a product by sweat as well as friction and pressure of the mask against the skin for extended periods of time.  All these factors can cause inflammation, rashes, skin indentations and breakouts around the nose and mouth.

Gents; having a dry beard, ingrown, dull skin and breakouts isn’t a good look, so make sure that you avoid mask-related skin flare-ups with these tips.

  • Mask over cleansed skin: Whether you’re wearing your mask all day or just for a quick pop-out, it’s important to always mask over clean skin that is free from any dirt or pollution particles that may further aggravate the skin or cause pore congestion.  Masks create a very sweaty, confined space for your skin to live in momentarily so it’s vital to prep it before wearing a mask.  Cleanse using a gentle cleanser of your texture choice (cream, gel or foaming) or use micellar water applied with a cotton pad for a speedy cleansing.  Don’t forget that cleansing after taking off your mask is just as important as a cleansing before in order to give your face a proper cleansing to remove dirt, rebalance the skin as well as remove any contaminated droplets that may be on the skin. 
  • Protect with moisture: Masks also have a tendency to make skin look and feel very dull and dehydrated after use so it is vital to create a moisture barrier on the skin in order to prevent excessive dryness and chaffing that can cause skin irritations. Douse the skin with a hydrating facial mist followed by a hydrating moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid or a moisturizing sunscreen immediately after cleansing – don’t be stingy with the moisture, your skin will thank you later.

  • Beards need love too: Remember to spread that moisture memo to your beard, if you are a seasoned member of the beard gang in order to prevent dryness and knotting.  As your mask sits on your beard area – it and the skin underneath is susceptible to dryness, sweating, acne-forming bacteria and irritations so make sure to always run a few drops of beard oil before masking up to keep it nourished.

  • Treat any irritation or inflammation: After taking off your mask from a full or half day’s wear – you need to be a bit preemptive and combat any skin irritations or inflammation that your skin may endure.  As we have a darker skin tone; pressure points caused by the mask, namely the nose bridge, cheeks and even ears, may cause pigmentation as the skin’s natural inflammatory response is to release more melanin to the surface.  In this case, make sure to use a vitamin C serum, blemish corrector or repair mask on the areas in order to manage the melanin response and help fade any current pigmentation.  
Image: Getty Images
  • Rehydrate the skin: Finish off with a hydrating moisturizer and always apply SPF, if still during the day, to further protect the skin from environmental aggressors such as UV damage that can increase signs of ageing, increase skin sensitivity or make mask-induced pigmentation appear darker. If you need to be on the go, opt for sunscreen sprays that will keep your skin protected without killin’ your vibe.

Hangover skin cures

Hello hangover, our old friend. Yes, it’s party season so it’s inevitable that somewhere along the line, you and your skin will suffer from signs of dullness, dehydration or sensitivity that tell you that you may have overdone it. 

Combat these common signs of skin hangover with these post-party essentials.

  • Whenever the signs of last night’s bender rear their heads on your skin – your first line of defence is to use an exfoliating wash and look for energising ingredients such as caffeine or vitamin C to increase blood circulation, slough off dirt, quickly brighten dull-looking skin and provide a shot of protective antioxidants.
  • Seek the purifying benefits of charcoal or clay in the form of a wash or mask to detox the skin, rebalance oil and provide a deep clean. 

  • Give your skin a big drink of water with a super hydrating moisturiser that will replenish the skin’s moisture levels and make skin look healthy again.