Unfortunately, masks have become an essential part of our lives. This accessory has brought safety and comfort (to most), but also a pesky little problem known as “mask-ne,” AKA mask acne. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 83 percent of health care workers in Hubei, China, are suffering from skin problems on the face. And I think many of us can relate.
The moisture-rich environment underneath a mask practically welcomes bacteria, while pandemic-induced stress wreaks havoc of its own. But skin flare ups shouldn’t require you to dish out money on costly products—many are filled with ingredients that irritate the skin more anyway.
Here are seven all-natural remedies to clear up that maskne right from your kitchen.
Sip on Spearmint Tea
A comforting cup of tea can work wonders for your skin, and spearmint tea is a science-backed sip proven to clear the skin. Out of whack hormones are at the root of acne, especially adult acne which appears along the jawline (exactly where maskne makes its debut). Drinking spearmint tea twice a day can significantly lower testosterone levels, thanks to it’s anti-androgenic effects. The mere act of drinking tea lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so it’ll ease the mind and the skin. Boil some to sip on during your skincare routine or while you watch The Queen’s Gambit.
Cleanse With a Homemade Honey Face Wash
After a day of mask-wearing, there’s sure to be a buildup of bacteria. Prevent your skin from harboring harmful grime by giving it a good wash. Making your own cleanser will give you complete control over the ingredient list, often reducing the risk of extra irritation. This homemade face wash combines the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and humectant power of honey with the gentle cleansing action of castile soap. It’ll gently kill the bacteria that contribute to inflamed pores all while leaving your skin feeling baby soft.
Apply a Turmeric and Yogurt Mask
Post-cleanse, go the extra step with this DIY mask that requires nothing more than a trip to the kitchen. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial ingredient that can brighten skin through its yellow tint (goodbye scars and dark spots!). Yogurt adds to the mask’s anti-acne benefits, since it contains lactic acid, a compound that reduces unevenness and discoloration while shrinking pores. And of course, some more honey for an additional antibacterial boost.
Steam Your Face
As your mask sets in, draw out any last impurities by adding some steam. Steam opens up your pores and helps loosen any buildup of dirt for a deeper disinfection. The combination of warm steam and an increase in perspiration increases circulation, which will breath new life into your skin. After a steam, your glowing skin will be squeaky clean and ready to soak in some products. No need to invest in a machine. Steam over a bowl of boiling water or use a soaked, hot towel.
Moisturize with Aloe Vera
An aloe vera plant which adds life to a room, is perhaps the most helpful of all home decor (you can also easily buy it at the grocery or pharmacy). When applied to the skin, aloe vera gel can help heal wounds (like bleeding pimples) and fight inflammation. Aloe vera also contains salicylic acid and sulfur, two clear skin saviors. Simple scrape the gel from your aloe plant out with a spoon and apply it directly to clean skin as a moisturizer. Not only is it anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, it’s also deeply moisturizing because of its high water content. An all around winner and a great way to avoid the many pore-clogging moisturizers on the market.
Spot Treat with Tea Tree Oil
Once your skin is clean and moisturized, it’s crucial to spot treat. Both an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, tea tree oil will aid in the healing of existing blemishes by keeping them free from new bacteria. Keep in mind that the magic ingredient is super strong and potent, so it should be used sparingly. Our best tip? Mix 1 part tea tree oil with 9 parts water to ensure it’s safely diluted, then dab it only onto pimples. Plus, prevent new pimples by applying the solution to the inside of your mask using a spray bottle. Let it work while you wear it.
Don’t Sweat It
This last one is less of an actual step and more of an important reminder. While good to treat, skin issues are not worth stressing about. The stress effect is real: worrying destroys your skin, not to mention your emotional well-being. Instead, see your new skincare routine as an activity to look forward to- a time to nurture yourself. A healthy shift in mindset may be just the thing your skin needs.
Now, for a new mask to keep that skin happy and healthy. We recommend you go for a 100% cotton mask that doesn’t hug your face too tightly. Find your perfect fit here.
(photo credit: Shutterstock)