6 products to help you deal with breakouts and skin irritation from wearing protective masks

Experts weigh in on our new norm
6 products to help you deal with breakouts and skin irritation from wearing protective masks

As per safety guidelines and directives issued, wearing protective gear in public has become an absolute essential. As we ease into the new, skincare specialists tell us how to safeguard skin from prolonged mask-use and side-effects like sensitivity, irritation and breakouts. “The heat from your breath which is trapped under the mask, creates a moist environment that can cause sweat, oils and breakouts” says Lejla Cas., founder of innovative skincare line Knesko.

No matter the fabric of the mask, there is no escaping a sweaty, itchy and irritated face with extensive wear. One way to combat skin’s new found sensitivity is to reduce the chances of further friction and dry skin by making slight changes in your regular skincare routine.

In the meantime, browse these must-haves recommended by the experts:

1. Waso Quick Gentle Cleanser

Dhs147 at nasmhi.com

We profess the heated environment under the mask isn’t ideal, so what can help? We asked Dr Yannis Alexandrides, founder of 111SKIN. “You should uphold your regular routine but adding another cleanse as soon as you take off the mask can be helpful,” she says. “Use a simple and gentle cleanser formula though, so that you only remove build-up of oils and impurities and don’t otherwise disrupt the outer skin layer.”

2. Foreo Serum Serum Serum & Luna™ 3 Facial Cleansing Brush


Dhs310 - Dhs1,045 at sephora.ae

“If you wear masks all day, it’s best to keep clear of active components like AHA’s and retinoids for the time being,” says Dr Costi, cosmetic dermatologist and FOREO Brand Partner. “These ingredients chemically exfoliate dry skin and cause a mild peel, which when wearing masks can further sensitise and irritate skin”.

If you already have underlying sensitive or oily skin, then, we hate to say it but you’re most at risk for breakouts as well as inflammation. “Introduce ingredients like Niacinamide which is great for sensitive skins and curbing inflammation” adds Dr. Costi, cosmetic dermatologist and FOREO Brand Partner. “As for those with oily skin, Zinc is great to invest in. It’s known to reduce sebum secretions and can make a huge difference in controlling excess oils.”

3. Sukin Hydrating Day Cream with Rosehip Oil

Dhs70 at sprii.ae

“Avoid fragrances, parabens or essential oils and opt for skin strengthening ingredients instead” says Cathy Galileos, a product trainer from natural beauty brand Sukin. “An effective lightweight moisturiser based on your skin-type, with fatty acids like Rosehip Oil can really boost and balance its protective barrier,” says Galileos. “Also, before wearing your mask, let your moisturiser fully absorb so as to allow it to form a proper protective layer under and against the mask”.

4. Knesko Nanogold Repair Collagen Face Mask x 4

Dhs649 at bloomingdales.ae

And while you definitely need to keep your mask on in public – if you’re alone at any point, you can give yourself a quick breather and take it off. “As long as you maintain social distance, I would recommend airing your face and spritzing a hydrating rose water mist to refresh and balance skin,” says Lejla Cas, Founder of Knesko,

5. 111skin 3 Phase Anti Blemish Booster

Dhs449 at ounass.ae

As inevitable as some breakouts can be under these certain circumstances, there are definitely certain spot treatments like salicylic acid, Bamboo Charcoal, Tea Tree Oil that are perfect for a quick-fix. “Salicylic acid in particular is gentle enough but also penetrates deepest layers of the dermis to unclog pores and reduce excess oils, drying up breakouts and even keeping them at bay” says Dr Yannis Alexandrides, founder of 111SKIN.

6. Pixi Rose Glow Mist 

Dhs95 at sephora.ae

At night, skincare becomes more of damage control, while you’re repairing the day’s damage. Dr Costi recommends prepping skin overnight for the next day’s aggressors. “Use a hydrating, healing and moisturisng treatment that will repair the damage and regenerate skin effectively,” he adds.