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8 Products to Help You and Your Clients Fight Dreaded Maskne

Prevent and treat any mask-related skin issues with these effective products.
Photo: Shutterstock

While donning a mask is the right thing to do to slow the spread of COVID-19, it isn’t necessarily a good thing for the skin, especially for those who must remain masked up for hours on end. Because I rarely venture out of my apartment these days, I’ve been fortunate in that my time wearing a mask is somewhat limited. However, I have found that by keeping my skin free from makeup and skincare products when I am wearing one definitely helps me to avoid any related skin issues, as does making sure the mask I wear is properly washed. Aside from these simple steps you can take to prevent maskne, there are also a host of products that can help you and your clients prevent and treat it.

Elina Organics Skin Recovery Cream
What We Love
  • Cruelty-free
  • All ingredients are organic
  • Free of parabens, sulfates, toxic preservatives, mineral oils, and harmful colorants and fragrances
Ingredients of Note
  • Arnica montana flower extract
  • Spongilla alba (fresh water sponge)
  • Colloidal copper
  • Organic helianthus annus (sunflower)

I was especially excited to try this healing cream on account of the fact that it is formulated with colloidal copper, which research suggests promotes the healing of skin burns and cuts. It definitely soothed my rosacea, which has become more pronounced over the past year. While most problems for inflamed and acne-prone skin tend to be drying, this silky cream helps the skin retain moisture thanks to the colloidal copper, which works to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and tighten and thicken the skin. It also contains arnica, another healing ingredient, to help heal inflammation, and spongilla to calm and heal the skin. Because the formula is highly concentrated with a host of botanicals, it does have a strong scent.

Eminence Organic Skin Care Spot Treatment
What We Love
  • Hyper-targeted treatment
  • Gluten and nut free
  • Cleanses pores and brightens skin
Ingredients of Note
  • Tea tree oil
  • Salicylic acid (from willow bark)
  • Buchu leaf extract
  • Cucumber

Sometimes less is more, as I found with this targeted treatment that lets me zone in on problem areas. Rather than upsetting the balance of the rest of my skin, it tackles blemishes and congestion before they become full-scale problems. Formulated for fast and effective results, this treatment relies on tea tree oil and salicylic acid to cleanse pores and brighten the skin. Cucumber also helps soothe dry skin.

Immunocologie products
What We Love
  • Formulated to extract impurities and soothe, so no harsh drying effects
  • Mist has been tested to protect skin from viruses, bacteria, and microbes, which makes it an excellent weapon in the COVID-era arsenal
  • Clean, ethically sourced, sustainable ingredients
  • Complimentary nanofiller mask with purchase
Ingredients of Note
  • Montmorillonite clay
  • Kaolin clay
  • Salicylic acid

The core of both products in this package—Vital Clay Spot Treatment and Vital Ionic Mist—is Immunocologie’s effective French green clay, which is made with three rare earth clays and 12 essential minerals. Unlike many clay products, these formulas soften and hydrate while also targeting blemishes. Compromised skin is treated with a thin layer of the detoxifying and oil-absorbing Spot Treatment to dry blemishes and refresh the skin. Next, after allowing the treatment to dry and rinsing it off, skin is balanced and nourished with a spritz of Vital Ionic Mist. The mist is ideal for on-the-go use, as it can be used repeatedly throughout the day on the face and neck to balance the skin’s microbiome, moisturize, detoxify, and help protect it from free radicals, bacteria, and viruses. Cool extra? For a multipurpose use beyond the maskne-busting benefits, you can also mix the products and use daily as a scrub. The package also includes a washable nanofilter mask ($25 value).

Masque Bar Shield & Soothe PPE mask
What We Love
  • Calms and hydrates irritated skin
  • Formulated without sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, silicone, petrolatum, and phthalates
  • It’s affordable
  • Portion of the proceeds donated to support frontline workers during the pandemic
Ingredients of Note
  • Glycerin
  • Sodium hyaluronate
  • Coconut fruit extract
  • Aloe leaf juice
  • Calendula flower extract

Designed to prevent maskne before it occurs, Shield & Soothe Hydrogel PPE Facial Under Mask is meant to be worn under PPE or non-medical masks as a preventative measure. It serves as a barrier, helps with healing, and moisturizes the skin. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, it creates an invisible barrier on the skin to regenerate the epidermis, reduce fine lines, and soften the skin. I found it especially helpful in preventing chafing when my skin gets particularly dry in the colder months.

What We Love
  • Prevents mask-related breakouts
  • Features a blend of skin-soothing botanicals
  • Sanitizes face masks with germ-killing alcohol
Ingredients of Note
  • Organic alcohol
  • Organic full-spectrum CBD hemp extract
  • Organic tea tree essential oil
  • French lavender oil

As much as I’d like to don a freshly laundered mask each time I leave my apartment, it doesn’t always happen. This mask refresher provides the perfect solution. Made of 80 percent certified organic ethyl alcohol, it kills germs and bacteria that may lead to maskne. It also contains 25mg of CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes from USDA certified organic hemp. While it won’t make you high, it does help calm inflammation, reduce redness, and soothe dehydrated skin. The spray also features organic tea tree essential oil and French lavender oil, both of which contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Just a spritz or two leaves your mask refreshed and with a fresh, clean scent.

Skin Authority PPE Cream
What We Love
  • Soothes irritated and inflamed skin
  • Contains no parabens, dyes, or added fragrance
  • Refill option available for every 60-, 90-, or 120-days
Ingredients of Note
  • Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil
  • Aloe barbadensis leaf juice
  • Vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil

For those with especially sensitive skin, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, and goggles, can take a toll. Whether it be from a lack of moisture, excessive sweating, or friction, the skin can develop maskne or other PPE-related issues, such as chafing and more. This soothing cream, enriched with aloe, cranberry, grape seed, mango, and safflower, infuses skin with moisture and calms irritation, inflammation, and redness. Its emollient formula hydrates skin and is a natural alternative to hydrocortisone cream.

The A Method Maskne Kit
What We Love
  • Paraben-, Cruelty-, and Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic
  • Vegan and Gluten-free
  • Balances oil production in the skin
Ingredients of Note
  • Glycolic acid
  • Salicylic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Trichloracetic acid
  • Hedera helix (ivy) extract

This three-step kit features the Cleanse Glycolic Gel, a lightly exfoliating, non-comedogenic cleanser; Daily Blemish Pads, which incorporate glycolic, salicylic, lactic, and trichloracetic acids; and H2Biome, a probiotic moisturizer. While the cleanser is formulated for those with normal to oily skin and the pads are geared to those with oily and blemish-prone skin, the probiotic moisturizer is ideal for all skin types. My combination skin soaked up the H2Biome, and I have to admit, I was all over the intense anti-aging benefits. A decade ago, when my skin was oily and prone to breakouts, I would have been the perfect candidate for the Daily Blemish Pads, which rely on alpha and beta hydroxy acids to minimize blemishes and aloe extract to leave skin soft. Today, my skin craves moisture above all else. However, this kit will do the trick for those still struggling with oily and problematic skin. These products work together to balance oil production and create a more ideal environment to alleviate maskne. 


Versed Keep the Peace
What We Love
  • Non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free
  • Packaging is made with 79 percent post-consumer recycled plastic
  • The price
Ingredients of Note
  • Salicylic acid
  • Blue tansy
  • Apple fruit extract

This foaming cream cleanser treats breakouts but doesn’t deplete the skin of its natural oils. An apple fruit extract gently exfoliates the buildup that can lead to breakouts while also calming and moisturizing the skin. The formula gets its blue hue from blue tansy, a natural antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that helps calm and cool irritated skin, a byproduct of wearing a mask for extended periods of time. With 1.5 percent salicylic acid, this non-drying facial wash treats congestion with a foamy lather that makes cleansing a luxe treat rather than a chore. 


About The Author

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent,,,, and, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.