Beauty Features


 What about “Maskne”? 

The very real skin issue of adult breakouts brought about by the wearing of masks for long periods of time on a daily basis especially while also wearing a full face of makeup. 

Because of the increase in moisture, heat and occlusion in the area where the mask sits (chin, nose, around the lips and jaw) combined with an increase in moisture brought about by sweating, talking and breathing inside the mask, there’s a bigger tendency for the accumulation of bad bacteria, which creates a breeding ground for breakouts if you’re not careful. Also, the prolonged exposure to heat and sweat and occlusion can cause the skin to become raw, drier and itchier.

Dr. Zainab Al-Mukhtar, Dental Surgeon and Facial Expert at the Harrow on the Hill Clinic says:

You may be treating your acne/maskne but still seeing breakouts?

This could be caused by: squeezing spots, over scrubbing the skin, sleeping in your makeup, using oil based foundations, touching your face a lot, or wearing a mask or face covering repetitively without changing or washing it.  Protective masks increase the heat on the face, making inflamed skin worse! The repetitive exposure of the skin to the mask can also cause bacteria spreading. (Ensure your night-time skin routine is on point to ensure your skin is repairing well during sleep).

 You might be using an SPF that isn’t made for the face; body SPFs are not ideal for the face. SPF particles can be notorious for clogging pores, so make sure to use the right SPF for the face.”

First step, try to “tone down”. If you use heavy makeup, try going for lighter layers. Heavy makeup will rub off on the mask, making it dirty quickly and it will also increase the likelihood of acne when combined with all other factors. “Sandwich” your makeup with hydration and setting sprays (this will help it last longer and help avoid it rubbing off so much on your mask). Apply a layer of hydrating setting mist after you moisturise and before you apply your makeup and another after you finish (like the ICONIC London Prep-Set-Glow Mist, £22.00). Avoid too many heavy layers of different products. Opt for lighter coverage foundations, mineral powders or tinted moisturisers using concealer where needed. 

Crucial is to thoroughly wash your face (and your mask, if it’s reusable!) when you get home, double cleanse to remove all makeup and properly clean skin and add some good acids to your routine. BHA’s particularly, AHA’s and niacinamide before you moisturise should do wonders for your skin, as they help reduce inflammation, unclog pores and improve overall skin texture. This applies to anyone that doesn’t wear makeup also. Thoroughly cleanse and add some good acids to your skincare routine to help balance your skin, especially if you shave daily and need to keep skin that is already sensitised, soft and soothed.

It is so so important to be mindful and notice your habits so that you can make simple adjustments which can make all the difference.” Says Dr. Zainab Al-Mukhtar

If you are wearing non-disposable masks, make sure you wash your mask regularly, and alternate between different masks so that you’re wearing a fresh, clean one each day.”

If you can, opt for a silk mask (preferably two, so you can rotate daily use while one is in the wash), which is best to let skin breathe and this type of fabric allows for reduced friction of the mask on the face, helping prevent further irritation.

Remember to cleanse your face morning and evening, but at night especially, double cleanse to thoroughly remove all impurities, which will ultimately allow for better absorption by the skin of your skincare’s active ingredients.

Green People Age Defy + by Cha Vohtz Ultimate Wonder Balm – £32.00 (50ml), available at and selected retailers

This is a real treat for all senses with the divinely uplifting, warm scent of Orange Peel, Jasmine and Champak Flower. The texture is a gorgeous balm that melts when being massaged onto skin. It’s a multi-tasking balm that can also be used to soothe dry skin, protect sensitive lips or as an SOS balm anywhere. Enriched with 16 beauty-enhancing actives to revive and rescue the skin, such as Pomegranate, rich in nourishing essential fatty acids, it soothes, protects and calms the skin with its strong anti-inflammatory properties, Rosehip Oil to help regenerate and restore damaged or ageing skin and is also good for sensitive or acne-prone skin, Jojoba Oil to help protect skin and also help unclog pores and Perilla Oil for its repairing and soothing action which is ideal for problem skin (including eczema and dermatitis).

Due to the concentrate formula, a little does go a long way. To cleanse skin you should warm the balm in your hands then gently massage over the face, eyes and neck and then remove with a warm cloth. Finish by gently pressing a cool cloth over the face and neck. It doesn’t emulsify with water, so it’s ideal as a first cleanse on a double cleanse routine or a single cleanse for drier skins.

Tropic Skincare Clear Skies Cleansing Powder – £18 (60g), available at

This amazing water-activated powder cleanser is designed to wash away impurities and leave skin clarified and fresh. The innovative formulation combines two types of encapsulated plant enzymes to effectively cleanse the skin. The first, Lipase, breaks down fat-based impurities like sebum and excess oils, and the second, Protease, breaks down protein-based impurities, namely dead skin cells, resulting in a truly restorative skin cleanse. This cleanser was designed to be used either alone, or as a second step in a double cleanse routine. The formulation is suitable for combination, oily or blemish-prone skins, and has been clinically proven to reduce excess sebum and the appearance of enlarged pores, due to the Blue Spirulina, which is anti-inflammatory and helps to clear and refine the appearance of pores while also helping skin retain its moisture, due to the active Hyaluronic Acid. To activate the ingredients, simply mix half a teaspoon with enough water to make a rich, blue lather in your palms, massage onto your skin and rinse away to reveal clean, clear skin. The powder will warm up slightly when the water is added, helping to open pores so the enzymes can get to work. 

Nordic Roots by Green People Cranberry Micellar Foam – £19.00 (150ml), available at and selected retailers

With make-up dissolving micelles this refreshing cleanser leaves skin clean, calm, comfortable and dewy. This is a fragrance-free cleanser, ideal for those with fragrance sensitivity, that comes as a beautiful micro-fine foam that doesn’t dry the skin. Concentrated with antioxidant-rich Cranberry extracts to protect skin with antimicrobial properties, Juicy Apple Cellular Water which leaves skin refreshed and soothed and helps improve skin elasticity and Glycerine to hydrate and protect. Suitable for all skin types, especially acne prone and even very sensitive skin.

Massage one to two pumps over the face and eyes to gently lift away make-up and impurities before removing with a soft cloth and rinsing with warm water. Ideal as either a single cleanse or second cleanse in a double cleanse routine. 

Choose a toner or toning mist that is appropriate for your skin condition, something that will help soothe and hydrate aggravated skin or also has some niacinamide in it to help brighten the skin and start treating those breakouts.

 Saint Iris Adriatica Vitality Spritz – £45.00 (100ml), available at Wolf and Badger, and selected retailers

This deliciously scented radiance essence refreshes and hydrates on the go, uplifting both body and mind. Skin is left nourished, cool and deliciously scented. With antioxidant-rich Adriatic fermented Lemon Peel which has been shown to effectively brighten skin, while its zesty scent boosts serotonin levels, Seaweed protein to aid collagen and elastin formation, to help keep skin healthy and resilient and 20 wild plant oils and wildflower essences including Olive and Pomegranate to hydrate, nourish and restore radiance to dehydrated, stressed skin. Great for face and body, it’s uplifting, brightening and hydrating. The gorgeous scent is truly uplifting and the mist leaves skin feeling refreshed and hydrated.

Green People Toning Hydrating Mist  – £17.00 (100ml), available at and selected retailers

This soothing alcohol-free skin toner and cooling facial mist is ideal for instant skin hydration. Spritz to cool the skin on hot days (you can pop it in the fridge for maximum effect), to tone skin after applying your serum, after makeup to set it or as a pick-me up throughout the day or when feeling flushed. Refreshingly scented with Rose and Orange Blossom. Enriched with soothing and hydrating Aloe Vera, it also delivers anti-inflammatory results and helps stimulate new skin cells and helps damaged skin to heal and Marshmallow Root delivers emollient, skin-calming properties while also relieving skin redness and helps to retain moisture.

Q+A niacinamide toner – £8.00 (100 ml), available at Look Fantastic, and selected retailers

Niacinamide (or vitamin B3) is an essential vitamin that our body can’t produce. It helps to calm redness and inflammation whilst minimising the appearance of pores, making it great to help treat an uneven skin tone and blemish prone skin. With Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and plump and  Aloe Vera to soothe and protect the skin whilst delivering added hydration. Apply a few drops to a cotton pad and gently apply to cleansed skin on face and neck, before your serum. This is a great toner to help even skin tone and brighten skin while reducing redness and inflammation caused by breakouts

Remember this is where you really treat your skin, so choose your serums wisely. You can layer a combination of different products to target different concerns, just make sure they “work well” together to get the best results. Depending on your skin you can opt for something that targets blemishes like a salicylic acid formula and something hydrating, with hyaluronic acid. If completely in doubt, consult with a skincare expert to get a personalised consultation on what might be the best ingredients/actives for you.

“Salicylic acid is a key skincare component in the treatment of acne. It unclogs pores, exfoliates, reduces inflammation, and reduces oil secretions. At different concentrations, the side effects include dryness and mild irritation for approximately 6-8 weeks which should be combated by a humectant hydrating lotion. Skin should always be protected by an SPF 30 and above. There are other medical strength products that would require a consultation first before being prescribed.”

Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil (with salicylic acid) – £69.00 (1.0 oz), available at and selected retailers

This amazing high-performance night oil combines Retinol and Salicylic Acid into one skin-soothing formula to simultaneously help reduce visible signs of premature skin ageing and clear breakouts. Time-Released Retinol (Vitamin A) reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots while Salicylic Acid stimulates natural exfoliation and reduces breakouts, With Argan, Rosehip Seed, and Golden Jojoba Oils to soothe, nourish and protect skin. Possibly the holy grail of treatments for adult acne, since it combines two powerful blemish fighting ingredients while also targeting premature ageing. To use, press the button and release to fill the dropper. At night, after cleansing, gently press the button to dispense 6-10 drops into the palm of your hands, then smooth over face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Unbelievably clearer skin by morning.

Lernberger Stafsing Anti-Blemish Serum – £50.00 (30 ml), available at

This is a gorgeous anti-blemish serum that helps to calm redness and reduce skin irritation. It helps to clear blemishes, unclog pores and even out skin tone. With a trifecta of active ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide and the LS Supercomplex (their unique blend of exclusive fruits, plants and berries extracts that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids). Salicylic acid has a soft peeling effect and ensures that the pores are kept clean from dirt and bacteria while Niacinamide and Magnolia Bark Extract combat breakouts and help to reduce the appearance of blemishes, redness and uneven skin. Especially good for oily, combination and blemish-prone skin. Apply morning and evening to cleansed face and neck. Great as a spot treatment or layered together with other serums. Smells brilliant too!

Tropic Skincare Blue Lagoon Blemish Prevention Serum – £42.00 (30 ml), available at

A personal favourite, the Pure Lagoon Blemish Prevention Serum offers true results for spot-prone adult skin. This cool serum is ideal to use as a preventative measure before the formation of spots begins, to leave skin feeling cool and calm, while getting rid of blemish causing bacteria. So if you know when your spots will “hit” (you know you’ll be wearing a mask for prolonged periods of time, you have a tendency for stress induced or “hormonal” breakouts), start using this a couple of weeks before to prevent them from forming. Customise its use to your specific skin needs. For oilier skins, using twice a day gets best results, whereas combination skins benefit from a once a day application. The unique combination of Bioflavonoids which have been proven to reduce visible blackheads with Prebiotics which help boost the skin’s natural flora with healthy bacteria help break the spot-forming cycle. Also, the Blue Spirulina and Malachite Crystal Extract present, which give the serum its soft blue hue, are rich in copper and possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They not only help reduce redness on existing blemishes, but help maintain a calmer and more clarified complexion over time. With added Zinc PCA which has been proven to reduce sebum levels while also significantly reducing sebum production over time which is combined with vitamin B3, for more refined pores, Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) to help spot-prone complexions’ cell turnover with very mild exfoliation and different molecular weights of Hyaluronic Acid to deliver hydration to balance the sebum-controlling ingredients together with moisture boosting Watermelon Fruit Extract, which also adds to it’s refreshing, lovely scent. 

“Retinol and retinoic acid are both retinoids – and are derivatives of Vitamin A.  I recommend the use of a retinoid as part of your night time skin care regime. As with many skin care products, there are both over the counter and medical grade products which are available, and your skincare expert can advise and recommend accordingly. As we age, we don’t produce as many healthy skin cells, and the dead skin cells we produce tend to not shed as quickly, but retinoids work to speed up the renewal of all the skin’s cells to ensure the skin IS healthier.”

“Retinoids can also help reduce wrinkles, as they increase collagen and elastin production, increase blood circulation, regulate oil production therefore helping with acne, helping to fade pigmentation and improve skin hydration from the inside. A very effective treatment for acne sufferers.”

Again, choose lighter weight moisturisers, even if your skin is a bit more on the dry side, especially in the warmer weather months, to layer your skincare effectively instead of opting for very heavy creams or balms that might turn slightly congesting under a mask. Remember you can always add another layer with an oil or serum specific to your skin that will help you achieve the results you want but will be easily absorbed and not clog the pores.

Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream – £27.00 (30 ml), available at and selected retailers

This incredibly soothing, versatile cream provides the perfect care for combination/sensitive skins. The balancing formula helps retain moisture, while also reducing excess shine. Ideal for anyone with combination-sensitive skin, it effectively tackles oily areas, leaving them calmed and shine free, dry patches are hydrated and the appearance of redness is reduced for a balanced, radiant complexion. Great before makeup or after shaving.

Combining Extracts of Melissa, Daisy, Anthyllis, Witch Hazel and Carrot to soothe and work together to balance the skin’s natural oil and water content and Tapioca Starch helps provide an even, matte appearance.

Apply evenly to face, neck and décolleté with a gentle pressing motion on cleansed, toned skin. If breakouts and frequent blemishes are still a big problem, you can add the Clarifying Day Oil to your routine or substitute Melissa Day Cream with a mixture of Revitalising Day Cream and 1-2 drops of Clarifying Day Oil

Tisserand Tea Tree & Aloe Skin Relief Cream – £6.50 (50 ml), available at Amazon, and selected retailers

Particularly good for normal to oily and blemish prone skin with irritated patches and flare-ups. With added 100% natural pure essential Eucalyptus Oil for a cooling, refreshing effect, plus skin-conditioning Jojoba Oil, providing a multi-action soothing treatment that offers moisturising and protective properties and concentrated 100% natural pure essential Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera, this formula blends the oils in an intensive cream to help cool and calm minor skin irritations and blemishes. Great to apply when skin is feeling particularly aggravated, but due to the Eucalyptus Oil, maybe not the best for sensitive skins, as eucalyptus tends to be a little too “tingly”. Also, avoid the eye area and do not apply on broken skin.

Funderm 24/7 Oil-free Moisturiser – £35.00 (50 ml), available at

This unique 3-in-1 oil-free moisturizer helps to boost skin hydration, calm irritated and aggravated skin and smooth skin for a softer feel. Formulated with their exclusive Active Prebiotic & Probiotic Complex, this cruelty-free, oil, SLS and paraben free moisturiser bring together a unique selection of Vitamins, Plant and Fruit extracts, Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide, Allantoin and Maris Aqua. Enriched with Hyaluronic Acid and Dead Sea minerals, it assists skin in maintaining high levels of moisture and prevents excessive dehydration. It also includes a mixture of herbal extracts to fight off free radicals, alongside antioxidant Vitamin E. The rich, creamy, yet lightweight moisturiser will help balance and improve skin texture leaving it smooth, bouncy and smelling really fresh. Best suited for combination to oily skins suffering from active breakouts or acne.The result is beautifully smooth, hydrated, refreshed, glowing skin. (You can get it as a part of their Problematic Skin Multi-Tasker Set if you’re looking for a more intensive treatment).

An appropriate city block will be lightweight and not feel heavy on the skin. It will also act as a primer for makeup most of the time, so it’s an added bonus. If you can, choose something with zinc oxide in it, as it has a soothing effect on aggravated skin, and is beneficial for blemishes and breakouts.

If you’re not already using an SPF on top of your moisturiser, start now and stick to this new routine even in the winter months to protect against UV rays which are always there as long as there is daylight. UV rays can otherwise trigger hyperpigmentation and worsen the marks left behind with acne.

Tropic Skincare Sun Day Facial UV Defence SPF 50 – £24.00 (40 ml), available at

Firm favourite for all year round protection, this SPF is formulated with Banana Flower Extract, Hibiscus Extract and Hyaluronic Acid for a weightless, hydrated, transparent finish.

Developed to double up as a multi-tasking makeup primer, Banana Flower and Hibiscus Extracts offer next-level pollution protection and anti-inflammatory benefits while Hyaluronic Acid keeps skin hydrated. Leaving absolutely no filmy residue or white cast, it glides effortlessly over your moisturiser and leaves skin perfectly primed for makeup or ready to just go out.

Inkey List Mineral SPF 30 – £14.99 (50 ml), available at, Inkey List and selected retailers

The Inkey List Mineral daily SPF 30 Sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Containing 22% Non-nano Zinc Oxide their 100% Mineral formula is ideal for daily use and suitable for all skin types including breakout prone and sensitive.​ Unfortunately not ideal for darker skins, as Zinc Oxide will leave a white cast on the skin, although they have tried to offset it with a slight (non-cosmetic) tint to enhance wearability. 

The formula has also been created with layering in mind so it doesn’t pill when used in conjunction with other skincare and makeup products.​ The Zinc Oxide offers not only good skin UVA and UVB protection, it is also good for blemish prone skin, as it has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, is soothing to aggravated skin and also lowers inflammation.

Once or twice a week treat your skin to an exfoliation and mask session. This is a great opportunity to boost your skincare regime with targeted treatments, so choose products that will add “power” to what you’re currently using on a daily basis.

 Monroe Glycolic Serum 7% – £39.00 (50 ml), available at

Give yourself a gentle exfoliation with this Glycolic Acid serum to reveal fresh, glowy skin. Combined with soothing Calendula, antibacterial Tea Tree, antioxidant vitamin E and hydrating Hyaluronic Acid for complete care. If you’re new to glycolic acid, start using it in the evenings on alternate nights for about 2 weeks (as glycolic acid can slightly sensitise skin) and then you can start using it every night. Don’t worry if you experience a slight period of skin not looking great (it happens when you start using acids, your skin goes through an “ugly” stage), after a couple of weeks of continuous use you’ll see that radiant, glowing skin revealed. Remember to always apply sunscreen if you’re using your glycolic acid in the mornings instead of the evenings. 

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid – £26.00 (100 ml), available at, Look Fantastic and selected retailers

This is great for anyone struggling with inflamed skin or acne as it uses 4% natural Betaine Salicylate, a Sugar Beets derived BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) an exfoliant which not only gets rid of blackheads and sebum inside of the pores, but also prevents further oxidation and blackhead formation. This light serum also contains White Willow Bark, which can help calm redness and inflammation, as well as Niacinamide and Sodium Hyaluronate (a component of Hyaluronic Acid), which work together to fight acne, brighten, smooth and hydrate dull skin. Unlike many 0other BHA products, it’s formulated using natural betaine salicylate rather than salicylic acid. The texture is more that of an essence rather than a serum making it great for layering. Use with a cotton pad once a week initially and then increase use to 2 or 3 times a week, depending on your skin needs. Skin feels smoother, brighter and more soothed.

Bubu #StripItOff Exfoliating Mud Sheet Mask – £7.00, available at, Amazon and selected retailers

Normally, we’d recommend you do a mask once or twice a week, but with face masks being worn daily, it’s important to do more than one mask and in this case the Strip It Off Exfoliating Mask can be used twice a week.This gorgeous sheet mask combines gentle but effective Charcoal, Kaolin Clay and citrus derived AHAs to eat away dead skin cells and help detoxify skin, leaving you with a fresh and glowing complexion. Even though it’s suitable for all skin types it may not be entirely suitable for sensitive skin conditions due to the fruit acids present.

And although it comes in a sheet mask format, it is an exfoliant so do not use like a traditional mask and mix with other exfoliating products, treatments or acids on the same day of use, treat it like the exfoliant it is and follow with another mask that’s appropriate to your skin needs. Like any exfoliating product this can leave your skin more sensitive and vulnerable to damage from the sun, so if you’re using this product before going outside in daylight, please ensure you protect your skin after use with an high SPF. 

Skin Republic Sheet Masks are available at Superdrug and

We love all of these for their ease of use and great results.

Spots + Blemish – Anti-Spot & Pore Refining Mask – £4.99 

Tea Tree and Salicylic Acid help cleanse the skin’s pores and clear spots whilst Witch Hazel assists in tightening the pores. These ingredients remove pore-clogging oil, reduce shine and redness without drying out the skin and help maintain a health and clear complexion.

Detox Charcoal + 10-Superfood Formula Mask – £4.99

Infused with detoxifying serum for a glowing, luminous complexion. The Charcoal infused sheet mask detoxifies the skin and includes an antioxidant rich blend of Acai Berries, Chia Seeds, Quinoa, Spirulina and Black Tea which protect against the visible signs of premature ageing caused by free radicals. Rosehip and Quinoa nourish and revitalize leaving the skin ultra soft.

CBD Nourish + Glow Oil Infusion Mask –  £5.49

Infused with pure CBD Oil to help soothe stressed out skin and provide relief from visible redness, irritation and sensitivity. Naturally rich in anti-inflammatories, CBD Oil heals and nourishes for healthy, glowing skin.

Bubu #T-Spot Blemish Busting Sheet Mask – £7.00, available at, Amazon and selected retailers

Use this shimmering spot treatment priming mask once a week in the morning to help eliminate breakouts and blemishes and prep skin for makeup application. Formulated with a unique blend of Niacinamide to help regulate excess sebum, Pro Vitamin B5 to help support the skin’s natural repair and barrier process and potent plant extracts and their powerful unique serum, it’s a sure treat for oily and blemish prone skin.

We are Faace Sweaty Faace Mask – £22.50 (100 ml), available at

This cooling, calming mask smells amazing and is great for when you want to treat that hot and bothered feeling with a skin detox and want to keep it cool, calm and soothed. This priming, moisturising mask is great under makeup as it prevents it from slip and sliding. Perfect for use under your face mask as a moisturising primer to prevent breakouts. This vegan formula contains Argan oil as it’s great for all skin types with it’s omega fatty acids and vitamin E compounds that moisturise, soothe and don’t clog pores, Grapefruit to revitalise the senses and load the skin with vitamin C and antioxidants and to help soothe inflammation, Bergamot is a brilliant spot treatment for sensitive skin that overreacts to more astringent ingredients, Galbanum to help tone and rejuvenate skin, giving overworked complexions a much-needed refresh and deep clean and Patchouli to help activate on skin cell activity for bouncy skin. 

Apply a thick layer as a mask and leave on for 5 to 20 minutes or overnight.

Also for every Sweaty Faace purchased, a pack of period products is donated to someone in need.

“Some practical tips that you can carry out at home if you’re struggling to get an appointment with your skincare expert.”

Change pillowcase every two days to ensure the build-up of bacteria is kept to a minimum. Each day, switch sides, ensuring that each night you have a clean surface for your face to rest on.”

Again, a silk pillowcase will be a good investment here, not only for the sake of your face but your hair also, as it doesn’t draw moisture from the skin like traditional cotton is prone to do. Also silk is naturally resistant to dust mites, fungus, mold and other allergens.

Ensure that you use only clean towels on your face! Definitely do not use hand towels on your face as these are more than likely to be full of bacteria.

Wipe your phone down often and avoid holding it on your skin for long – the heat can increase inflammation.

 Try not to touch your face but if you need to, ensure you’ve just washed your hands.”

Cut down on excessive sugar intake as this can inflame the skin, aggravating skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Try and reduce the amounts of food you eat and drink that contain sugar, to ensure your skin is looking at its best. Sugar also contributes to skin ageing! “”Try and avoid stress. Our body produces the stress hormone cortisol at times of stress. In large doses, cortisol can trigger skin flare ups such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. In order to reduce your cortisol level, self-care has been found to be incredibly important; try and take as much time to relax as you are able to and seek help from others if you need it.”

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