Hello Loves! ʕ≧ᴥ≦ʔ
I am finally coming back with a form of content that is hopefully somewhat helpful! I can now safely say that I am now ready to get back to working on my blog and creating pieces that I enjoy. A little life update: I am pretty much done with this year’s application cycle, and am currently waiting to hear back from a few more schools. Therefore, I have more time and willpower to get back on track with writing more for M.A.N., editing, and other hobbies.
Today’s post is all about skincare, and the products that I have been using to help with my maskne. Before we get into these products, please know that I have sporadically used them prior to my recent breakouts from the masks. However, I have a bad habit of keeping up with my skincare routine until breakout occurs. I am currently still struggling with these annoying comedones (white and blackheads), but these products have really proven their importance in my routine. Overall, my skin is getting progressively better with the help of these products and some behavioral changes.
Here is a quick background summary about my skin:
My skin type can be characterized as acne prone, sensitive, combination skin that is more on the dry side. Almost two years ago, I struggled with severe eczema on my face. The eczema was pretty much one huge patch that crawled underneath my eyes down to my cheeks, and butterflied up to my forehead and eyebrows. It was an acute flareup that lasted for over a year. I ended up having to be on two steroid dose packs, a steroid shot, and topical steroid cream to try and manage my break out that slowly getting infected.
Now, for the past year or so, my skin is back to being more “normal”. Regardless, I am pretty cautious about what I use on my skin, and the products listed below have worked well with my skin. There are times where I need to be more moderate with using some of them, but overall, they have not caused me to flareup.
I feel like acne pads have been my saving grace during these crazy times. They have been the star of my one-stop cleaning sessions, whether that be during work when I feel the oil build up, or right when I get home from a long day in a mask.
These pads are quite gentle, and you can find many variations at different super markets or pharmacies. I typically use acne pads from Walmart’s Equate brand, however, I think I like this product better! It has a more appealing scent to it, and I do not feel like there is excess salicylic acid stored in these pads.
If you are not fond of these wipes, then you can definitely use a toner. However, compared to toners, these acne pads have been more effective and proactive when it comes to the annoying maskne that has plagued my face. The amount of dirt that shows up after using them is incredible and somewhat disturbing.
This product is hands down one of my favorite gel cleansers, and I primarily use it in the shower! Prior to the pandemic, I could get away with only washing my face once a day. However, that habit could not keep up with the long shifts and every day mask wearing.
I started to develop a lot of comedones on my cheeks and around my mouth. Although it is common for me to get these blemishes around my mouth and chin, it is quite strange to have them on my cheeks — especially on my cheek bones.
Once I started to incorporate an additional wash to my daily routine, my skin has been a lot healthier and has been healing a lot faster. This gel cleanser is gentle in both formula and texture, and I have not had any problems with my eczema while using this product daily.
Between two to three times a week, after my shower, I will thoroughly wipe my face down with this product. Its 5.25% glycolic acid formula leaves a slight tingling sensation, and I honestly love it so much! When I originally tried out this product, my skin was still recovering from its period of trauma, and was still on the overly sensitive side. I felt like it was making my skin burn, so I let it age on my shelf for a little while. Granted, I did use this product directly on dry patches that were already irritated.
Now that my skin has become more normal, I absolutely adore this product when using it in moderation. There have been times where I got carried away with it, causing my skin to be more tender.
Prior to using this product, I mainly used exfoliants that had little beads or granules in it. However, once I made the switch to chemical exfoliants, my skin has been so much happier and compliant with me! After the transition, my skin was able to endure and keep up with a more rigorous skincare routine with various products.
I like to use facial toners to prime my skin for serums and moisturizers. I do use toner every day, but I especially like to use it after treating my skin with AHA or BHA products. Toners help to neutralize your skin after using more acidic products. They also allow your skin to rehydrate and be prepared to absorb other products.
Thayers is not a ride or die brand for me. However, I do like the light fragrance of this product because I think it helps to increase the relaxation that comes with skincare routines.
I feel that I favor toners from No7. This brand provides a wider range of products to accommodate for specific skin types. I prefer the toners from the Soft & Soothed and Beautiful Skin product line.
This product is the most recent addition to my skincare routine. I decided to try out this serum after watching Joan Kim, one of my favorite Youtubers, talk about it! I typically will lean towards her skincare recommendations because I feel like we have very similar problems. Her skincare journey throughout the years has been incredible, and I wish I was as dedicated as she is.
I found this serum at Ulta, which was super convenient, and it was reasonably priced for a Korean skincare product. For this serum, a little goes a long way — but, there is no need to be stingy with it.
My skin absolutely loves this product. It drinks it up as if I didn’t just use three products beforehand. When using this product, I feel like my skin is super hydrated and happy! I do not think I have been using it enough to really understand the effects of it, so another review will be needed in the future!
Adapalene is an over the counter acne gel that helps to clean out your pores from the inside, out! The brand name of this product is Differin, and it is in the same class as the prescription topical acne cream, Tazorac. Essentially, all of these products do the same thing.
Since Adapalene is the generic version of Differin, it is way cheaper. You can find this gel at your local grocery store or pharmacy.
Adapalene helps to bring deep, underlying blemishes to the surface. So, do not be surprised if you start to break out even more. The extraction is a big part of the healing process. I mean, where else is it suppose to go? This medication is also slow acting, so if you plan on using it, prepare to use it every day for a while. Since the world is basically still in quarantine, it would be good to start now and ring in 2021 with some clean and healthy skin!
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I think maskne has helped re-establish the importance of skincare. I am still struggling with some collateral damage for waiting so long to deal with the problem. When I started to break out, I was just treating the issue superficially — I was not attempting to prevent anymore breakouts to occur. Some preventative measures also include behavioral changes. There is no point in trying to upgrade your skincare routine if you keep falling into the same bad habits.
For example, switch out or wash your masks. At the beginning, due to the shortage of masks at my workplace, I was forced to reuse the same mask for weeks at a time. This was probably when my maskne was starting to really develop, even though I could not see or feel the blemishes. Overtime, I began to enter a monotonous cycle and dragged out wearing the same couple of masks for a long time. Eventually, I started to rotate my masks, and throw away the oldest ones in the collection after a certain period of time. This action in itself has helped tremendously in slowing down the breakouts.
Another habit I got into was washing my face more than once a day. Whether that be using acne pads, toner, or cleansing gel, I started to wipe my face down every time I came home and could finally remove my mask comfortably. If I have long shifts at work, I made sure I brought some toner or acne pads with me, and wiped before lunch, and whenever I felt the sweat and oil building.
Regardless, of what works the best for you, I believe that is extremely important to keep your face as clean as possible. The surface on your face is the closest to your mucus membranes, located in your eyes, nose, and mouth. Although your skin is also a protective barrier against germs and dirt, by having buildup on your face, you may feel more inclined to touch, wipe, or scratch with your hands.
Overall, I recommend that you try to incorporate one of these products, or habits, in your daily routine! I think these products are relatively affordable, and should not break bank. However, I know that time is rough right now — especially with the holiday season quickly approaching. If anything, you can always wash and refresh your skin with water. That, in itself, should help prevent buildup of dirt and sweat throughout the day. Thus, helping to reduce or prevent maskne!
Please let me know your favorite products to help fight maskne in the comments or on any social media platform. Are there any other tips and tricks that you can share with others?
Until the next time we meet~
With Love, Joslyn