The COVID pandemic has caused an outbreak of “mask” or mask-induced acne. But the world’s break-out control and spot shrinking experts are fighting back. To allow you to master the dreaded maskne beautifully. And luxuriously.

With the help of UFOs.

Niche skincare concerns have become universal cosmetic peeves. With face-covering pretty much obligatory, we are now more aware of benzoyl peroxide and thankful for azelaic, transexamic, ascorbic, salicylic, and micro-exfoliating lipo hydroxy acids more than ever.

The pressure, friction, and chaffing caused by wearing masks close our skin can cause hair follicles to break open and pores are more likely to get blocked or clogged up by sweat and bacteria, creating “folliculitis”. Summertime maskne is most likely to be caused by clogged pores, whereas winter vizor blemishes are created by friction on dry, delicate skin. Humidity causes spots, particularly around the neck and jawlines, nose and mouth. Moisture formed by trapped air from talking, breathing, and sweating makes the ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Stress triggers hormonal changes which in turn increase sebum production and hyper-keratinization occur, causing cellular renewal to slow down.  

U.F.O. Ultra clarifying Face Oil

The experts are full of good advice. Telling us:

Not to use heavy makeup or just avoid makeup altogether

To wear washable silk, cotton or charcoal makes (mulberry silk is naturally hypo-allergenic and charcoal)

To wash or replace our masks after every use.

To use vitamin C anti-oxidant skincare products

To regularly use cleansing masks

To wash our face before and after wearing a mask with a gentle pH balanced cleanser that doesn’t contain harsh foaming agents or artificial fragrances/dyes

To avoid exfoliating scrubs and skin rollers

To keep our skin well hydrated with a water-based, non-occlusive moisturizer

To avoid oil-based skincare & cosmetics

To use a nighttime hydrating serum & moisturizer

To avoid chemical sunscreens during the day – using only mineral SPF.

111Skin Harley St. London, Bio Cellulose Facial

Experts advise us to try everything from gua sha face massages to non-comedogenic hemp seed oil and super-green cleaning, natural skincare products like Roshanne Dorsett’s The Glowcery.

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting

Dr. Dennis Gros contains alpha-hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate the skin and remove excess oil and impurities thanks to a hydrating soap- and sulfate-free formula.

Vitamin B3, niacinamide is a versatile ingredient that benefits most skin types, speeding up spot recovery as well as strengthening the skin’s immunity and restore hydration levels. The Ordinary. products add collagen-boosting zinc. Paula Begoun’s “Paula’s Choice” range is a good, dependable performer. Texas’s Sunday Riley range includes her fast-acting, quick-drying CEO Glow Vitamin C and Turmeric and UFO ( Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil).

La Mer mask

The Concentrate by La Mer is a potent serum formulated to strengthen and protect the skin’s natural barrier from irritants that cause inflammation. The vegan-friendly  Biossance – Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturiser is a reliable restorative using 100% vegan Squalane – an oil naturally found in your skin. A combination of probiotics, red seaweed, and ginger helps calm irritation and redness.

Resveratrol Restorative Complex

PCA Skin uses its patented OmniSome™ delivery technology to time-release potent antioxidants and powerful anti-aging ingredients deeper into the skin overnight for a rejuvenated, youthful complexion. PCA Resveratrol Restorative Complex Restorative Complex reduces inflammation and improves overall skin tone and brightness.The Ordinary clinical formulations

As well as its Rapid Response Detox Masque, the trusted Renee Rouleau produces her organic skin-regimen products and, especially recommended for the maskne-prone and covering-plaque susceptible, AHA/BHA Blemish Control Cleanser with mangosteen peel extract, papaya, Hawaiian red marine algae, and biodegradable jojoba derp pore-cleansing beads.Plenaire Violet Paste Overnight Blemish treatment

Also, look out for and try ultra-soothing Palma Violet Plein Aire and plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides’s 111 Skin products. Your under-fire under-mask areas will thank you.