How To Flaunt Your Face-Mask: A Master Guide from Skincare to Makeup

"While having to wear face-masks has undoubtedly complicated our routines, all we need to make it work is an added dash of love and attention."

Ladies, theydies, let’s pour one out for our neglected lipsticks, lip liners and that new haul of Fenty beauty that I bought on a weak night. With make-up options limited to the top half of our face, the everyday ritual of getting ready just isn’t the same anymore. Fret not. This masterguide will help you add your face-mask to your beauty routine from picking the right mask to stopping maskne and finally, to amping up the look.

While having to wear face-masks has undoubtedly complicated our routines, all we need to make it work is an added dash of love and attention.

Choosing Your Mask

A mask functions to protect the nose and mouth from the air around us by forming a seal–the perfect protective barrier against viruses. Unfortunately, this seal creates a warm, moist environment under the mask making covered areas also a hotspot for bacterial growth. As a result, the skin can become susceptible to increased acne and irritation.

Irritation that is caused by too much friction can be controlled by choosing a breathable and soft fabric. Cotton masks are a good choice as they rank high on the list for protection against contagion while still being comfortable to wear. Etsy has many sellers offering reasonable cotton masks in a variety of colors and styles.

Irritation can also be managed by choosing well-fitted masks that don’t move too much against the skin. Mask too roomy? Tie a knot around both ear pieces to make the fit more snug.

Cleanse More, Dehydrate Less

Remember when everyone started washing their hands so much that some people experienced rashes? The same thing goes for your face. Leah Guerrero, founder of Brujita Skincare, says in addition to your regular face washing routine, it’s especially important to wash your face before you put your mask back on after eating. Food particles can get stuck on your face causing clogged pores, irritation, and breakouts. But, great washing comes with great dehydration. Here are some tips:

Don’t: obsessively wash with harsh cleansers when experiencing breakouts. When irritated, the skin’s moisture barrier is already compromised and prone to dehydration. Oil-stripping cleansers meant to remedy acne are a no-go. They remove oils that are essential for the health of the skin.

Do: use cleansers that are sulfate-free or non-soapy as they are much gentler on the skin while being just as tough on acne. The Black owned Pholk Glow Replenishing Face Wash or the cult favorite Cerave Hydrating Face Wash are great options. Try cleansing only when needed and rinsing after a long period of wearing a mask so that you don’t over-cleanse. Medical professionals discourage washing your face more than two times a day if your skin is dehydrated. Cleansing in the morning and after prolonged mask wear will be sufficient.

Treating Maskne

If you’ve been dealing with acne prior to wearing face masks, then you’re likely no stranger to the miracles of benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most effective over-the-counter acne treatments. However, it is also known to dry up the skin and cause peeling. If your skin is already sensitive from wearing face masks, behold the life changing concept of short contact therapy. Instead of leaving the treatment overnight, apply benzoyl peroxide for up-to ten minutes and then wash it off. Knockout those spots, not your moisture!

Prepping Your Skin

To get our skin ready for face-mask makeup, we need to go back to the basics: use moisturizers and hydrators exclusively. Wave goodbye to your bottles of exfoliating acids, oil cutting toners and clay masks. Look for products with ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, aloe and ceramides. These ingredients bring moisture to the surface of your skin, drawing water from your cells and the environment. The BaseButter Aloe-vera Gel Face moisturizer is a versatile and vegan option. If your skin is extra irritated, the LA Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 can help boost the repair of your skin barrier significantly. A generous application of moisturizer before putting on your face mask is essential to maintaining the health of your skin.

Creating a Base

While a strong foundation is a great building block to many endeavors, there’s power in gentleness too. Bench your waterproof foundation and heavy concealers. These contain silicone and other pore clogging ingredients that can cause further breakouts.

With much of our face already concealed by our masks, the job of concealing is mostly done. The ideal option is to use a concealer on the exposed areas of your face for covering up blemishes or hyperpigmentation. If you really want to use foundation, you should opt for a light handed application.

Amping up the Look

With the mask on, your face becomes a new canvas to work with. Now’s the time to use all that eye-space for expression, individuality, and style.

Photo by @oatmilkmakeup

How to do this? Play around with colors. Don’t be shy, add a little more lilac shadow or pastel pink liner if that fills your heart. You can also try a graphic eyeliner look, such as a wing with a lined crease. Think big: opt for an out of the box approach to doing your eye makeup. I’m talking about that editorial-Euphoria-makeup look.

Photo via Uoma Beauty

Even if your brow lady hasn’t opened up shop yet, don’t forget to emphasize your eyebrows. Invest in a brow pomade or powder if you haven’t already. Use an angled brush to create thin lines that give the illusion of a fuller brow. Filled-in brows help frame your face and make it appear more distinctive.

Embrace the new normal with creativity and innovation!

Meet the Family

Zahra Batool loves writing and exploring the intersection of science and human vanity.