Of course, the positives of face masks far outweigh any negatives but if wearing a face mask daily has taken its toll on your skin, you aren't alone. Previously an issue faced mainly by healthcare professionals, prolonged contact with personal protective equipment (PPE) can lead to various skin bugbears, says consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto. These include contact dermatitis or eczema, itchiness and, most commonly it seems, an exacerbation of acne, which experts have coined 'maskne'.
So what can you do? Your first port of call is to avoid any products which can clog pores, such as balms, facial oils, thick moisturiser and heavy makeup, like foundation. If you don't want to avoid makeup, opt for products which are oil-free and non-comedogenic, which means they are less likely to cause breakouts.
Tweaking your skincare routine can also make a world of difference to your skin when wearing a face covering for prolonged periods of time. "For acne flare-ups, use a face wash with salicylic acid, a targeted spot treatment or a salicylic acid toner after cleansing, and apply a fragrance-free, non-comedogenic moisturiser," which is less likely to clog your skin, says Dr Mahto.
Ahead, find four beauty editor-approved skincare products, including toners, spot treatments and moisturisers, which'll help prevent maskne.