Caroline Hirons: How to eliminate 'maskne'

Once a condition that only affected frontline health workers, ‘maskne’ has become a common occurrence as more of us wear face coverings in public. Skincare expert Caroline Hirons reveals the secret to eliminating mask-induced acne.

Caroline is keen to point out that 'maskne' is not the same as acne. "It's a cute term that the media has come up with, and it basically means that your mask has made you a bit spotty", she explains, adding that salicylic acid, niacinamide or azelaic acid are the key product ingredients to look out for to target the problem.

So what does Caroline recommend?

SLIP Reusable Silk Face Covering, £39

The Reusable Silk Face Covering by Slip is machine washable and made from 100% mulberry silk with a 100% cotton lining. "Silk is gentle on the skin, and easy to breathe through", says Caroline, cautioning "you need to keep them clean and wash them."

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser with Salicylic Acid £12

CeraVe says its cleanser gently exfoliates the skin with salicylic acid, to smooth dry rough and bumpy skin.

"A brilliant cleanser", says Caroline. "If you get in from work and you've had to wear a mask, make sure you wash your face properly. It's soft, suitable for all skins - originally made for drier skins, but amazing for spots. Super gentle, and not that horrible foam that leaves you tight and squeaky!"

Pixi Clarity Tonic, £10

Launched during lockdown, Clarity Tonic has become one of Pixi's biggest sellers! Described as a clarifying tonic with AHAs, antioxidants, and balancing probiotics, this toner aims to help clear skin and minimise the appearance of pores.

Dr. Sam's Flawless Nightly Serum, £39

Dr Sam Bunting describes her Nightly Serum as: "A serum for people confused by serums. It’s like 4 serums in one without the hassle of layering.”

Caroline agrees: "This is for you if you're slightly older, and not only do you have spots from 'maskne', but you look a bit dull". And it's simple to use too: "Get home, wash your face, and wack a bit of this on!"

Personalised skincare from Skin + Me, £19

Skin + Me provides an online dermatology consultation service, diagnosing your skin concerns at a distance and providing personalised skincare solutions for your skin goals. Caroline subscribes monthly: "It's doctor help - but if I can't get to a doctor."

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Gel Cream, £30

"Lush", is how Caroline describes Dr Jart+'s Tiger Grass range, encouraging Phillip and Holly to "feel how soft that is on your skin, and how cooling". This calming gel hydrates and soothes sensitive skin, and even better, according to Holly, "it's not greasy!"

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque, £9.90

A mistake that people with the odd spot make, says Caroline, is putting a spot-targetting mask all over your face. Just use this salicylic acid masque where you have spots, advises our beauty expert, "you can spot-treat and watch This Morning in it!"

Zelens Provitamin D Fortifying Facial Mist, £55

If you have lost all hope, and your skin is sore and red, Zelens' vitamin D mist is Caroline's go-to spritz. "A little goes a long way", explains Caroline.