Ever since I went through a big hormonal change earlier in the year (and started wearing a surgical mask daily), I’ve been plagued with persistent breakouts. Nothing too intense, but there’s always at least one spot on my jaw, cheeks or chin. The silver lining though is that I’ve been able to seek out a series of spot treatments that truly work — and in a timely manner, as well.
So if you’re in a similar boat, or are looking for a simple way to treat mask-related breakouts, here’s my tried-and-true recommendations. Keep scrolling to shop.
Biba de Sousa Calming Zinc + Sulfur Mask, $52. SHOP NOW
This mask is unmatched when it comes to reducing the severity of a breakout, fast. The perfectly balanced mix of zinc, bentonite clay, glycerin, witch hazel and sulfur work to reduce swelling and redness without drying the skin — a combination that’s hard to come by. I swear by it on my jaw and chin a few times a week, or as an overnight spot treatment. The jar also lasts forever, so I consider it a pretty reasonable investment.
Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant. SHOP NOW
This iconic face mask really is as good as they say. The formula contains a unique blend of yeast, cucumber and lactic acid so you can expect softer, smoother, brighten skin with ongoing use. It does smell weird — like vegemite — but works like a charm to balance and resurface congested skin.
Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch, $7. SHOP NOW
Hydrocolloids are by far one of the best ways to treat a spot, especially when you’re wearing a mask for a long period of time. The COSRX ones are a favourite of mine, because they adhere well and the material absorbs fluid while keeping the area clean. These ones are best on active pimples that have come to a head.
Mario Badescu Drying Patches, $24. SHOP NOW
These new Drying Patches from Mario Badescu are inspired by the brand’s iconic Drying Lotion. While they aren’t made from proper hydrocolloid (so won’t properly absorb fluid), they’re infused with salicylic acid and niacinamide to reduce swelling and speed up skin healing. They’re also very thin and super flexible, so you can hardly see them when they’re on. I like to use them on spots underneath my mask.
Dr. Dennis Gross DRx Blemish Solutions Breakout Clearing Gel, $57. SHOP NOW
With salicylic acid, green tea, aloe and monk’s pepper, this concentrated gel works quickly to remove dead skin and unclog pores. It’s great for all types of congestion from larger cysts to those tiny, under-the-skin bumps. I like it layered underneath my regular serums any time I’m feeling particularly congested.
Omnilux Contour LED Face Mask, $550. SHOP NOW
If you’re willing to splurge or want to also target tricky skin concerns like pigmentation and fine lines, this at-home LED mask delivers transformative results. Omnilux is the market leader in LED technology, and the wavelengths here are perfectly engineered to brighten, firm and heal the skin. It’s also amazing for breakouts as it reduced inflammation and encourages healthy cellular functioning.