Must-Know Info About Makeup When Wearing a Mask

There’s no denying that COVID-19 has affected virtually every aspect of our lives, and our makeup is no exception. Yet at the same time, we all still want to look and feel our best, whether on Zoom calls for work, running essential errands or hanging out with the friends and family in our “bubble.” Unlike other events and activities, our daily makeup routines have not been cancelled—but this new “normal” definitely requires a few tweaks in order to keep up with the times—and the challenges associated with wearing a face mask.

What is “maskne”?

Face masks are now a part of our day-to-day, and unfortunately, they come along with some unwanted skin side effects. The main issue many of us are dealing with right now is mask-related breakouts (even if we never struggled with blemishes before), and this has quickly come to be known as “maskne.” Simply put, face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by filtering airflow both to and from our noses and mouths. Yet at the same time, face coverings make it harder for sweat to evaporate off of the surface of the skin and make it easier for the oil and bacteria present on all of our skin to become trapped within the pores. This creates the ideal environment for acne formation, hence the increased chances of developing breakouts in areas that are covered by face masks.

The makeup you need right now:

Wearing a face mask doesn’t mean you have to press pause on your makeup routine—and the process of applying cosmetics and liking what you see in the mirror can actually make you feel a little better about the current situation we’re in. The key is choosing the right makeup, which means lightweight, oil-free, non-comedogenic products that won’t contribute to clogged pores.
Every one of Dermablend’s complexion-perfecting products are dermatologist-tested, sensitive skin-tested and fragrance-free, so you know they are not going to make mask-related breakouts worse. Our ultra-lightweight Flawless Creator Lightweight Foundation offers customizable coverage, and our Cover Creme provides the ultimate level of coverage for acne blemishes as it helps repair the skin’s protective barrier. Our Complete Care Full Coverage Concealer is also the ideal product for disguising specific spots while providing an undetectable, natural-looking finish.

How to make your makeup last when wearing a mask:

There are two main goals when applying makeup before wearing a mask. First, you want your complexion-perfecting products to look their best all day, and then you want to ensure your makeup doesn’t rub off on your mask.

Three essential steps can help your makeup stay put, and “setting” your skincare should be priority number-one. This simple step helps lock in moisture and prevents skincare from interfering with your complexion coverage over the course of the day. Just dust a light amount of Loose Setting Powder over your skincare, mist with Power-Setter 2-in-1 Makeup Setting Spray and you’re ready to prep for makeup with primer.

Once you’ve “set” your skincare, a “sticky” primer is your new best friend, because it’s designed to grip and hold your coverage in place. Our Insta-Grip Jelly Primer creates the perfect canvas that holds on to your makeup for up to 24 hours, and the oil-free, hydrating formula cares for your skin all day—especially when wearing a face mask.

For those who struggle with excess oil during the day, our limited-ingredient Poresaver™ Matte Makeup Primer helps extend makeup wear for up to 24 hours. Great under and over makeup since it absorbs oil and smoothes pore texture without drying out the skin, wear it alone or under makeup for a perfected matte finish—and you can pat a small amount on top of your makeup during the day to blot and absorb oil as it is produced.

Once you’ve primed your skin and applied your makeup, be sure to protect your end result, enhance transfer-resistance and help prevent color from rubbing off onto the inside of your mask with our Loose Setting Powder and Power-Setter 2-in-1 Makeup Setting Spray (which also helps refresh makeup throughout the day).

Our brand-new bundles make it easy to get all the mask-makeup products you need. The Mask-Proof Transfer-Resistant Foundation Routine includes Flawless Creator Lightweight Foundation, Loose Setting Powder, Power-Setter 2-in-1 Makeup Spray and a Foundation Buffing Brush, while the Mask-Proof Transfer-Resistant Concealer Routine features Cover Care Full Coverage Concealer, Loose Setting Powder, Power-Setter 2-in-1 Makeup Setting Spray and a clear cosmetic bag.

Professional tips for covering “maskne”:

After applying primer and allowing it to dry, use your fingers or a foundation brush to apply complexion coverage. (Although a dampened makeup sponge may be your tool of choice under “normal” circumstances, but this introduces too much moisture that will make it harder to “mask-proof” your makeup). If extra coverage is needed in certain areas, swipe a bit of Cover Care Concealer onto the back of your hand to prevent contamination, and then dot the product on blemishes. Blend concealer with your ring finger or a damp makeup sponge for seamless, long-lasting coverage. Another simple tip for keeping makeup on your skin and off your mask is changing the way you apply concealer, and an extra layer of coverage in areas of high mask friction offers additional transfer-resistance. From there, be sure to set your makeup with a generous layer of our Setting Powder and a few spritzes of Power-Setter 2-in-1 Makeup Setting Spray to help keep everything in place.

Tips for preventing “maskne”:

  • Opt for a cotton mask to maximize your skin’s ability to breathe and minimize irritation
  • Wash your mask after every use with a gentle, dye- and fragrance-free detergent
  • Put on a fresh mask after exercising
  • Cleanse your face with an exfoliating, skin-clarifying cleanser such as SkinCeuticals’ LHA Cleansing Gel before and after wearing a mask
  • Consider switching to an oil-free, water-based hydrating serum (like SkinCeuticals’ Hydrating B5) or a lightweight moisturizer such as
    SkinCeuticals’ Daily Moisture
  • Daily sunscreen is still important since masks don’t cover the entire face (and you don’t want to get “strap marks”)
  • Keep your morning skincare regimen simple and gentle if you’re spending a lot of time with a mask on
  • Save more “active” or potentially irritating skincare ingredients like AHAs, BHAs and retinol for nighttime use