Maskne: How I got my skin back

Covid had not even touched our shores yet, but the anxiety of having to navigate a public health crisis while working at the county jail had become too daunting for me. My breakouts began even before we were mandated to wear masks at work. Initially I tried wearing no makeup thinking this would help, It didn’t. The loss of that specific routine (lookin pretty) actually made me more depressed. I got into a routine of jeans, T-shirt (wet hair in bun) let’s go!

Big glaring mug taken around November 1st 2020 after 6 months of this routine

Those first two weeks of roughing it and looking like Silent Bob from “Clerks” actually ended up being my worst two weeks of Covid. I think I was starting to loose myself. If something makes you happy and a better person towards others, do it! I have continued to wear makeup (just powder and cover up wear needed) and my face has never looked better!

Part of my maskne journey led me to the sub reddit Asian Beauty (i.e. Korean Beauty trend) which introduced me to some incredible products and recommended that the first thing you will need to consider is:

1. Know your skin type – Don’t go strait to the blogs or google celebrity skin care routines thinking that you are going to have that JLow Glow (yes I did this). Do you have: combination, oily or dry skin? If you have combination skin like me you will want to use a foam based cleanser. If you have oily skin, a gel based or “soapy” cleanser is recommended. For dry skin oil and milk based cleansers are recommended.

2. For Maskne specifically you will want to consider using glycolic acid (exfoliates the skin) and salicylic acid (helps to prevent breakouts).

Your First step will be an oil based cleanser:

Rice water Oil based Cleanser. This will give your face the moisture that it needs and that JLow Glow! Treat the rice water like a makeup remover. Put it on first with no water, then wash off with your cleanser.

Second step is a foam based cleanser:

Glamglow – Although Rice Water has a foam cleanser (Asian/ Korean beauty promotes double cleansing with an oil based and a foam based cleanser), I have had good luck with Glamglow and have continued to use it for 3 years.

3rd step is your Toner:

I use toner pads and they got rid of my acne in 3-4 days:

Face & Body Acne Toner pads by Rita V. Linkner, MD FAAD,


DR. Linkner has toner pads for sensitive and combination skin types as well. The shipping and handling is 10$ so I get two bottles which lasts me 4 months. I only use toner pads as a part of my nighttime routine which Dr. Linker recommends.

Look out for her sale’s! Her Kiss and Tell Lip Plumper, is amazing! This will instantly make your lips feel plumped (and yes very DLS) and is also SPF 30.

These next two products come from the Korean skin care concept (when consumers are focused on prevention and getting to the root of skin problems. They use products consistently rather than just once and wanting immediate results).

These two products are responsible for dramatically reducing my pores and giving me that baby skin glow! COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, 100ml – Because I also do the toner pads, I don’t want to overwhelm my skin so I add this to my routine every other night. I apply the COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid each morning as it is intended for day use.

Step 4, apply Serum

Caudalie Vinopure Serum – this is for combination/acne prone skin and it has always worked the best for me!

Step 5, cream it up!

Under eye cream

Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream You will see firmness right away! Other eye creams have given me rashes. The blue algae is soothing, a bit creamy and visibly reduces puffiness.

Eminence Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 – Most skin care professionals will tell you if the SPF is beyond 30, the chemicals supersede the protection! A dermatologist recommended this to me and I have been using it for the past 3 years.

I also use there Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant as an exfoliant before I shave my face (yes I have whiskers! I used to do electrolysis but it made me break out and its horrible for your skin!) I have also heard that shaving your face is A THING now, assisting the products with soaking into your pores.

Step 6, The End

I like to end it all with a nice spritz to my face with Nature’s Mist – Skin Water

This gives me that nice dewy look! I stopped wearing concealer and switched to powder in order to preserve the dew!

Best Face Mask for Maskne

Glam Glow ‘s Mud Mask

For me this is the ULTIMATE! I kept forgetting to order this mask and had a good two month break from it and I could tell! I literally started to tear up because of how much this mask stung! That’s how much I needed it!

Radically Rejuvenating Sheet Mask

After my hot yoga sessions I use this mask and it prevents further breakouts! If I work a double or am in a situation where I have to wear a mask for over 8 hours (no breaks) its unfortunately inevitable that some type of breakout will occur, however by using these products you will find that breakouts will occur less and for a shorter period.

Teami’s Green Tea Detox Mask is also INCREDIBLE! I teared up the first time I tried it which is a tried and true sign, it’s legit! If this is your first purchase with Teami, they are currently offering a 15% discount. All of their products are legit! I especially love their Greens Superfood Powder for my digestive issues. I’m trying the vitamin C serum next!

+Try skipping foundation and substitute powder – this is what really solidified my dewy look. Ideally if you treat your face with love and kindness you don’t have to wear as much makeup!

+With new skin care items I would recommend trying them once per week then moving to 3x per week before adding the product to your daily routine.

+ My dermatologist recommends using a mask once per week and exfoliating 3x per week. She also recommends that I do a Hydrofacial each season. Hands down this is the best facial I have every received!

Published by Michelle Elizabeth Montgomery

Psych Jail Social Worker

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