Mask Breakouts – When your face needs to breathe

Mask Breakouts – When your face needs to breathe

| Elbi Dippenaar

It’s been more than six months since we’ve started wearing masks on a daily basis. With this new addition, your face might be silently, yet painfully protesting. All of a sudden, there’s acne all over and when one pimple goes away, two more surface in its place!

Mopani Pharmacy had a chat with our in-house Mopani Salon Somatologist, Rozanne van Zyl. She shared her top tips on how you can help your face “breathe” a bit better.

Type of breakouts

First, we would need to get to the bottom of the cause of the breakout. We know that the mask has an influence here, but how?

“Breakouts are caused by various factors. Excessive oil or sebum production combined with dead skin cells causes a blockage in the pores. Alternatively, your skin can be irritated. Irritation to the skin can be indicative of damage to the skin’s barrier function. This allows for harmful bacteria to penetrate the skin, causing a breakout”, said Rozanne.

Prolonged use of a mask can cause this irritation as well as trap sweat and sebum, therefore exacerbating your acne breakouts.

The face masks

Some embrace it as just another way of life, while others are seeing it as an opportunity to accessorise. You may look like you are about to deep dive into the ocean, or perhaps you are rocking a beautiful, stylish face buff with a floral pattern – either way this could be do or die for your skin.

While the harder, shaped masks may offer a smaller area of direct contact, they may still chafe where the mask actually seals the skin. They also tend to trap moisture completely so it may get a bit stuffy.

Rozanne recommends 100% cotton masks, as cotton tends to aerate better and minimises sweaty, damp conditions. If your mask is meant for single use, do not wear it for more than one day.  If you are using reusable masks, make sure to wash them after every day.

It is also recommended that you use your time at home to go mask free for a while as it would allow yourself and your skin to breathe freely.

Add a step

Salicylic acid cleansers are a staple in skincare for acne-prone faces – you should look for this ingredient when shopping for a face wash. It will usually be one of the ingredients on the list on the back of the bottle.

“You can do a double cleanse with a salicylic acid face wash at night to make sure that you have removed all of the sweat and bacteria, thoroughly. I also recommend a clay mask every now and then to deep-clean your skin”, said Rozanne, “Using supplements that are rich in anti-oxidants will also help. Anti-oxidants take free radicals away from the skin and protects your skin against free radical damage.”

Furthermore, zinc and omega 3 supplements are amazing in terms of healing your skin and building a natural skin barrier.


Some of us have been looking extra pasty with the lack of outdoor activity, now that we are going into summer, so some foundation, concealer and blush is a must!

Opt for a light coverage. Some make-up brands will be labelled as “non-comedogenic”. This means that they will not clog up your pores. Try to minimise the layers of make up as much as you can and make sure to clean product build-up from your make up tools regularly. It is also of utmost importance to remove all of your make-up properly, at the end of every day.

I have a zit on my chin. What now?

Spot treating is great – this targets the problem area without exposing your skin to products that may be too drying.

“You can ease the swelling of a painful pimple by compressing it with a cube of ice. After that, you can use a salicylic acid or tea tree spot treatment product”, said Rozanne.

Never pop your pimples as this may cause scarring or can lead to an infection as bacteria can enter the broken skin, causing it to become worse.

If you feel like you need help with extracting acne in a problem area, it is best to consult a dermatologist or skin care professional, to do so safely.

Professional help

Sometimes our skin needs a bit of extra care to help maintain a clear, pain and pimple-free face. The fact that this extra care happens to be enjoyable and relaxing is an added bonus!

If you need help clearing your skin from acne, a cleansing clay facial will be beneficial. Especially if you have blocked pores and lots of small blackheads and whiteheads. If you have painful, irritated skin, a calming chamomile facial can help to sooth your sensitive skin.

Chemical peels are used to chemically break down dead skin and exfoliate the face so that new, fresh skin can thrive.

“Most people come in to the salon every two to six weeks, depending on their skin types and what they can handle. I recommend only gentle peels at the moment, as prolonged mask use can really irritate the skin.”

Micro-Needling is also pretty popular. It is a treatment whereby a pen-like device with needles pulses up and down, causing minor conduits in the skin. The skin then has to repair these conduits through what we call the “wound healing response”. This response sends plasma, growth factors and a fresh blood supply to the area and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. It is also called Collagen Induction Therapy treatment. This treatment is excellent for aging skin, acne scarring and some forms of pigmentation.


All of these services are available at the Salon at Mopani Pharmacy, Crossing Centre. You can book an appointment with Rozanne on 082 561 7926 or Antoinette on 082 920 6086.

Remember to check out the supplements section or ask our knowledgeable sales team for a recommendation for supplements containing anti-oxidants, zinc and omega 3.

We can deliver your supplements and other Mopani online shopping, nationwide! More info: | | Tel: 013 755 5500 | WhatsApp: 066-192-1703

Read more:  Brush your teeth the pearly white way

Tags: Acne, Make-Up, Mask, Skin