It is now again mandatory to wear face coverings in most indoor public spaces, under new measures designed to combat a rise in coronavirus cases and omicron variant in the UK.

Boris Johnson announced the so-called plan B on December 8. In his public address, he noted that from December 13, work-from-home measures will also be restored.

And while face coverings have long been mandatory on public transport, from Monday they will also be mandatory in indoor environments, including cinemas, museums, galleries. and places of worship.

The fine for not wearing a mask is £200 for a first offense, which can be doubled for each subsequent offense.

If you’re looking for a new one, check out our face shield buying guide, where we cover the different types of masks, what to consider before you buy, and how to wear and wash your face.

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However, if you find that your skin concerns are aggravated by a mask, we are here to help. We consulted dermatologists on how you can reduce your mask-related breakouts, a condition known as “masking.” Read on for their top tips.

Dr Adil Sheraz, consultant dermatologist and British skin foundation spokesperson explains how this happens: “Due to the tight nature of the mask, this can lead to clogging of the pores. hair follicles (the surface of the epidermis) and causes flare-ups of spots and acne, and increased sweating doesn’t help either.”

Because the mask is so snug against your face, moisture from breathing in while wearing the mask can be trapped on the skin, increasing moisture which Dr. Sheraz says can also cause breakouts.

“Additionally, the act of continuously adjusting and touching the mask and thus touching the face transfers oil, dirt, and irritants to the skin.”

To mitigate this, he recommends using a custom-fitted mask, but if that’s not possible, use a breathable material like silk or a mask with a silk lining. He goes on to say, “The multi-layered silk mask would be ideal for sensitive acne-prone skin.”

Cotton masks are also soft enough to be comfortable for sensitive skin and are often lightweight, made in pleated or molded designs to better fit your face.

To make sure you’re getting the best protection possible, look for a cotton mask with a built-in filter or a pocket that you can add a filter to. The covers from Aeibe are made in the UK and feature a 100% cotton lining and 100% Korean non-woven polypropylene filter on the inside.

It also has a soft nose clip to help shape it to your face and elasticated earcups to keep it in place. Each mask also comes with a cotton pouch to keep it safe when you’re not wearing it and a spare filter.

Aeibe designed her mask using vibrant fabrics from Liberty of London with built-in filters


If you have a reusable cloth mask, Dr. Sheraz recommends washing this mask regularly, which is not only important for protection against coronavirus but also helps to remove oil, dirt or bacteria that could be cause skin irritation or acne.

But how can you change your skin care routine to reduce the amount of maskne? With the help of dermatologists, we’ve put together products and ingredients to use to soothe aggravated skin.


Dr. Toni Phillips, clinical director of the group at Destination Skin, emphasizes the importance of proper cleansing to prevent acne spots.

“It minimizes congested skin and clogged pores, which can lead to inflammation, enlarged pores, blackheads, and dull and uneven skin tone. The cleanser is suitable for your skin type. you’ll remove excess oil if present, gently exfoliating dead skin cells and debris. The skin barrier is intact,” she says.

If you have combination skin that is naturally oily and therefore prone to breakouts, she recommends SkinCeuticals Anti-Aging and Blemish Cleanser (£40,, a lightweight gel formula Contains exfoliants to unclog pores.

This gel cleanser will remove makeup, SPF, dirt build-up that can clog pores and cause breakouts.

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To apply, massage onto wet face and neck morning and evening, then rinse with warm water and sheets.

If you like to wear makeup under your mask, experts recommend washing your face twice at night to make sure your pores aren’t clogged, which can worsen breakouts. If you don’t remove your makeup properly, it will also make any products you use afterward less effective as they need to be applied to a completely clean face to work.

This means using a balm or oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and SPF, followed by a lighter gel or milk cleanser to thoroughly cleanse skin. The Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil (£26, is a great product for everyone.

The rich cleansing balm melts into an oil after being massaged into dry skin and removes makeup and dirt at the end of the day.


It’s fragrance-free (a known skin irritant) and, after massaging onto dry facial skin, melts away all makeup, even the most stubborn mascara.

Local treatment

For pimples that won’t budge, targeted topical treatments can speed healing while reducing irritation and redness.

Look for ingredient lists that contain salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acids, which work to exfoliate, dissolve dirt, and break down pore-clogging debris that causes spots.

We love the Typology salicylic acid serum (£19.90, The vegan, fragrance-free formula works fast and in just a few days, you’ll see your breakouts reduce in size.

While suitable for all skin types, this salicylic acid serum will be especially beneficial for acne-prone skin

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Since it specifically targets blemishes, you only need to apply it to those areas, not the entire face.

Top of our guide to the best topical treatments is the quick spot treatment Murad (£20,, with our writer noting that “a quick-acting gel for transformative results within hours”.


It’s “especially effective when applied right before bed, as the formula with salicylic acid, pine and thyme works to reduce redness, the size of breakouts, and eliminate annoying stings.” from inflamed skin,” they said.


As the last step in your skin care regimen, using a moisturizer plays an important role in the treatment of the mask.

Justine Hextall, a lightweight moisturizer with hydrating ingredients like glycerine and ceramides will help prevent irritation from your mask, according to consultant dermatologist Dr. Justine Hextall.

The La Roche-Posay effaclar duo (£17, is a gel moisturizer that has taken the top spot in our guide to the best moisturizers for combination skin.

(La Roche-Posay)

While it won’t fade melasma overnight (let’s face it, nothing at all), it will reduce dark spots. Our reviewers note that it unclogs their pores and “helps existing blemishes heal and ingredients like zinc control sebum while glycerin helps with hydration.”

A humectant that holds water and prevents water loss in the skin, acting as a protective barrier

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Alternatively, try the hyaluronic sea oil-free moisture cushion in Dr Dennis Gross skincare (£59,, a lightweight gel texture in a hyaluronic acid-rich formula that will prevent water loss without leaving it dry. your skin is oily or overloaded.

Oil-free formulas are most effective for acne, as they minimize oil production, which can clog pores and increase breakouts, and don’t add shine.

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For the latest skin care deals, try the links below:

Looking for mask inspiration? Read our face covering buying guide

IndyBest product reviews are independent, unbiased advice you can trust. In some cases, we earn revenue if you click on a link and purchase a product, but we never allow this to falsify our coverage. Reviews are compiled through a combination of expert opinion and real-world testing.


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