How to protect your skin (and sanity) this shaadi season
Your maskne prevention kit
Some superheroes wear capes and others don’t, but if the Delhi government is to be believed, they all wear masks. On his Facebook page, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain plastered posters of Batman, Superman, and The Flash in masks to emphasise their significance in the battle against coronavirus. It’s nice to know that superheroes are also worried about a possible apocalypse and resulting extinction but I’m wondering if the Dark Knight, too, gets maskne like the rest of us? A situation that is bound to get worse during the impending wedding season, thanks to the additional layers of makeup we’ll be wearing underneath our masks for prolonged periods of time.
So how can you look like a Sabyasachi ad campaign come to life if half of your face is covered under a mask? Keeping this in mind, we reevaluated our skincare and makeup regimen with the help of a panel of trusted experts. This shaadi season, we’re aiming for maximum rishtas, minimum pimples.
How to get through shaadi season while avoiding maskne
Pick the right cleanser
Dr Madhulika Mhatre, consultant dermatologist at Wockhardt Hospital, advises against using heavy-duty scrubs and exfoliants as your skin is likely to be very sensitive due to the continuous usage of masks. Instead, choose a gentle pH-balanced cleanser, working it into the skin in circular motions to remove any impurities and grime. We like the Sebamed Clear Face Foam or the Mama Earth Vitamin C Foaming face wash.
Moisturise like your life depends on it
A non-negotiable element of priming your skin for makeup application, regardless of your skin type. Dr Madhuri Agarwal of Yavana Aesthetics Clinic wants you to break up with thick moisturisers that run the risk of clogging your pores and triggering a breakout. She recommends gel or water-based moisturisers that are lighter on the skin.
“A hyaluronic acid-based moisturiser is considered to be the best as it is not abrasive,” says Agarwal. She added that you must steer clear of active ingredients like Vitamin C and Retinol before putting on your mask as they can make your skin prone to acne breakouts.
Mhatre insists that you wear sunscreen after your moisturiser if you’re going out for a day event.
Tweak tip: To allow the products to absorb into the skin, wait for at least 10 minutes after completing your skincare regimen before putting on your mask.
How to do your makeup under your mask
Use water-based makeup and change your mask every 3 hours
Celebrity makeup artist Mausam Gandhi suggests using water-based products that will help the skin breathe instead of clogging your pores. She also advises changing your mask every three hours as your makeup will have rubbed off on your mask, creating a breeding ground for acne.
Swap your foundation for primer
Wearing a lot of foundation can have you looking like the Joker from Batman when you take off your mask, so makeup artist Neha Parmar suggests skipping the foundation in favour of a primer that matches your complexion. You can follow it up with a light BB cream for extra coverage if you want.
Mix setting spray with foundation
Although setting sprays are typically used as the final step to ensure your makeup looks fresh and crease-free for extended time periods, this Tiktok trick of mixing your setting spray with the foundation has made the no-makeup makeup look achievable for many, says Gandhi. “It makes sure the product melts into your skin and sticks well for long.”
“Makeup artists agree that using generous spritzes of setting spray just before you start your foundation could be the hack to a poreless, flawless finish,” says Manu Horn, a Paris-based editorial makeup artist.
Concentrate on your eyes and brows
Gandhi advises filling your brows with an eyebrow pencil to make them look fuller and neat. Once filled, you can use a brown-tinted eyebrow mascara to set them. “This is a hack I picked up from doing brides, to make sure their look stays intact through the event,” she says.
She recommends heating your eyelash curler a bit with a blow dryer before curling them to make sure they last for hours. You can top it up with three quick coats of mascara on the top and bottom lash.
If you want to experiment with fake lashes for a little extra drama, Parmar suggests individual lashes rather than the usual set. “Using individual lashes gives you the control to go all the way or keep it minimal,” she says.
Use tint as lipstick and blush
Masks and lipsticks do not mix well so Gandhi proposes using tints as blush and lipstick as they would last longer than a regular lipstick under a mask.
Her go-to trick for making her lipstick last longer is: “Apply a coat of lipstick, dab using tissue two to three times, re-apply another coat and dab it once with tissue again.” According to her, this makes the product settle on her lips better.
You can also use a lip liner as the base, and then top it with the lipstick, she says, which will ensure your lipstick goes nowhere.
Tweak tip: After you’re done with your makeup, use blotting paper on your skin and wait for five minutes before putting on your mask to make sure that your makeup doesn’t budge. You can thank us in your head when you’re doing endless rounds of namastes at the entrance gate of the 10,000th wedding of the season.
Double cleansing is your holy grail
Once you’re back home, lying in your bed, tending to your bruised arches, do not skimp on cleaning your face. Because this is the do-or-die moment for maskne to develop. You double cleanse, you live.
“Good quality makeup products last long and have full coverage. So removing each particle of product by double cleansing is important to keep your skin free from chemicals,” says Gandhi.
Instead of going for a single squeaky-clean, drying wash, first use a cream, oil or gel-based makeup remover depending upon your skin type.
Mhatre recommends using cleansing milk if you have dry skin, micellar water for oily skin and a cleansing balm for combination skin.
When washing with a cleanser, “people with dry skin can use cream-based cleansers and those with oily skin could use an AHA/BHA-based cleanser”, says Mhatre.
Gandhi suggests using a clay mask to deep-cleanse your pores if you want to go an extra step.
Hydration is your best friend
The skin’s moisture barrier protects it against external stresses and irritants, so supporting it via hydration and antioxidant support (combined with regular sun protection) is essential for healthy, vibrant skin.
Using lightweight emollients is one technique to replenish moisture in the skin without weighing it down. Because you remove makeup largely at night, we recommend using facial oils in your regimen, especially if you have dry skin. Oils are profoundly nourishing and help to cure the skin overnight, leaving you with bright, supple skin when you wake up.
Include actives as per your skin type
Active ingredients are an important part of your night-time routine as they help treat specific problems with your skin. Agarwal suggests incorporating actives only into your night-time skincare routine as you will not be wearing a mask or be going out in the sun, which can react with these ingredients.
Ingredients like retinol can be used by people with ageing skin, she says, while vitamin C can be used for brightening your skin and hyperpigmentation issues. Brooklyn-based dermatologist Dr Chaneve Jeanniton says deploying benzoyl peroxide to acne-prone areas can help tackle breakouts.
Whether or not you incorporate these elements into your skincare and makeup regimens, we still wish on you the likes of a Sooraj Barjatya-production wedding season.
A note of caution: Products work differently for different people. Always do a patch test 48 hours prior to applying it to your face and consult a professional to find a treatment plan that works best for your skin’s needs.