not a professional. just crazy.

This Mask Shrinks My Fabric Mask–Induced Pimples

Photo-Illustration: retailer

For several reasons, including some stress-induced skin picking, drinking lots of wine (and eating lots of sugar), and constantly wearing cloth masks, my skin has been significantly more pimply than usual. In fact, I recently woke up with seven new active zits on my chin. And nothing was helping me from developing new ones — I set reminders to chug water and diligently applied pimple patches before bed to no avail. New zits kept sprouting up.

If there’s one thing I know about my ultrasensitive skin, it’s that traditional acne-fighting treatments like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid have a tendency to, paradoxically, break me out worse. When it comes to keeping my acne at bay, it’s important that I reach for products with ingredients that heal and calm my skin, rather than strip it. Even an anti-inflammatory wonder ingredient like tea tree — which is in my beloved Biossance mask — must be reserved for once-a-month treatments, otherwise I’ll wake up with dry, crusty, and doubly irritated skin.

Aussie brand Dr. Roebucks (founded by sister duo Kim and Zoe Roebuck, who have sensitive, eczema-prone skin) has been a favorite of mine for some time — its creamy “Noosa” cleanser and nourishing “No Worries” moisturizer are two of my favorites for keeping my fussy, sensitive skin clean and calm. So during this latest breakout cycle, I went to its website to see if it had anything that might help reduce the size and redness of my hormonal zits.

The ingredients list for its “Tama Healing Mask” was enough to warrant an impulse buy: kaolin (to gently purify and clean the skin), turmeric (for brightening and reducing inflammation), sustainably sourced manuka honey (for reducing redness and irritation), and fatty-acid-rich avocado oil (for nourishing and replenishing the skin). It looked like just the thing to take down my swollen, angry, red zits without further irritating my skin.

Since its arrival, this mask has become my go-to for my time-of-the-month, wine-and-candy–induced breakouts. Instantly after using it, my weltlike breakout became less red, inflamed, and raised (without causing the rest of my skin to feel tight or dry). It helped soothe and shrink my active zits, while delivering calming, healing, and anti-inflammatory treatments that help prevent new acne flare-ups. It’s also great to reach for, I’ve found, when I just feel like giving my skin a deeper clean and boost of radiance (the turmeric really does make your skin light up like a bulb).

I like to apply this mask to clean skin (after cleansing), leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse with warm water. You can use it once or twice a week to de-stress your stressed-out skin.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

This Mask Shrinks My Fabric Mask–Induced Pimples