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Let’s face it: all this face mask wearing is not too hot for our skin. It’s necessary and it’s safe, of course! But if you’ve been struggling with maskne (mask acne) lately, you’re not alone. And many area salons offer some great maskne-zapping treatments.

As the state slowly lifts COVID-19 restrictions, salons and spas have opened back up to resume highly regulated operations. Here, we spoke with some local licensed estheticians to hear their thoughts on how salons are looking different these days, what their recommended facial treatments are, and what you can do to help your skin from the safety of your own home for those who are immunocompromised or not comfortable venturing out just yet.

New Regulations

Although they reopened for select services on June 30, Interlocks Salon & Spa in Newburyport only offered mask-on spa treatments at first, for the safety of clients and staff. As of yesterday, July 28, they’ve resumed all spa and medspa services, but things look a little different now, with a limited schedule, reduced staff, and lots of PPE. They got creative in the massage rooms, fastening a fabric cradle under the headrests so clients can safely remove their masks during the appointment. 

Kyla Salon in Beverly also detailed their new safety measures—they won’t schedule clients within a half hour of each other, clients must wear masks until they’re inside the treatment room, and they’re not offering their usual coffee or magazines that multiple people might touch. 

Interlocks and RN Esthetics are both offering virtual consultations so you can safely talk to a professional about whatever you skin might need. 

“That’s the thing with skin care or anything in the beauty industry, really—it can’t be one size fits all,” says Jordan Becker, director of marketing and business development at Interlocks. “We’re all unique and all have different needs. So it’s all about creating a conversation opportunity so we can get the client that level of care they need.”

Maskne Treatments

“Maskne is a little different than regular acne because it’s caused by friction,” explains Brenna Rees, Kyla Salon’s esthetician, “which then causes inflammation in your skin.” Combine constant mask wearing with sun exposure, Rees says, and our skin is experiencing a whole lot of irritation and inflammation right now.

Rees recommends a facial with CBD, which is known for calming inflammation and irritation. Kyla’s CBD Facial uses Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum, which you can also pick up at their store for incorporation into your everyday routine. It’s chock-full of calming botanical ingredients like buckthorn, calendula, and rose, along with full-spectrum CBD. 

RN Esthetics recommends their soothing and nourishing Hydrafacial treatment for those struggling with maskne. “For those not coming into the office,” says RN Esthetics co-founder Michelle Doran, “we’ve put together an at home skin treatment.” Doran recommends the ZO Skin Health Gentle Cleanserand Enzymatic Peel, which helps soothe, smooth, and hydrate skin—pick up these and other ZO products at RN Esthetic in Lynnfield or Newburyport.

While masks can cause acne, they can also increase signs of aging “when they rub near your eyes where you’re already prone to fine lines and wrinkles,” says Rees. She recommends the Restorative Hydration Cream by Calecim, a skincare line powered by stem cells, as it works to visibly plump the skin. 

Interlocks aesthetician Kassandra C. recommends products from iS Clinical for different types of maskne issues. If you’re experiencing more redness and irritation, the iS Clinical Sheald Recovery Balm provides a soothing barrier to relieve tightness and dehydration. For blemishes and clogged pores, she recommends the Active Serum, a popular formula that reduces the appearance of blemishes and fine lines while evening skin tone and texture. 

“We also recommend a Sulfur Masque at night if you’re breaking out,” says Doran, “and double cleansing twice per day.”

Other Treatments

You can still treat yourself to an at-home facial even if you don’t have any maskne problems you’re trying to fix. Kyla salon’s herbalist Madison Murray sells a facial steam, called Super Natural, from her natural skincare line. A tea and a facial steam in one, in includes orange peel, peppermint, lemon, licorice root, coriander seed, and parsley. Add a scoop to boiling water and simply lower your face over it for five to ten minutes. 

“If you want to treat yourself, give yourself a nice little massage with your cleanser, then do the steam, then do a facemask to finish it up,” says Rees. The herbal mix, full of vitamin C and antioxidants, is also great for your lungs, “which we all know we need to be taking extra care of right now,” adds Rees.

Rees says she’s recently being doing more lash lifts and tints because our eyes are really the only visible part of our faces right now. Becker also encourages clients to try out some new eye treatments. Interlocks offers a HydraFacial Eye Perk along with lash extensions, lifts, and tints. 

“Try lash extensions, up your makeup game,” says Becker. “we’re all wearing a mask all the time, so let’s figure out ways to cope with it. I think one of the best ways, fun ways, is to try something new.”

As with everything we do nowadays, our estheticians are giving up this tried and true advice: embrace the new norm.

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