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The Ordinary-Deciem The Abnormal Beauty Company
Photograph: Courtesy Deciem The Abnormal Beauty Company/Jerome Clark

6 Skincare products to help save you from mask-induced acne

Read this now, thank us later

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong

We all know natural skincare has been all the hype as of late, notably due to their calming and low irritability properties. However, with constant mask-wearing nowadays, it’s inevitable to feel frustrated by pesky skin problems such as acne due to the unbearable heat and lack of ventilation. So, we’ve scoured a variety of products, from toners to face masks (not the surgical kind), to help tackle any unwanted ‘maskne’ problems asap. Best of all, you can find all of these in Hong Kong and have them delivered straight to your doorstep! By Andrea Wong

RECOMMENDED: With the outbreak still looming in the city, don’t forget to always wear a mask when going out. If you're looking for other beauty brands, support local skincare brands for your all-round self-care. 

Before we get started, here’s a quick cheat sheet of some skincare jargon:

AHA: Alpha Hydroxy Acids are water-soluble acids that help peel away the surface of your skin to promote even skin tone and texture. Common forms of AHA are glycolic acid and lactic acid.

BHA: Beta Hydroxy Acids dive deep into the pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum. Common forms of BHA include salicylic acid and citric acid.

PHA: Poly Hydroxy Acids are beneficial for sensitive skin that is prone to redness and irritation from pollutants and harsh chemicals etc. These mild acids are perfect for all skin types, even those with skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea.

(Never ever forget sunscreen!)

Skincare products to help save you from mask-induced acne

Paula’s Choice
Photograph: Courtesy Paula's Choice

Paula’s Choice

The holy grail when it comes to achieving spotless skin. The  liquid exfoliant has a two percent salicylic acid concentration (a form of BHA), a powerhouse to deep clean and minimise pores. Suitable for normal, combination, and oily skin. Use once or twice daily with a cotton round and wipe all over your face as a toner after cleansing your skin. For drier skin, try out the gel version of this toner.

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Available on Paula’s Choice HK for $168 (30ml) or $328 (118ml)

Some By Mi
Photograph: Courtesy Some By Mi/YesStyle

Some By Mi

If you’re just getting started on skincare and feel a bit unsure about where to begin, this all-in-one toner is the right one for you. Combining AHA, BHA, PHA and tea tree, this concoction has all the key ingredients to exfoliate, deep clean, and regulate your skin without a fuss. Just like its name, you’ll see a change in your skin in more or less a month. Really, we've tried it ourselves!

AHA, BHA, PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner
Available on YesStyle for $93.16 (150ml)

The Ordinary
Photograph: Courtesy Deciem The Abnormal Beauty Company

The Ordinary

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is great for regulating sebum production and brightening skin tone. Made with one percent zinc, which has anti-inflammatory properties, this product can effectively reduce the appearance of blemishes and prevent clogged pores. Simply apply it before your moisturiser (day or night) and you’re good to go!

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Available at Sephora for $60 (30ml)

The Ordinary
Photograph: Courtesy The Ordinary/Cult Beauty

The Ordinary

The shortcut to clear skin. Don’t let this red potion scare you away (though, you’ll look quite frightening with this on), as it is a leave-on mask with possibly the highest AHA concentration you can find on the market. This peeling solution will help chemically exfoliate the surface of the skin by removing excess dead skin cells, hyperpigmentation, as well as deep clean your pores to promote a more effective absorption for your skincare regimen afterwards. Fair warning, don’t leave this on for more than 10 minutes as you might start to feel a burning sensation on your face, and you won’t even be able to tell if your face is red because of the mask or if it’s irritated!

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 
Available on Sephora for $80 (30ml)

Photograph: Courtesy GlamGlow


GlamGlow is most well-known for their large selection of masks, and this clarifying Supermud mask certainly does not disappoint. Consisting of AHAs, BHAs, along with other active ingredients such as charcoal, this mask effectively combats skin concerns such as blemishes, redness, acne scars, and more. Purchase the 50g or 100g size to use all over the face regularly, or introduce this product to your skin as a spot treatment with the 15g travel size (as this product is relatively pricey).

Supermud Clearing Treatment
Available on Sephora for $170 (15g) / $490 (50g) / $690 ($100g)

Photograph: Courtesy Cosrx/YesStyle


We get it, sometimes our skin just doesn’t want to listen and those big, stubborn pimples simply won’t go away. This pimple patch not only actually stays on your face (unlike many others that you’ll just lose throughout the day), it also does a great job of drying out nasty pimples. Feel free to wear makeup over it too, as the patches are translucent and thinner on the edges, so it blends perfectly with your skin. Pro tip: use tweezers to peel the patches off to prevent it from losing its adhesive.

Acne Pimple Master Patch
Available on YesStyle for $24.36 (24 patches/pack)

No harm in giving your skin more TLC

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