Essential Oils for Maskne, Irritation & Dryness -Everyday Essentials

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Young girls wearing face masks to school

Essential Oils for Maskne, Irritation & Dryness

As 2020 continues, it’s become clear that masks aren’t going anywhere any time soon. So we do our part and wear a mask at the store, at school, and even at work. And of course, we’re happy to protect others and slow the spread of the virus, but it’s quite possible that your skin is not happy. In fact, it makes its objection known all over your face. We’ve put together some tips and tricks for using essential oils and other natural products to help deal with irritation and acne from wearing a face mask (also known as “maskne”).

Start with the Mask

Before we get to the good stuff, it’s important to talk about what’s causing the irritation and maskne in the first place: your mask. Natural materials like cotton will be softer on your skin, which may lessen the irritation over time. Also, make sure it properly fits. If it’s too loose, the fabric may rub against the delicate skin on your face more than it should and cause further irritation.

And lastly, don’t forget to wash your masks! We know it’s easy to toss in your purse or on your car dashboard and not really think about it. But because it sits right against your skin for long periods of time, it’s absorbing your face oils and sweat and trapping it there. Instead, make sure to use a fresh mask as often as you can and wash your face before and after you wear a mask for long periods of time.

Woman looking at herself in the mirror and touching her face

Less is More

With your skin being under extra stress, now is the time to pare down your skincare routine. Start by easing up on the makeup (or nix it all together, no one can see anyway). Stick with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer, preferably with clean ingredients and without harsh fragrances. It’s also not the time to go switching up your skincare routine by trying new products. If you’ve got something that works, keep with it until after masks have served their purpose. 

Plant Therapy Healing Balm

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

We can’t stress this enough… moisturize! Not only will it help keep things from getting too dry, but it will help create an extra barrier between your face and the mask. If your skin is still doing alright but needs some extra moisture, we have a number of great carrier oil blends like Younger Glo, Clear Complex, and DermiSoothe.

But if your skin is crying out for help, we have two words for you: Healing Balm. This wonderful balm moisturizes, relieves dry, irritated skin, and leaves the skin feeling silky and soft. It blends Shea Butter, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Tamanu, Olive Oil, and Calendula. These nourishing ingredients can help soothe irritation and dryness, potentially minimize friction with a mask, and not clog your pores like petroleum jelly will. 

Start by taking a pea-size amount, rubbing it between the tips of your fingers, and applying it to the affected area.

Plant Therapy Hydrosols

Hydrosols Are Your Friend

Before we jump to the essential oils, it’s important to keep in mind that your skin is under a lot of stress right now. It’s worth exploring gentler options first and upgrading to essential oils if it’s needed. In addition to our unscented Healing Balm, hydrosols provide a gentle and effective way to help soothe skin. Because the friction from your mask is opening up small cuts and abrasions on your skin allowing bacteria easier access, Tea Tree Hydrosol is a great option as it helps keep the skin clear and may even help with blemishes and maskne. Plus it’s safe to use throughout the day as it’s needed. If you’re not dealing with acne but more general irritation, Lavender, Helichrysum, and Chamomile are all gentle and soothing hydrosols. You can either spritz directly on your face or use a cotton ball for more direct application.

tea tree essential oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil

There are many incredible oils that can help with skin concerns, there’s one that you should turn to in times like this… Tea Tree. Tea Tree, with its green medicinal and woody aroma, is renowned for its ability to help with blemishes, oily skin, maskne and other issues you thought you left back in your teenage years. Dilute Tea Tree to 1-2%  in a roll-on and use as needed for a short term spot treatment. It can also be combined with Lavender, Helichrysum, or Frankincense in our Aloe Jelly for more soothing benefits! 

Aloe Maskne Relief DIY

What you’ll need:

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What you’ll do:

Combine Aloe Jelly and essential oils and apply as needed to blemishes. This is a 1.5% dilution.

*We understand that masks are a controversial topic and not everyone chooses to wear one. The information in this blog is not intended to spark a debate regarding masks but rather to help those who wear masks regularly or are required to and may be experiencing skin concerns as a result.


26 thoughts on “Essential Oils for Maskne, Irritation & Dryness”

  • I use diluted Tea Tree for spot treatment, but I now have aloe gel and will try the Aloe Maskne Relief recipe. I hope it works as anticipated.

  • Awesome information…I will definitely be using my hydrosols these mask are killing my chin thank you for this information

  • Julie Ann:
    “*We understand that masks are a controversial topic and not everyone chooses to wear one. The information in this blog is not intended to spark a debate regarding masks but rather to help those who wear masks regularly or are required to and may be experiencing skin concerns as a result.”

  • Any recommendation what to dilute tea tree oil in a roll-on bottle? Can i just use Witch Hazel to dilute tea tree oil?

  • I love this recipe, but was wondering if there was a pdf of the recipe? It would help with several things

  • I’ve been making something similar for the past couple years to help keep my skin clear. I use tea tree oil, lavender, and pink grapefruit all mixed in my 4-ounce aloe jelly bottle. My skin, for whatever reason, does better with a slightly higher (2%) dilution percentage. It works for me, and I love it!

  • I realize that some people have to wear a mask for school or work (unless exempt), but I’m surprised and disappointed with the statement that Plant Therapy is making about them. There are plenty of studies and health officials that are recognizing that most masks do not stop the transmission of covid-19 and can cause (sometimes serious) adverse health conditions… including the issue this blog post was concerning…acne from masks.

    1. If you want to use EOs directly on your mask, we recommend making a 1% dilution in a roller bottle and rolling it on the bottom left or right corner of a clean mask. This keeps the skin protected, but also lessens the strength of the aroma to keep things like headaches, nausea, or irritation from occurring. You should also avoid oils like Peppermint, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, etc. as they are highly irritating.

    1. Healing Balm is probably the best place to start. We’ve had lots of our customers say how much it helps for their young ones. We’d also recommend starting with the unscented if you can and if they still need more relief, trying the Better Than Kisses Healing Balm or Silky Soft Healing Balm.

  • My college aged daughter – who is required to mask up 24/7 on campus – has experienced significant breakouts recently. She’s battle with acne over the past couple years, but we thought things were looking much better. . .then the mask requirement. We didn’t make the potential connection until ready this post. I’m definitely making a Maskne Relief immediately and mailing it to her at school. Hope this helps, and thank you Plant Therapy!!

  • I’m getting more of a clogged pore with a hard white head just below the surface. Will the tea tree help with that?

  • Great tips! Luckily I haven’t experienced any negative side effects from wearing my mask, but then again, I’ve been doing all the things you recommend

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