Six bang-for-your-buck Trader Joe’s skincare products

Skincare: Maskne edition

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Amy Aguayo / Daily Collegian

By Amy Aguayo, Collegian Contributor

Wearing masks is crucial amidst a pandemic in order to keep everyone safe. However, there is a slight downside when it comes to our skin: “maskne,” the portmanteau of the words mask and acne.

Who would have known that such a malady could result from the avoidance of another? Dermatologist Dr. Amy Kassouf told Cleveland Clinic back in August: “It has always been an issue in professions where you have to wear a mask regularly, but now that the general public has to wear masks, the incidence of it has certainly increased.”

An upside to maskne is that it can be hidden by the very mask that caused it, but that doesn’t mean that insecurities fade away when the mask is off.

My skin was never acne-prone, but the longer my mask stayed on, the more painful, stubborn blemishes started to appear. I tried everything natural I could get my hands on in order to prevent a larger breakout. From manuka honey masks to even placing my used green teabags on my face, nothing seemed to work. I was beginning to give up hope of ever having clear skin. But then I tried the Trader Joe’s line of skincare products.

Is a supermarket line of skincare products really worth the hype? Since we have a Trader Joe’s so close to the UMass campus, I figured it was worth a try. This is in no such way a sponsorship, these are the actual products I use daily. I hope these recommendations assist with your maskne struggles or regular breakouts.

 

  • Trader Joe’s SPA Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil – $5.99

I’ll start the list with the product that saved my face, the Holy grail, mother of pearl, my favorite Trader Joe’s product. This facial cleanser with tea tree oil has antibacterial agents which target blemishes, blackheads and dirt. Tea tree oil is proven to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide, a popular over-the-counter topical antiseptic for acne treatment. After washing my face once or twice to remove makeup, I feel clean and rejuvenated.

 

  • Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner – $3.99

Rosewater, which is commonly used in South Asian cultures for the entire body, is used in cooking and for skincare. In addition to the tea tree face cleanser, this toner is perfect for brightening skin. Rosewater is known for calming skin inflammation, redness and shrinking pores. The price of this toner is unbeatable, and I immediately noticed how hydrated my skin was. I use it after I wash my face, as well as to set my makeup.

 

  • Trader Joe’s Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer – $5.99

All skin needs a moisturizer, even those with combination or oily skin, making this oil-free moisturizer a great choice. It’s non-greasy and doesn’t leave a residue or film on the face, and with its antioxidizing properties, my skin can breathe even if it is breaking out. Whatever lotion I put on my face, I also put on my hands to prevent aging and wrinkles. I apply this lotion during my night routine, as SPF is only applied during the day.

 

  • Trader Joe’s Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 15 -$3.99

What distinguishes this facial lotion from the other is the thicker consistency and the inclusion of SPF, which prevents dark blemishes, wrinkles and skin cancer. It’s not the strongest sunscreen, so it’s perfect for daily use. I know many are hesitant to use SPF, especially after popular sunscreen brand, Neutrogena, recalled four of their sunscreens. Most of them were very high in SPF, which should only be used if you’re exposed to extreme sun. I only buy my sunscreen from Trader Joe’s, as I can trust that it’s natural. Even living in Massachusetts, the sun does reach your skin during the ice-cold weather. Protect your skin from that Massachusetts sun with this hydrating sunscreen!

 

  • Trader Joe’s Watermelon Facial Mist – $3.99

Watermelon, often used in Korean skincare products, is said to have anti-inflammatory properties that combat redness and facial blemishes. It smells divine; I love to spray this facial mist over my makeup whenever my face is feeling dry or greasy. It could be a dupe for Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist, as they are both mostly watermelon juice and have many similar ingredients, such as rice and hyaluronic acid. This is my go-to for skin hydration, or a quick refresh after sitting in a sweaty lecture.

  • Trader Joe’s Watermelon Overnight Face Mask with Watermelon Fruit Water and Plant-Derived Squalane – $6.99

This overnight face mask gives quenching moisture in hours or minutes and leaves my face bright. Once again, watermelon is the savior of this product. It is not considered “Korea’s favorite fruit” for nothing! Like the watermelon toner, this can also be considered a dupe for Glow Recipe’s Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask. I have tried both, and actually prefer the Trader Joe’s version. Apply a layer of this facemask at night and any blemishes or acne will be completely gone in the morning. It must be magic, or maybe it’s just the watermelon.

Amy Aguayo can be reached at [email protected].