Struggling with mask acne? Here's what to do!

Summer is inching closer, but for some of us the combination of warmer weather, frequent mask wearing and all-round increased stress levels due to lockdowns is bringing about the unwelcome symptoms of mask acne (aka ‘maskne’). And unfortunately it’s only going to get worse as the humidity of summer sets in.

Making some conscious changes to your habits and skincare routine will help to prevent breakouts and flare-ups and restore the all-important balance to your skin microbiome. Read on for our top tips to beat the dreaded maskne.

Five tips for combatting mask acne

1. Opt for a paper mask

We prefer paper or surgical masks as they are generally more breathable (and effective) than fabric ones. With better flow of oxygen, you’re less likely to sweat and create a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria inside your mask. Paper masks are also easy to clean and sanitize – more on this below.

2. Sanitize your mask in the sun

UV light has the power to zap the molecular bonds that hold together the DNA of viruses and bacteria. With summer on its way, this is good news! So when it’s not essential to be wearing your mask, lay it flat in direct sunlight for 15 minutes or more and let the UV light destroy any nasties that might have settled in the fibres. Scientists use this trick when working in the lab – they place their masks under UV lamps and let the UV light sterilize them. If using fabric masks, make sure to wash them frequently in a mild detergent.

3. Up your daily skincare routine

This is a good time to wear less make-up and add some extra nourishment to your skin. We recommend using a gentle cleanser morning and night to de-clog pores and remove toxins and impurities, followed by a revitalizing toner to balance the skin’s microflora and prep it for moisturizer. If your skin is feeling extra dry or lack-lustre, try a face oil under your face mask, or if you’re struggling with breakouts, apply a targeted serum like our Acne Prone Skin Cream underneath your moisturizer or night cream.

4. Get outside and get moving

Stress levels are sky-high right now, which is only serving to exacerbate skin concerns. Stress stimulates the production of androgen hormones, which make the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin overproduce, leading to oiliness, acne and irritation. Regular exercise and fresh air (safely, and within the current COVID restrictions) will do wonders for your stress levels and well-being. Pop on your mask, walk out your stress and let your skin reap the benefits.

5. Support your immune system

Quality sleep is absolute bliss AND it’s vital for strengthening your immune system – so grab a glass of water and get to bed on time. You can also support your immune system by reducing your toxic load. Go easy on processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugars and load up on gut-loving goodies like yoghurt, kefir, almonds, bone broth, ginger and kimchi.

The truth about parabens and why your skin deserves better

Parabens are a type of synthetic preservative commonly added to skincare products and cosmetics to prevent bacteria and mould growth and prolong the product’s shelf-life.

Parabens actually originate in nature! They are the synthetic form of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, a naturally produced paraben found in fruit and vegetables and created during the ripening process to stop a microbial attack. It’s nature's clever way of creating a natural preservative or protective mechanism to stop fruit and veggies from getting diseases or infection. In their natural form, parabens aren’t bad for you, we’re eating them every day in our fruit.

Synthetic parabens do breakdown to the natural form and are excreted from the body. However, there are many forms of parabens and conjugates – a chemical they are bound to, and it is these that are the concern.

Dr Weir first began researching parabens in skincare products when she was approached by Suzanne Hall of Living Nature. What she discovered, when testing the safety of different parabens, was that the cheap synthetic forms were causing damage in the DNA, resulting in cell mutations and this damage was related to the dosage used. Dosage, quality of ingredients and the other ingredients and chemicals used with it, all played a part.

After further research, it was obvious that not all parabens were causing DNA damage, but those made using cost-cutting measures and used at high levels were. She was also shocked to learn that many commonly used cosmetics and creams were full of these parabens. They were doing more damage to skin - and health - than good!

That’s why, when Dr Weir developed Atopis Skincare, ‘paraben-free’ was a non-negotiable. Instead of using damaging parabens, we harness the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of natural New Zealand plant ingredients to preserve our products. We ensure these powerful plants are not changed but kept in their original state as they are found in New Zealand forests. You can learn more about our good ingredients here.

We don't use fillers, solvents or traditional extraction methods either - instead we've developed an innovative, scientific solution that uses nature's own processes to fuse plant bioactives together in synergy.

Why you’ll never find the #dirtydozen in Atopis skincare

We believe that improving the condition of your skin should never come at a cost to your health, your immune system – or the environment. In fact, we have clinically proven that our 100% natural and toxin-free hero ingredient Myrecil® actually outperforms its synthetic counterparts while working in synergy with your unique immune system to improve your skin at the very deepest layers.

A 2018 US study released by the David Suzuki Foundation found that “one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. Many products include plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks).”

Sound gross? And unnecessary? Yup, we agree! Subsequently, a #dirtydozen list was developed to make consumers aware of the potential effects of some toxic ingredients on the body and endocrine system. This is not our list but one that has been researched and compiled over many years.

For many years prior to founding Atopis, Dr Weir and her team tested dietary supplement and skincare ingredients for efficacy and safety. She identified through her research that a number of commonly used ingredients such as parabens caused oxidative stress, or worse, DNA and mitochondria damage, resulting in cell mutations. She was shocked to learn that many cosmetics and creams were full of these harmful ingredients.

That's why when she developed Atopis, Dr Weir chose to avoid synthetics, parabens and other nasties altogether (including the #dirtydozen). Using nature and biotechnology in synergy, she did this without compromising performance!

At Atopis, we don't use palm-oil based ingredients or animal-derived ingredients, and for any ingredients we can’t make ourselves, we ‘fair trade’ source them to ensure they are both ethical and sustainable ingredients. For some ingredients, we pay more than four times the price to source the vegan alternative.

Using our own cutting-edge science and biotechnology we’ve created over 13 all-natural, safe skincare products that are good enough to eat (yes, really) and that also do what they say they will: rebalance the skin microbiome, restore the skin’s lipid barrier and renew your gorgeous, youthful glow. Possessing a deep scientific understanding of how to manipulate and harness the bioactive properties of plant extracts with biotechnology means that we can continue to create new products that achieve incredible skin results with not a single one of the #dirtydozen in sight.

Below we’ve compiled a list of the nasties that you WON’T find in Atopis (the #dirtydozen plus a few extras), along with a list of some of the GOODNESS by category that you will find in there.

10 things to know about Atopis Face Oils

If you've already purchased a new Atopis Face Oil, or if you're thinking of trying one for the first time, have a read of over our 10 top FAQs in the notes below.

Why should I use a face oil?

You get to control your skin's hydration! Atopis Face Oils contain ultra-nourishing and hydrating ingredients like Rosehip Oil, Manuka Oil, Mamaku Gel and soothing Cucumber Oil, which will help to restore and rebalance the natural oil ratio in your skin for a brighter, dewier complexion. They're designed to be used in synergy with Atopis night creams to plump, firm and moisturize dry, tired skin.

What's the difference between the two new Atopis face oils?

Our Intensive Renewal Face Oil is packed with natural anti-ageing ingredients for mature skin that's dry or lack-lustre and in desperate need of an extra moisture boost. Our Radiance Enhancing Face Oil is developed for skin that’s prone to acne, rosacea, redness or sensitivity and will help to calm and balance the skin, while also softening out acne scars and stubborn blemishes.

What makes the oils different to other beauty oils?

All of the botanical ingredients in these oils are scientifically tested, perfected and proven efficacious. Beginning with a base of pure Rosehip oil, we have added high concentrations of the highest quality ingredients available, to deliver noticeable skin results. We never use cheap fillers like some other face oils do – only stacks of nutrient-rich oils and pure, potent goodness.

Do you still sell the Rosehip Renewal Face Oil?

No. What we've done is taken the former Atopis Rosehip Renewal Face Oil, amplified the ingredients, then tailored them specifically to two different skin types.

Where does my face oil fit in my skincare routine?

Think of your face oil as extra moisture that you can dial up or down. For best results, cleanse and tone skin then massage a few drops of oil into your face before applying your Atopis night cream. Winter skin might need three drops of oil; summer skin might only need two – you choose what feels right for your skin. If using your oil in the morning, apply it after cleansing and toning, then pop your SPF over the top. You can even try mixing your oil and cream together in the palm of your hand before applying it to your face.

Can I apply it underneath makeup?

Yes, the oils are designed to melt beautifully into your skin so you can wear them during the day under makeup. We recommend giving your skin a few moments to soak up the goodness before applying your makeup.

I have sensitive skin. Are there any ingredients in the oils that I might react to?

Sensitive skin is generally caused by an imbalance in the skin microbiome not a reaction to ingredients, as is often perceived. We have very carefully selected each high quality ingredient in our face oils to ensure they're perfect for sensitive skin types, they're synergistic and efficacious.

I have acne and oily skin. Will the oil clog my pores?

No. These oils are non-comedogenic and designed to help rebalance your skin’s oil ratio so your sebum glands don't kick into overdrive. If you're prone to acne, the Radiance Enhancing Oil will be a beautiful addition to your skincare routine.

How much should I use each time?

We recommend 1-2 drops each use, but there's really no limit. If you have really dry skin, you might need a little more. The beauty with oils is that you're in control.

What's the aroma of the oils?

That heavenly scent is luxurious Rosa Damascena Flower Oil (also known as Damask rose) with a hint of precious Frankincense oil.

The ceramides secret

Have you ever wondered why babies have that perfectly soft, gorgeous skin? It’s a result of the naturally occurring waxy biofilm called vernix that covers their skin in the last trimester. It’s the rich fatty acids contained within ceramides in vernix that make it oh so amazing.

Ceramides form the structure or ‘scaffolding’ of our skin and give it moisture and softness. Over time, and with repeated sun exposure, we naturally lose ceramides in our skin, and this in turn leads to loss of firmness and suppleness. Thankfully, we can boost our natural ceramide levels and increase skin moisture content through our skincare.

Below we've shared more on why your skin loves and needs ceramides.


Firm, supple skin at any age or stage


Ceramides are a key player in the makeup of our skin. Along with hyaluronic acid and collagen, they form our skin's 3D matrix. In fact, ceramides actually make up to 50% of the skin’s composition, forming the natural skin barrier. Clearly a vital component!

Atopis' new night creams contain the highest quality ceramides available, the same quality as other popular, high-end ceramide 'capsules' on the market. But instead of encapsulating our ceramides artificially, we use nature and our unique technology to incorporate and protect the ceramides directly within our night creams.

Our patented cellular delivery tech uses sphingolipids, which essentially protect the ceramides and help them to penetrate the lipid membrane to work optimally at a cellular level. Put simply, our wonder-working ceramides are able to be absorbed deeply into your skin for maximum benefit, leaving you with deliciously (and noticeably) softer, plumper skin.


Here are just a few reasons why your skin loves ceramides:


✓ Intensely hydrating, leaving skin feeling soft and supple.

✓ Boost your skin's natural ceramide levels, which naturally deplete with age and sun damage.

✓ Absorb deeply into the skin to affect change at a cellular level.

✓ Restore your skin's firmness and elasticity.

✓ Support a healthy skin barrier, to protect against environmental stresses.

✓ 100% cruelty-free - a no-brainer!

Get the best results from your Atopis night cream

All the ingredients your skin needs for youth-restoring repair and ultimate cell renewal are contained in our new Atopis night creams, along with the big anti-ageing heroes your skin craves, including Vitamin C, ceramides, retinal and our patented superstar ingredient, Myrecil®.

Below are some tips on how to get the best results from your Atopis night cream and your evening skincare regimen.

1. Choose the right night cream for your skin

Atopis Radiant Balance Night Cream is scientifically developed for younger skin (20s onwards) and is especially efficacious for skin that’s prone to rosacea or acne flare-ups.

Atopis Intensive Restore Night Cream is perfect for more mature or dry skin that needs a deeper dose of plumping power, hydration and cellular rejuvenation.

2. Use just a small amount each time

These creams are mega concentrated so a little goes a long way.

For best results: Cleanse skin with Atopis Thoroughly Gentle Cleanser then apply Revitalizing Toner and wait a few moments for it to soak into your skin. Then apply a small amount of Atopis Night Cream to your face, neck and décolletage.

Tip: For an extra nourishment boost, you can also apply 1-2 drops of Rosehip Renewal Face Oil before you apply your night cream.

3. Pair it with your Atopis day cream

Atopis night creams are designed to work in synergy with other Atopis creams, in particular our day creams. We've created some NEW skincare bundles: Radiance Duo and Intensive Duo to help you achieve the skin results you're looking for – and SAVE (20% off) on skincare.

4. Only use night creams at night-time

Atopis night creams are formulated with potent active ingredients that do their best work while you sleep and while your body is in repair-mode. Using them during the day-time will make your skin sun sensitive and the UV exposure will degrade the cream’s active ingredients. You may also find your makeup smudges with night cream underneath it.

5. Try a skin-plumping eye cream

The skin around your eyes is thinner than most other parts of your complexion and therefore it becomes dehydrated much quicker. Smile lines and crow's feet are more noticeable when your skin’s not adequately hydrated. If you find your eye area is particularly dry (or showing a lot of fine lines), pair your night cream with a small dot of Atopis Eye Repair Cream around the eye contour area.

6. Wear a SPF50+ sunscreen – even on cloudy days!

UV exposure is one of the biggest contributors to skin ageing and hyper-pigmentation, so applying a high protection SPF sunscreen daily to face and neck daily is absolutely essential. Atopis night creams work hard to offset damage caused by sun exposure (including historical sun damage), but the best protection and prevention is keeping your face away from the damaging UV rays.

Ten ways to avoid triggering your eczema

While the causes of eczema are varied and often complex, a good starting point in managing your own, or your infant or child’s eczema, is being aware of some common environmental culprits and avoiding things that can trigger an immune system response.

Below we've shared some tips on how to avoid common household eczema triggers – and how to gain lasting skin relief with Atopis Dry Itchy Relief Cream.


Ten ways to avoid triggering your eczema


Eczema is an incredibly common skin concern that affects as many as 20% of New Zealand children and a large number of Kiwi adults as well.

There are seven acknowledged types of eczema and all cause varying degrees of skin discomfort including itching, dryness, and redness.

While the exact causes of eczema are unknown, there are some common lifestyle and dietary factors that can trigger irritation or aggravate your symptoms. Here we've outlined some tips to avoid eczema triggers:

1. Stick to gentle, fragrance-free products – both for your skin and your home. Eco products tend to be gentler and are also better for the environment, win!

2. Reduce stress by getting plenty of sleep, as well as incorporating practises such as mindfulness, deep breathing, and kindness. Stress is a major player in skin issues so addressing this one is key.

3. Stay hydrated to ensure your skin barrier is not weakened.

4. Speak to a health professional who can guide you on how to balance your hormones if you think they could be a factor.

5. Sleep in natural fibres such as cotton or linen – this avoids sweating, causing irritation. Heated blankets should also be avoided.

6. Consider investing in a humidifier (for overly dry conditions) or dehumidifier (for overly humid conditions) this can help to create the ideal environment for your skin.

7. Ensure your house is well ventilated – make sure there is plenty of air-flow to keep the environment cool.

8. Immediately treat any mould in your environment and keep on top of the dusting.

9. Vacuum regularly – this cleans up any pet hair and reduces the chance of allergens lingering in your home.

10. Always use natural cleaning sprays and products. Removal of the good bacteria by overcleaning and using anti-bacterial sprays in your home will result in a build-up of allergens and potentially bad bacteria.


Why toner is a must in your skincare routine

When it comes to healthy, balanced and glowing skin, facial toner is an important part of your skincare ritual – though it's an easy step to overlook if you're not entirely sure how it works, or how to use it.

Below we've shared a little more on why, when and how to use Atopis Revitalizing Toner for bright, balanced and energised skin. It truly will make a difference to your skin!


Balance, hydration and protection!


One of the things that makes Atopis Revitalizing Toner so unique is that it's a toner + serum in one. This seriously hard-worker gently cleanses away excess oil, grime and impurities, closes and tightens pores, restores your skin's pH balance (without stripping skin), boosts skin hydration and freshness, all while restoring a protective lipid barrier to protect your delicate skin cells from environmental and oxidative stress.

Atopis Revitalizing Toner:

✓ Calms and diffuses redness and protects skin.
✓ Balances the skin’s microflora with prebiotic and probiotics.
✓ Preps skin to help moisturizer and face oils soak in.
✓ Works in synergy with Atopis face creams.

What's in it?

A synergistic fusion of nourishing ingredients including: skin-plumping gold kiwifruit bioactive; intensely hydrating hyaluronic acid; astringent witch hazel to help tighten pores; hydrating watermelon for thirsty skin; potent antibacterial Manuka and healing Harakeke gel infused into soothing aloe vera hydrosol to prepare and protect your skin.

Which skin types does it suit?

Our toner is scientifically developed for sensitive skin types, making it perfect for rosacea, eczema and acne-prone skin. It also works beautifully on mature skin!

How to use it: (for best results!)

1. After cleansing with Atopis Thoroughly Gentle Cleanser spritz 1-2 pumps of Revitalizing Toner directly onto your face (or onto a cotton pad first, if you prefer), then pat it gently into your skin. Use morning & evening.

2. In the morning: apply Radiant Balance Day Cream or Intensive Restore Day Cream to skin, followed by your SPF50+ sunscreen.

3. In the evening: After toner, apply Rosehip Renewal Face Oil and/or Radiant Balance Night Cream or Intensive Restore Night Cream – and wake up with the Atopis glow!

Winter wellness for your skin

Well, there’s no denying it, winter is officially here (in the Southern Hemisphere, at least)! When it comes to our skin, the change of season can dramatically impact its look and feel. Even your skin's complex microbiome changes with the seasons.

Hydration is a big one to address in winter. Our skin’s exposure to heating along with the lower levels of humidity in the air can create dryness, accentuating any existing wrinkles. Redness (especially in rosacea-prone skin) can also be a common skin issue in the winter months.

With our bodies asking for a little extra nourishment and care in winter, our skin is no exception. Even the simple act of drinking more water will do wonders for hydrating, firming, and plumping your skin – your whole body will thank you for it. Making some conscious changes to your daily routine, including your skincare, will have you glowing in no time.


Read on for our top 5 tips for hydrated winter skin!


  1. Get those Omega 3s in

These bad boys are found in foods such as flaxseeds, salmon and chia seeds (or you can take them as supplements). They help to regulate the production of oil in your skin, balance hydration, calm breakouts and minimise signs of ageing. What's more, they also help to soften rough, dry skin and soothe irritation and dermatitis.

  1. Water, water, water

It’s easy to forget to drink water in the cooler months but keeping your water intake up is vital to the wellbeing of your whole body, and makes a huge difference to the health and appearance of your skin. Carrying a drink bottle with you is a great way to make sure you’re always topping up!

  1. Boost your skincare regime

Adding in some extra nourishment with Atopis Intensive Restore Night Cream will help to restore and rejuvenate your winter skin, as you sleep! Another parched-skin hero is the Atopis Dry Itchy Skin Relief Cream which contains Myrecil® – scientifically shown to restore the skin’s natural microbiome to a balanced state – reducing skin sensitivity, inhibiting bad bacteria and promoting the good, beneficial bacteria. Atopis Dry Itchy Skin Relief Cream is also a winner for dry hands - especially those that are regularly doused in hand sanitizer! If skin redness or rosacea is a problem for you, then Atopis Radiant Balance Day Cream is your skin's saviour.

  1. Go to bed early

Getting quality, restorative sleep is arguably the most important step in your beauty routine. In winter, our bodies need more sleep (at least eight hours per night, but the more the better)! While you sleep your skin cells regenerate and your body increases blood flow to your skin, delivering the nutrients it needs to recover from a day of exposure to the elements. The coveted protein, collagen – which helps your skin keep its volume and elasticity – is also produced while you sleep.

  1. Detox your diet

The condition of your skin is often your body’s way of telling us what’s going on at a deeper level. We all know that what we put into our bodies is super important. Cutting down our toxic load by limiting processed foods, alcohol, caffeine and refined sugars will help give our skin the best chance to be its happiest, most radiant self. Somebody pass the celery juice!

Why do we call Atopis ‘nature’s scientific skincare’?: Dr Weir explains

I use nature’s own incredible biochemical processes – and my research into the differences in plant and human apoptosis (programmed cell death) and immunology pathways – to create our multi-faceted botanical ferment Myrecil®, the foundational ingredient of our high-performance Atopis skin creams.

We don’t use diluted plant extracts or traditional extraction methods.

Traditional methods for creating plant extracts are ineffective and either use: solvents to pull out the desired component of the plant extract (for example the flavonoids); a process called ‘supercritical fractionation’ to separate out the desired component (for example astaxanthin – a carotenoid that protects cells from free radical damage); or glycerin to soak the extracts.

Instead, I went back to nature to create a ‘synergistic heterogeneous botanical bioactive’. Let me explain:

A unique feedback loop

Plants, bacteria and insects signal to each other using peptides (amino acids) and proteins. The bacteria in your gut produce proteins which are detected by micro receptors on your gut wall and turn on different functions in response. The bacteria have identical receptors and these are also activated by the food that you eat. So they all work in a feedback loop with each other. Your skin cells work in the same way!

Within nanoseconds of being activated, plants can turn on different biochemical pathways in
response to environmental factors such as UV light or toxins. My area of scientific expertise is in producing plant stem cells by activating pathways for totipotency – as in, turning a normal leaf cell back into an embryonic cell after it’s damaged.

This is what we do with Myrecil® – we activate the plant stem cells pathways to produce compounds that promote skin cell renewal and regeneration.

We ferment our plant extracts to enhance their bioactivity.

I invented a novel fermentation technology, which is used to synergistically fuse Myrecil® into Atopis skin cream bases with other plant extracts, without the use of excess heat, preservatives or radiation. This is a crucial step in retaining the natural integrity and power of Myrecil® and the other plant extracts in our skincare.

During the fermentation process, the plant and microbial enzymes create isomers (changed molecular structure) of the plant flavonoids and peptides which are then conjugated (bound) to lipids for enhanced bioactivity and bioavailability into the skin.

Myrecil® is truly unlike any other skin ingredient on the market – it uses the science of nature to create novel molecules naturally! Try our skin-changing creams for yourself!