It clears out all the gunk from my pores without irritating the hell out of my skin.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Holifrog dermstore
Credit: Courtesy

This year has brought on some unexpected changes.

My full size bed now doubles as my desk, I never leave home without a face mask, and keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer in my bag is more important than a lip balm.

But what has stayed the same are my chin breakouts, especially this summer when the sweat, dirt, oil, and heat under my face mask is essentially an instant pot recipe for acne. So products that treat maskne have become staples in my skincare routine.

Being diligent about washing my face, like I am my hands, has been been keeping my mask-related breakouts mild. I mostly stick to hydrating cleansers morning and night, but lately I've been doing a quick mid-day wash with Holifog's Shasta AHA Refining Acid Wash after coming in from running errands or going on sanity walk.

The light-but-creamy gel is infused with a blend of AHA acids including glycolic and mandelic, Australian caviar lime extract, healing tamau oil, and rosehip oil. All together, this cleanser is a botanical mix of antioxidants and vitamins for hydration and protection against environmental aggressors. It's also free of fragrance to aid in preventing irritation and inflammation.

Despite the cleanser's ingredient list reading like a serum, the wash clears the gunk that has packed my pores from the sweat and humidity, all without irritating my sensitive skin or leaving it feeling tight. Bonus: The acids leave my face bright and radiant, which I appreciate — even if Zoom doesn't pick up glowiness.

VIDEO: When You Apply Sunscreen in Your Skincare Routine Actually Matters A Lot

Maskne is a frustrating side effect of wearing a face mask, but I've come to terms that having a cluster of zits around my mouth is a minor inconvenience for the greater good. Plus, the truth is that this is going to be the new normal for the foreseeable future. Luckily, this cleanser is making the never-ending cycle of mask-related breakouts a little less annoying.

But while Shasta has been an essential part of my summer skincare routine, this isn't my first rodeo with the cleanser. Pre-COVID, I used to use this exfoliating cleanser in the shower post-workouts. And even though $38 might seem a bit steep for such a small bottle, one pump is enough for me to adequately wash my face. To put things further into perspective, I've been using Shasta regularly since it launched in Sept. 2019, and I'm still on my first bottle — so a little goes a long way.

The Splurge is our recurring column dedicated to expensive beauty products that are actually worth it. This week, why we're rebuying Holifrog Shasta AHA Refining Acid Wash, despite the $38 price tag.