If You Have Maskne, Here’s How to Get Rid of It

woman wearing a protective mask that is hiding her maskne

"Maskne" is that acne you get from wearing a protective face mask

Wearing masks has become part of the new normal and we will probably keep wearing them for some time to come. While masks do keep us safe from the spread of the virus, they can make your skin suffer from acne. Wearing masks for a long time can have adverse effects on people since masks can clog your pores, irritate your skin, and cause your acne to get worse. In the more extreme cases, prolonged irritation of the skin can lead to rosacea, a butterfly shaped redness across the nose and cheeks.

What Exactly Causes Mask Acne?

When your face mask constantly rubs your skin, it can cause your skin to become more sensitive and irritated. When you use a mask, moist and warm air is trapped under it, therefore making it the best environment to foster bacteria. The high humidity in the area covered by your mask can also cause your skin’s delicate barrier to breakdown. Because of this, you become more prone to rosacea and eczema.
Mask acne, or maskne, depends on your skin type. Sometimes, it looks like bumps under the skin, while others have blackheads. Although everyone is at risk of developing mask acne, there are certain people whose risks are higher than others. These include people who wear masks frequently, such as healthcare professionals, as well those already dealing with acne or people with skin conditions such as eczema.

If you want to know how to deal with maskne, there are a number of effective tips to try:

1 - Change your mask frequently

One of the most effective ways to protect your face from mask acne is to ensure that you are using clean masks. If you are using disposable ones, change them throughout the day. This can help reduce oil and dirt that can build up on your face. If you use masks made of fabric, clean your masks daily. You can wash your mask in a washing machine or by hand. When washing reusable masks, use a fragrance-free detergent and lay it out when drying. Using a detergent with fragrance can irritate your skin. When you keep your mask clean, you can protect yourself from cross-contamination.

2 - Use treatments

When you are struggling with regular acne, you may turn to your favorite skincare products to clear it up. You should do the same when you get mask acne. As much as you can, only use products that are non-comedogenic and oil-free. When you’re shopping for products for your maskne, look for ones that have benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These active ingredients are common in face washes and spot treatments. If you’re trying out a product for the first time, test it first on your forearm to make sure it does not have any ingredients that will react badly on your skin.

3 - Rinse your skin

Cleansing your skin will help you get rid of clogged up pores. Wash your face when you wake up in the morning and right before you sleep. This simple habit can make all the difference. If you’re suffering from severe mask acne, keep oil-free wipes with you at work. Gently wipe your skin several times throughout the day to reduce the oil, sweat, and other dirt that accumulates on your face.

Fight Maskne with Cleansing Wipes!

These wipes from Suzan Obagi come in a convenient pack to keep on hand. If you have oily or acne-prone skin try the Acne wipes because they contain 2% salacylic acid. The regular cleansing wipes are very gentle and suitable for irritation-prone, rosacea, or sensitive skin. The gentle wipes especially can be used frequently throughout the day to keep your skin clean.

4 - Avoid touching your face

This tip is quite hard to practice, but it’s really important to stop touching your face or picking at your acne. When you touch your face, oils transfer from your fingers to your face. This can block your pores and agitate your acne even more. Picking at your maskne will also make it worse in the long run.

5 - Reduce friction

If your face is chafing from your mask, adopt techniques that reduce friction, such as loosening your mask straps or wearing pads behind your ears. You can also buy a larger mask or a different style.

6 - Don't use makeup

Since people won’t be seeing your lips and chin area anyway, you can skip wearing makeup. Masks will only rub makeup into your skin, and this can lead to breakouts. The residue from the makeup can also soil the fabric of your mask.

7 - Have a good moisturizer

Moisturizer is so important for keeping your skin hydrated. It also acts as a friction barrier from your mask. Choose a moisturizer with no oil or fragrance, and don’t go for ones that clog your skin. Also, look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramide.

8 - Seek the advice of a professional

If you’re already applying all the tips listed above and you’re still experiencing maskne, then the mask may not be causing it in the first place. At this point, your dermatologist may be able to determine the root cause of your acne. Alternately, feel free to contact our office to get personalized recommendations for the products that will work best to solve your problem. Although we don’t offer in-person services at this time, Skin Deep continues to operate as a concierge skin care business.

The Bottom Line

Despite the fact that wearing masks has become the new normal, you can still save yourself from maskne. Adding small yet important steps to your routine will help you keep your skin flawless and free of damage.

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