Five tips to help with maskne
Wearing masks regularly, while necessary in the fight against COVID-19, can lead to breakouts on your skin. Some people refer to this as “maskne.” Typically, maskne is thought of as a type of acne that occurs because of increased clogged pores.
Dermatologist Megan O’Neill Scharf, MD, shared these tips to help you reduce breakouts and skin irritation related to mask wearing.
- Wash your face twice daily with a mild skin cleanser. I like Cetaphil or CeraVe hydrating skin cleansers. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Skin Cleanser is another good option that will clean and hydrate.
- If your skin is oily, wash with an acne wash. Washing with salicylic acid (Neutrogena acne wash) or benzoyl peroxide (CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser) can be more helpful for oily skin.
- Change or wash your mask daily. Be sure to switch out your mask each day or wash it before wearing it again.
- Do not wear makeup under masks. Any makeup under your mask will clog your pores and irritate your skin.
- Avoid touching your face, mask and eyes during the day. Not only will it help you not spread the virus, but touching your face, mask and eyes during the day will just add to any irritation you may be experiencing.
What to do if you have acne
If you are suffering from acne, topical medications can irritate the skin and should be used with caution under your mask. However, if used consistently, they can be helpful at treating maskne.
- Differin – This helps to unclog pores and can be applied nightly to the entire face. It can be mixed with a facial moisturizer or followed by a moisturizer if the skin becomes too dry. CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing lotion is a good option to help you hydrate your skin.
- Benzoyl peroxide cream – A cream like Neutrogena Stubborn Acne treatment can be used daily for spot treatment.
- Sulfur washes or face masks – These are good due to the sulfur’s acne-fighting attributes.
What to do if you have rosacea
The heat and humidity under masks caused by your breath can cause changes in the skin microbiome. This can lead to flare ups of rosacea. Moisturizers can be used under masks to help to act as a barrier to protect the skin. Prosacea or other mild moisturizers like LaRoche-Posay Toleriane Ultra are good options if you have rosacea-prone skin.
Ultimately, if you cannot get your skin under control, talk to your doctor.
“While masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future, we can all look forward to the day when we can see each other’s smiling – and breakout free – faces again,” said Dr. Scharf.