How to Prevent and Treat “Maskne”
How to Prevent and Treat “Maskne”
How to Prevent and Treat “Maskne” According to a Board-Certified Dermatologist
Just when we thought we had our skincare routine down to a T, “maskne” threw us a curve ball! Simple Satch co-founder Corinne is a registered nurse in New York City. As a healthcare worker, she is accustomed to wearing face masks for long periods of time and has dealt with maskne, acne that forms underneath face masks. While breakouts are a small price to pay for the health and well-being of our society, acne can be frustrating. Corinne consulted Dr. Forum Patel, a board-certified dermatologist with an office in San Francisco at Arya Derm, for her expertise on how to prevent and treat breakouts while wearing a face mask. Here's what you need to know...
What is maskne?
“Maskne” is another form of “acne mechanica” or acne that is caused by occlusion or friction against the skin leading to irritation, inflammation and breakouts most commonly around the nose, cheeks and jawline. It’s a zitty situation! What can we control? How to take care of our skin to help prevent and treat breakouts secondary to wearing a mask.
How do you prevent maskne?
Dr. Patel suggests two ways to preventing acne from forming underneath the face mask. “Cleanse your face throughout the day to help physically remove sweat and oil from areas that are covered by your mask,” said Dr. Patel. In other words, keep it clean! She recommends washing your face with a gentle face mask, acne wash, or using cleansing wipes, like Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Cloths for on-the-go. As for how often we should be washing our face, she explains we all have different skin types so there isn’t a set frequency everyone should go by. “For those of you who have oily skin, you might need to wash your face a few times throughout the day, but for those of you with dry skin, washing too frequently can do more harm,” explains Dr. Patel. For a rule of thumb, Dr. Patel advises patients to wash their face at least once a day before bed. Love a sweat sesh? Keep up the work, just be sure to wash your face and mask post workout!
In addition to cleansing, Dr. Patel encourages preventative treatment with acne pads containing salicylic acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid. “Salicylic acid will reduce oil production and is anti-inflammatory while glycolic acid and lactic acid are gentle exfoliators to reduce scar formation and prevent keratin buildup,” explains Dr. Patel. Acne pads can be found at Dr. Patel’s office, Arya Derm.
How do you treat maskne?
You have a zit under your mask, now what? Dr. Patel typically recommends spot treatment with acne dots. These have become increasingly popular because a “dot” can be applied over a new acne pimple and it’s hidden under the mask. Genius. “Be sure you’re getting a reputable brand. Effective acne dots should be made of a hydrocolloid dressing and should contain a small percentage of salicylic acid around 0.5%,” explains Dr. Patel. Her favorite acne dots are from Peace Out Acne.
What kind of face mask should you be wearing to prevent maskne?
As for the best material to look for in a face mask to prevent acne, Dr. Patel advises her patients to look for a mask that isn’t physically irritating to the skin and wash it often to prevent build up of oil and bacteria.
At Simple Satch, our team prefers Silk Face Masks made from 100% mulberry silk. Why? Silk is known to be hypoallergenic, gentle and less abrasive on skin. For workouts, we prefer our 100% cotton face masks which are lightweight, breathable and easy to throw in the wash after exercising.
*The Simple Satch picks and products mentioned are selected based on products we truly love. Note: this article does not contain affiliate links, and we will not receive a commission if you purchase a product linked here.