Maskne Is Real. Here’s What to Do About It.
The global pandemic has changed everything, from how we make sweatpants fashion and function to how we work and shop. It’s also changed our skin: As we do our part to slow the spread by wearing a face mask or face covering, our skin is literally breaking out as a result: pimples, redness, and irritation now plague our faces, whether we’ve experienced acne before or not. The condition is so common, it’s known as maskne.
So, what is maskne? And, is there anything you can do about it? Dr. Howard Murad, dermatologist, pharmacist, and founder of Murad Skincare says yes: “There are simple skincare and lifestyle steps we can take every day to prevent maskne and help keep skin clear.” Read on for his tips for how to prevent mask acne (maskne).
What is maskne?
Maskne is the nomenclature given to the side effect of wearing face masks and face coverings. However, what’s not commonly understood is that maskne comes in two forms. Maskne can be an effect of friction, heat, moisture, and trapped oils and bacteria that cause breakouts on skin types that don’t normally have acne issues. From breathing and talking while wearing a face mask, skin irritation can occur as a result of bacteria getting trapped inside. For others, maskne aggravates already existing breakouts and acne. In some cases, facial hair can also trap sweat and moisture under the protective mask.
Why identify the type of maskne you have? “Because it influences which products you should use to treat it,” says Dr. Murad.
Preventing maskne tip 1: Cleanse before and after wearing a mask
The good news is that the acne breakout caused by a face covering can be treated and prevented. If your breakouts are mask-induced, select a gentle cleanser—not necessarily a cleanser specific for treating acne. Why? Because using an acne cleanser could dry out your skin and make your breakouts and irritation worse. Cleansers like Prebiotic 4-in-1 MultiCleanser will effectively sweep away built up oils and bacteria while hydrating and balancing skin.
If maskne is exacerbating your breakouts, it’s more important than ever to stick to a consistent skincare routine that begins with a salicylic acid cleanser like Clarifying Cleanser. This foaming gel cleanser treats and prevents blemishes for up to 8 hours after rinse-off. And, green tea extract helps soothe. After cleansing and moisturizing, be sure to apply a spot treatment for acne to any active breakouts.
Preventing maskne tip 2: Don’t skip the moisturizer, do go oil-free
Dr. Murad says, “Don’t skip moisturizer altogether, even if it seems counter-intuitive to moisturize already oily skin.” Why? Moisturizers help keep fortify a healthy skin barrier, regardless of your skin type. And, a healthy skin barrier has a better chance at keeping breakouts and irritation at bay. Look for moisturizers labeled ‘oil-free’ or ‘non-comedogenic’ to help minimize pore-clogging that can lead to breakouts.
We recommend Clarifying Water Gel, our water-light, non-greasy moisturizer that wears comfortably under your mask. Hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates while salicylic acid exfoliates and refines for a balanced, non-greasy finish. And, Korean red pine extract helps stop quorum sensing—a process known to cause microbiome imbalance and irritation.
Preventing maskne tip 3: Treat post-acne scars and marks
Treating maskne is one step. Next is treating post scars. If maskne breakouts have turned into post-acne scars and dark marks, reach for InvisiScar™ Resurfacing Treatment. This spot-treatment helps minimize the look of dark marks & scars in just 8 weeks, and can be worn comfortably under your mask.
Preventing maskne tip 4: Practice mask manners
There’s a lot you can do beyond protecting your skin from maskne, and it starts with your mask. You don't necessarily have to switch to a disposable mask if you prefer a reusable mask. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent maskne:
● Never re-wear a mask without washing it first. This can get rid of the bacteria trapped under the face covering and causing the skin condition. ● Always select breathable fabrics, like cotton, and steer clear of polyester & rayon that can cause skin irritation. ● And, limit the amount of makeup under your mask, but don't skimp on SPF! SPF can help shield against another mask issue: sun damage-induced hyperpigmentation on non-mask covered areas like the forehead, nose, and cheeks.
Now that you can answer the question, “What is maskne?” it’s time to shop solutions that can help keep skin free and clear of its impact.