Running Defense Against Maskne
It's a thing.
Masks are an every-day interaction for those of us who want to reduce our risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Everyone thinks maskne is a new thing, but you’ve certainly seen it before! Athletes frequently see this along the hairline underneath a sweatband or a helmet, but now we are seeing the same phenomenon around the mouth.
These tips can help you run defense against maskne:
• Avoid wearing makeup underneath a mask. The mask is occlusive, meaning it applies a layer over the makeup and drives it deeper into the pores where it can cause acne.
• If you must wear makeup (say, you are wearing make-up and a mask, but then have a Zoom call later), then plan to wash the mask after wearing.
• It is good standard practice to wash your mask regularly. I would recommend having several masks in rotation each day, and wash them all at the end of each week. Disposable masks are also an option.
• Salicylic acid is a great keratolytic, which is another way of saying it’s a great zit buster. It can be found in several products, including face washes and spot gels for active pimples.
• Plan to exfoliate gently once weekly. A gentle scrub applied with the fingers to remove excess dirt and oil will reduce the buildup inside the pores. Avoid harsh cleansers that cause irritation.
• Adapalene cream, found in the acne aisle, applied each evening also reduces that acne when used on a regular basis. Be sure to use a pea-sized amount for your entire face, as that is plenty.
• Beware of products that dry out the face. Toners, rubbing alcohol, and astringents can frequently worsen oiliness, because the body responds to the dryness by creating an overabundance of oil. Use cautiously, and a light moisturizer is recommended.
• Particularly for the women, if you notice that you have a new burst of pimples with your cycle each month, the mask may not be the problem. Hormonal acne is very common and requires a different approach. See your board certified dermatologist for help in this area!