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How to Deal With Mask Acne Aka “Maskne”

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Most of us are wearing masks to help stop the spread of Covid-19. But, while the benefits far outweigh the risks, there are, of course, some downsides to wearing a mask. One of them is a new skincare phenomenon called Maskne, a clever name for breakouts that occur in the areas generally covered by your mask.  

There’s actually a technical term for Maskne, acne mechanica, which is common amongst athletes who wear chin straps and helmets for long periods of time.

Because we’re always here to help with all things skincare (even those we never saw coming) here’s our guide on preventing Maskne and how to clear it if you get it.

 

How to prevent Maskne:

Treat your mask like underwear.

Acne-causing bacteria thrives is a moist, warm environment—like under a mask. Be sure to wash your mask regularly, especially now that the weather is extra sweaty.

Wear a lightweight Mask.

Wearing a lightweight mask made from cotton or silk will minimize the friction that causes Maskne and also allow your skin to breathe a bit.

Cleanse twice per day.

Because wearing a mask throughout the day means an increased amount of ance-causing bacteria building up on your face, be sure to cleanse twice per day. This is also highly recommended in non-Maskne conditions.

Use a lightweight moisturizer

It’s not just bacteria that’s causing Maskne. Friction from your mask can weaken your skin’s natural protective barrier, increase inflammation, and cause clogged pores and acne. Using a lightweight moisturizer with ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides will help to minimize friction. Bonus points if these products are oil-free because oil-based products make you sweat more.

How to clear Maskne:

Use a spot treatment.

Spot treatments are a great way to target temporary breakouts. That said, some spot treatments can be irritating so it’s best to look for gentler options that contain ingredients like Glycolic Acid and Colloidal Sulfur to clear and kill Maskne-causing bacteria

Exfoliate...but only at night.

Using an exfoliating toner or anti-aging product like Retinol can help to clear Maskne but the friction from your mask will increase the intensity of the product. That’s why it’s best to use these products before heading to bed or on days when going outside isn’t on your to-do list.

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