How to Prevent Acne from Mask Use

Isn’t it mind blowing the things we find ourselves googling ever since the beginning of the COVID pandemic? Many of us likely never had to worry about acne and now find ourselves searching acne from mask use, how to prevent mask acne and how to treat mask acne. Crazy, right?! Let’s get straight to the basics:

Why does wearing a mask cause acne breakouts?

According to Dr. August Natalie, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, “Masks can be hard on your skin, causing problems that range from acne and peeling skin to rashes and itchiness. Masks trap heat, moisture and bacteria as well as causing friction and irritation. This environment is a recipe for breakouts. Acne from mask use occurs because pores are more likely to become clogged leading to pimples or cysts.”

How to prevent mask acne

“Start with regularly washing your face both morning and night. The dirt, oil and bacteria gets trapped under the mask and can cause breakouts, or maskne as people are referring to it as,” noted Dr. Natalie.  “How to prevent mask acne starts with a consistent skin cleansing routine. Choose a gentle cleanser that is fragrance-free and oil -free. Follow up your cleanser with a moisturizer. Moisturizers keep your skin hydrated and act as a friction barrier for your mask. If you are wearing makeup under your mask, it is best to pass on that for the time being. Makeup can clog pores on top of the dirt and bacteria.”

Most importantly, wear only clean masks. Dirt and oil from your skin plus bacteria from your mouth and nose will end up on your cloth mask. If your job causes you to sweat throughout the day, keep multiple masks with you and rotate through the day, cleaning them at night.

How to treat mask acne

If you have acne from mask use and are not currently following a skin cleansing routine that is the first place to start. Check your skin care products, including makeup, to make sure they are non-comedogenic. “How to treat mask acne begins with being consistent in the care of your skin and the use of your masks. Do not expect acne to clear up the day after you start a routine,” added Dr. Natalie. “Give it a few weeks of consistent care to start seeing changes.  If your breakouts worsen, you may need a topical or oral prescription to help treat your acne.”

Suffering from maskne?

We recommend that anyone with new or worsening acne seek out help from a board-certified dermatologist to determine the underlying cause and find the best course of treatment to fit your lifestyle and budget. Find a dermatologist near you today.