Acne, How To

3 Simple Ways to Treat Maskne

by Jana K. Hoffman
July 23, 2020

We’ve been obsessing over everyone’s incredibly stylish mask vibes. Bright colors. Fun prints. Reversible. Handmade. So many of you have taken mask fashion to the next level, and we’re here for it 100 percent. Given the recent and important shift to wearing face masks, a totally real and totally treatable thing called maskne has been known to contribute to breakouts.

Here’s the scoop.

Maskne is popping up as a common side effect of wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) or face masks. It’s a combination of acne and irritation from prolonged face mask wear, especially among those who are working tirelessly on the frontlines of this ongoing pandemic.

The reason maskne happens is because wearing a mask can increase moisture buildup, which may cause bacteria to grow and spread.

Even still, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that we all wear face masks to protect ourselves and others in public places. It’s common courtesy, after all.

If your skin is experiencing irritation and breakouts, don’t fret. Here are three simple ways to treat maskne.



Wash Your Face and Your Mask

Now’s the time to take care of your skin with a cleanser that isn’t irritating or drying. Your face wash should cleanse away dirt, oil and bacteria to help treat and prevent breakouts. Look for cleansers that say “oil-free” on the label. Our recommendation is Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Wash. It’s gentle enough to use every day yet powerful enough to help you see clearer skin in as little as one week.

If you work in a doctor’s office or hospital (thank you!) and have limited time, grab an allergy-tested Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Cleansing Wipe. Just one wipe sweeps away dirt, oil and impurities that could be causing maskne. There’s no need to rinse, which is perfect when you’re constantly on the go.

Don’t forget to treat your face mask just like you do your very own precious face. For those of you who opt for reusable cloth face masks, the AAD urges you to wash it after every wear using hot water (unless otherwise recommended) and a gentle detergent. Harsh detergents have the potential to make maskne worse. You can toss it in the washing machine or wash it by hand. Easy peasy!



Wear an Oil-Free Moisturizer

This one may seem a little counterintuitive, especially if face masks are causing the production of extra moisture. But, hear us out. Oil-free moisturizers give your skin the good kind of hydrating moisture that can serve as a protective barrier. Keep an eye out for ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Our pick? Hydro Boost Gel Cream made especially for extra-dry skin.



Skip the Makeup

It can be tempting to reach for the foundation and concealer to cover up your maskne. But, this could actually cause further irritation. Let your skin breathe and give it time to heal by flaunting your natural beauty whenever possible.

We get it. This one’s tough, especially when you have video calls and other obligations. If you absolutely can’t get away without wearing a bit of makeup, the AAD suggests that you apply non-comedogenic or oil-free makeup that won’t clog pores. Our SkinClearing Oil-Free makeup collection offers the right amount of coverage, is formulated with salicylic acid to treat blemishes and prevents future breakouts from happening.

How are you dealing with your maskne? Show us on IG by tagging @Neutrogena



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Acne, How To

I’m a writer, rescue dog owner, tattoo collector and traveler who shamelessly has an 8-step skincare routine.

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