How to Treat Maskne (And Prevent Breakouts)

Struggling with breakouts since you started wearing a mask? Here’s how to treat maskne during the pandemic.

How to treat maskne and prevent breakouts

How to treat and prevent maskne

How to treat maskne and prevent future breakouts

Friendly PSA before I dive in to this skincare post: Please wear a mask in public! It could save a life, multiple lives. If you don’t want to wear a mask, then stay home.

I’ve been extremely diligent about wearing mask when I go out in public. I’ve been so lucky to be able to work from home, although occasionally I do venture out to the grocery store and other necessary errands when I need to. While I have no problem wearing a mask in public, it does have one downside—maskne (mask + acne = maskne).

Masks are becoming a part of everyday life during this pandemic and with the summer heat and humidity in full force; it can be difficult to maintain clear skin. Masks can trap in humidity, dirt, oil, and sweat, which can wreak havoc on your complexion.

If you’ve been diligent about wearing a mask in public then you may be experiencing breakouts too. I am by no means a dermatologist but I have spent some time researching ways to treat maskne so you don’t have to.

1. Wash your face before and after wearing a face mask in public
By washing your face before and after wearing a mask, you’ll help curb the effects of maskne. I’m really good about cleansing morning and night but if I run errands during the day then I usually don’t wash my face until bedtime and that may be too late. I recommend using a cleanser that won’t strip skin of its natural oils but still wipe away dirt and grime. I’ll share a few cleansers I’ve tried and liked in the shopping widget below!

2. Use a chemical exfoliant
This step is key to preventing mask breakouts from forming in the first place. A chemical exfoliator helps break down dead skin cells and allows for cell turnover so you have a smooth and glowing complexion.

I’ve been using the M-61 PowerGlow Peel as my chemical exfoliant. I’ve been using it twice a week and notice a difference in my complexion. It’s made with glycolic and salicylic acid to help minimize pores and tighten skin.

3. Use a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer
Avoid moisturizers with a fragrance, especially if you have sensitive skin! I bounce between a few different moisturizers, depending on the weather and how my skin looks/feels. Right now I’ve been using Glossier Priming Moisturizer Balance (read my review here). It’s fragrance-free and feels lightweight on my skin during these hot and humid summer days.

4. Avoid heavy foundation/makeup 
Heavy foundations will only further trap bacteria in your pores under your mask so the best thing is to wear tinted moisturizers or light, breathable makeup formulas so skin can breathe. In my opinion, the best part of wearing a mask is half your face is covered, thus you don’t need a full face of makeup! Remember lipstick? Aside from SPF, I’ve been wearing Skin Tint and a couple coats of mascara when I go out in public.

5. Apply a skin salve 
This particular tip came from an article I stumbled upon and it caught my attention as it’s something I haven’t tried yet but it might be worth a shot. A face balm will act as a physical barrier to protect chapped skin and prevent bacteria from spreading. Apply it to the area where the masks sits right before you put it on. The only skin salve I love and use is Balm Dotcom (the unscented, untinted version) is a great skin salve for areas other than your lips so I’ll try this next time I head out and keep you posted!

Don’t forget to wash your fabric mask every time you wear it!

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