Maskne Is a Very Real Thing — Here’s How to Get Rid of It

Maskne tips and treatments to glowing skin

You’re doing your part and masking up to stop the spread of COVID, but now you’re battling worse breakouts than ever. Don’t worry: You’re not alone. We’re seeing new clients for acne treatment at our Roseville-area med spas every day, and we suspect maskne is to blame. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to outsmart maskne-causing factors and keep flare-ups at bay, so you can mask up without stressing over your skin.

Here’s your guide to everything you need to know about maskne, from why it happens to how you can banish it for good.

What Causes Maskne?

Maskne happens when trapped sweat, oil, debris, and bacteria build up on your skin, clogging your pores. Because masks create a humid environment and prevent large particles from escaping, the pore-clogging elements that would normally whisk away in the air are trapped against your skin. It’s a recipe for breakouts, especially when you add in layers of cosmetics or skincare products that contain extra oils.

Along with acne, masks may cause issues such as:

  • Irritation and chafing
  • Inflamed hair follicles
  • Flare-ups of rosacea
  • Perioral dermatitis (small bumps around the mouth)

The more your mask rubs against your skin, the more likely you are to experience some form of irritation. Wearing an ill-fitting mask or frequently taking it on and off are common culprits.

How to Prevent Maskne

How can you steer clear of maskne without ditching your mask? Follow these tips.

Wash your reusable mask often, or change out disposable masks.

The CDC recommends washing cloth masks at least daily, either in the washing machine or by hand. We recommend keeping multiple masks on hand so you can swap them out and always have a clean one ready to wear.  

Use fewer (but better) skincare products.

Don’t overload your skin with heavy ingredients it doesn’t need; that may lead to more pore clogging. Move toward the most basic protocol: a gentle cleanser and moisturizer with a retinol at night. Visit a DA™ skincare specialist to get personalized recommendations for your simplest and most effective skincare routine. We’re more than happy to help!

Go lighter on lower-face makeup.

Ease up on full-coverage foundation under your mask. Try using a tinted moisturizer or even going makeup-free instead. It’ll help your skin breathe as much as possible, and no one but you will know anything’s different!

How to Treat Maskne

If you’ve already been hit by maskne, here’s what you can do to clear it up:

  • Use a spot treatment: Go for a product that contains benzoyl peroxide, such as the DA™ Advanced Acne Control Gel. Avoid using it all over your face as it can be drying.
  • Clear out blockages: Eliminate build-up by stopping in every month or so for a DiamondGlow™ treatment. This will extract clogs and exfoliate away any remaining dead skin or debris.
  • Kill acne-causing bacteria: Reduce bacteria and address redness with Cutera® Excel V Laser Genesis, one of our favorite acne-fighting treatments.

Want to learn more about outsmarting maskne? At our medical spa locations across the Sacramento area, we specialize in bringing out the very best in your skin. We would love to get you started on a custom skin routine so you can enjoy that amazing clear-skin feeling, no matter what comes your way. Contact us online or give us a call at (916) 844-4913. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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