If you suffer from maskne despite your good skin hygiene, you are not alone. Face mask-related breakouts have affected many of us this past year, with no end in sight—especially if you wear a mask throughout your workday.
Mask-wearing irritates your skin in a number of ways: your mask traps bacteria, holds in moisture from your breath, harbors sweat and sebum, generates heat, and even creates friction. This environment is a perfect recipe for acne breakouts, and it calls for a special skincare routine to both treat and prevent maskne.
In this blog, we’re revealing our aesthetician Marissa’s top eight recommendations for maskne-prone skin.
1. Get facials on a regular basis
For starters, schedule your next aesthetician appointment! Not only can our licensed aesthetician Marissa help evaluate your skin and confirm if the issue is maskne, but her medical-grade facials can promote healthy cell turnover and flush out pores. Consider treatments like the soothing HydraFacial MD® or the restorative VI Peel. These can give your skin a clean slate and help to increase the effectiveness of your at-home treatments.
2. Audit everything that touches your face
You cannot control the need to wear a face mask; however, you can control everything else that touches your face. Use these tricks to reduce your skin’s contact with excess bacteria:
- Wear breathable, cotton face masks when possible.
- Wash reusable face masks in hot water after each use.
- Wash towels and pillowcases in hot water after every 2-3 uses.
- Launder with a mild, fragrance-free detergent to prevent any extra irritation from harsh chemicals or fragrances.
- Wash your hands before you touch your face.
- Avoid frequently adjusting your mask. If your mask needs constant fiddling to stay in place, try a different style.
Apply a lightweight layer of moisture to your skin before wearing your mask. Moisturizer is the foundation of healthy skin, reinforcing its protective barrier function and soothing irritation.
Breakouts can actually intensify if your skin is dry, as dehydrated skin tries to compensate by over-producing oils.
If you struggle with acne or oily skin, it may seem counterintuitive to add moisturizer into the mix beneath your mask. But oils in your skin are a separate issue from hydration, and breakouts can actually intensify if your skin is dry, as dehydrated skin tries to compensate by over-producing oils.
4. Use exfoliants to encourage cell renewal
A healthy amount of cell turnover ensures that dead skin cells don’t stick around to clog your pores. For this reason, exfoliation is very important to preventing maskne—but you may not be doing it right. Avoid harsh physical exfoliation devices and products, which can irritate sensitive skin. Instead, choose chemical exfoliants, which are gentler on your already-stressed skin. Use a cleanser or serum to gently remove dead skin cells and renew your skin with ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acid, beta-hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, and/or salicylic acid.
5. Use a gentle cleanser (not soap)
Choose a soothing cleanser—a product that is not soap-based—with a rinse-off formula. While soap strips your skin of its healthy oils, a cleanser removes impurities gently, stopping short of over-drying. Be sure to cleanse your skin immediately after you take your mask off for the day.
6. Continue to wear lightweight, mineral-based sunscreen
A sunscreen formulated for sensitive skin using mineral ingredients will not irritate breakouts, and will continue to protect your skin from environmentally-induced aging.
7. Go naked under your mask
Your mask traps in and intensifies the effects of any products underneath it, so stick to your lightweight moisturizer and sunscreen, avoiding any unnecessary products. If you want to wear makeup, limit your application to the upper part of your face.
8. Eat well
A 2020 study showed a strong relationship between unhealthy diet and adult acne breakouts, confirming what we already know: To support your general health, choose nutrient-rich vegetables and whole grains, and limit your intake of foods containing sugar and dairy. Your skin will thank you.
Visit your Hagerstown aesthetician for more tips & treatments for radiant skin
At Plastic Surgery Services, we are ready to help you perfect your maskne-free skincare routine. Our licensed aesthetician Marissa offers skincare consultations in addition to medical-grade facial treatments to support your skin’s health and radiance. Contact us today to book your appointment or learn more about the services we offer at Plastic Surgery Services in Hagerstown, MD.