While under quarantine, wearing a face mask is absolutely essential to keep yourself and others safe from the coronavirus pandemic. Although the face covers are protective, wearing them for a long period of time can irritate your skin and lead to acne or in this case – maskne. Some of our favorite celebs have been wearing face masks, including Emma Roberts, 29, and in order to keep yourself protected without causing pimples, dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian, MD, as well as nutrition and wellness expert, Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, shared with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY, how you can treat and prevent maskne.
Dr. Nazarian revealed that acne can definitely be a result of wearing your face mask. “Face masks retain heat and humidity from our recirculating breath, and then keep it trapped against our faces. Both heat and humidity, along with bacteria from our mouths, are triggers for acne, and even other skin conditions that can mimic acne, such as rosacea.” To help prevent breakouts, she admitted, “When and if possible, wash your mask often to prevent the transfer of surface oil and bacteria back onto your face; be diligent about a skincare routine that consists of a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and acne-combating ingredients. Over time, this will decrease inflammation, decrease pathogenic bacteria, and ultimately decrease breakouts. I usually recommend a super gentle cleanser like unscented sensitive skin Dove Beauty Bar, an oil-free moisturizer like Cetaphil, and then a small amount of ProactivMD, which contains adapalene- a third generation retinoid that can help regulate skin cells and decrease acne.”
As for how to treat pimples caused by the mask, she shared, “If you’re already breaking out, start a regimen such as mentioned above and consider adding ingredients that will minimize the acne that’s present: benzoyl peroxide can be gentle enough to use as a spot treatment. Proactiv makes a great Emergency Blemish Relief that can be used on acne spots while you’re just starting a routine. The goal is always to PREVENT breakouts, but with the daily use of masks, sometimes people may experience some breakthrough breakouts.”
Aside from Dr. Nazarian, Frances suggested different ways to prevent breakouts from the mask. “Try to wash your cloth mask after each use. I wash mine in cold water and let them air dry. I bought some that are reversible, which is helpful. Also, avoid wearing lots of makeup while you’re wearing your mask, and wash your face after you remove it. For exercise, I’m finding that wearing a cotton bandana is a better option than wearing a tight face mask.”
To treat zits caused by the mask, she suggests, “Wash your skin twice a day and use a product with salicylic acid to treat blemishes. I like the one from bioClarity, which is very gentle. At night you can try a lactic acid treatment to help boost cell turnover. I love Good Genes by Sunday Riley.”