Here’s A Simple Guide to Banishing Mask Breakouts

by Michaela d'Artois


Here’s A Simple Guide to Banishing Mask Breakouts

Yes, “maskne” is a thing.

“Maskne is a real thing!” FACILE dermatology + boutique’s newest Medical Esthetician, Jessica Cortina tells me. On top of all our other “new normals,” we’re all learning to live with mask breakouts in 2020. Of course, we strongly support wearing masks for your own protection and the protection of others. However, we share in your frustration of the acne and other skin-related side effects caused by face masks and coverings. 

So how do we fight back against mask breakouts? “Stay away from thick, occlusive moisturizers underneath your mask,” says Cortina. Sweat and oil can get trapped under heavy moisturizers, creating a hotspot for breakouts. Instead, she suggests sticking to a light hydrator, like a hyaluronic acid serum. She also recommends topping it off with an oil-free sunscreen. And don’t forget the power of cleansing! “Do not skip your face wash in the morning if you are going to be wearing a mask all day,” she says.

If you use cosmetics to reiterate your style, the following piece of advice may feel constricting to your methods of self-expression (sorry!). But stashing your foundation, bronzer and blush for a few months may be to your benefit. “This is the perfect time to try out that no-makeup makeup look,” says Cortina. Or may we suggest finding a new flex in otherworldly eye-makeup?

Aside from the products underneath it, your mask itself may be the culprit. “A rough mask may cause skin friction, which could be a cause of your breakouts,” says Cortina To prevent this, she suggests opting for the softest mask you can find. And ditch synthetics: natural fabrics like cotton and silk allow skin to breathe. 

As for post-mask skin care, Cortina says not to underestimate the power of the double cleanse. Begin with an oil-based cleanser or balm, and follow with a water-based cleanser such as a micellar water. Then finish with your toner of choice and a thicker moisturizer. 

Finally, (and we can’t stress enough) always reach for a clean mask! This diminishes the chances of bacteria getting introduced to the skin and causing mask breakouts.

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