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Acne Under the Mask? 6 Things to Do

Acne Under the Mask? 6 Things to Do

Just when you’ve gotten used to the elastic around your ears, your face mask has a new surprise: acne along your chin, cheeks, or nose. As we go about our day with masks on, our pores can clog up due to moisture buildup from exhaled breath and decreased air circulation underneath the mask. The toasty situation inside your mask also encourages sweat production which can develop into cystic acne. The good news is we have a few ways to prevent the development and spread of acne in the areas you wear a mask. Here’s how.

Start with Mask Hygiene

You wear your mask out in public, but how many times has it been washed? If you’re using a cloth mask or another type of reusable mask, be sure to throw it in the laundry every few days (after removing the paper filter, if applicable).

Cloth masks can be laundered in the washing mashing using preferably hot, but at least warm water. Use a heavy-duty stain removing detergent such as Tide or Gain to release dirt, grime, and oil buildup.

Related: How to make a cloth mask with two hair ties and a bandana

Wash Up, Routinely

Now is not the time to get lazy with the basics. Commit to washing your face at least twice per day (in the morning before you mask up and in the evening before bed). Using a gentle oil-free cleanser can help prevent breakouts, or you can choose a light exfoliating cleanser formulated with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Take your time sudsing up the areas of your face that are acne-prone, such as around your jawline and T-zone.

Avoid Heavy Oil-based Products

Oil can add to the increased moisture under the masks forming a waxy substance in our pores that can lead to breakouts. Especially if you have acne-prone or oily skin, avoid heavy foundations and moisturizers while wearing a mask. It may be worth skipping makeup altogether and just using a light moisturizer since makeup tends to rub off inside your mask.

Stay Hydrated with Hyaluronic Acid

Serum and/or moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid will keep your skin well hydrated and moisturized since hyaluronic acid attracts and retains the water content of your skin. Well-moisturized skin also repels oil.

Two of the highest-rated HA serums are from The Ordinary and CeraVe (great for sensitive skin).

Spot-treat Underneath Your Mask

Got a zit brewing or a cluster of acne? Nip them in the bud discreetly using acne patches underneath your mask. Acne patches are small moisture-absorbing hydrocolloid bandages usually cut into circles. If you use acne patches underneath your mask, no one can see them and they prevent your mask from rubbing against the blemish, irritating it more.

..and Moisturize Your Lips

The natural barrier of your lips can become depleted from the increased moisture under a mask. If your lips are more cracked and chapped than usual, you can fortify the barrier by layering on your favorite lip balm before wearing your mask. Continue using lip balm throughout the day and before bed.

Ogden Clinic dermatologists sell their top recommended moisturizers, serums, acne treatments (with car-side delivery available). They perform professional blemish solutions and can even help you create a customized skincare routine that addresses your needs. See our Northern Utah locations here.