Acne is one thing that we can probably all agree we’d rather live without. And with the addition of face masks to our regular wardrobes, we’ve discovered a new skin ailment that needs special care—maskne, acne caused by wearing face masks for long periods throughout the day. Since face masks can be breeding grounds for bacteria because of their ability to trap oil, dirt and sweat close to the skin they have made the list of pimple culprits we can’t avoid, even in cold weather. So, ahead, we offer five tips that you can incorporate into your routine to help keep those pesky breakouts away.
Tip #1: Clean Your Skin Regularly
If you don’t have a daily skin care routine established already, now is a great time to create one. It’s a new year with a new normal. And it’s important to make sure you wash and moisturize your face before and after wearing a mask, according to the Mayo Clinic. That will decrease build-up on your skin where bacteria can start to grow. We love L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof- All Skin Types for an easy waterless cleanse before bed to remove makeup, excess oil and other impurities that grab onto skin during the day. Also, keep a pack of wipes in your bag when you step out so that you can freshen up your skin throughout the day. We love the L'Oréal Paris Ideal Clean All Skin Types Makeup Removing Towelettes. They’re easy to carry and help to clear pores without drying out your skin.
Tip #2: Exfoliate At Least Twice A week
Exfoliate every week to get rid of anything trapped in your skin from your mask. It will help clear your pores of any excess buildup, such as dead skin cells, oil, and dirt. Try L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Kiwi Scrub, which includes three naturally derived sugars and real kiwi seeds to gently polish dulls skin. The gel-like texture melts into the skin and can also be used to replenish dry, chapped lips.
Tip #3: Choose the Right Face Mask
Since the enforcement of face masks, various types have hit the market to accommodate different needs. The Mayo Clinic recommends cloth masks or masks made of materials like polyester that will help keep moisture out during workouts but not make you feel stifled. For regular day-to-day activity switch to a cotton fabric mask. Just make sure your mask fits your face comfortably to safely protect your face and cut down on friction. If you choose to use the popular disposable face masks, be sure to throw them away after each use.
Editor’s tip: To prevent friction against the skin, you can apply a thin layer of zinc oxide ointment or cream to serve as a skin protectant. Remember to add it to the bridge of your nose and behind your ears since those are the most common spots that suffer from adjusting face masks throughout the day.
Tip # 4: Wash Your Face Mask, Too
If you’re wearing a reusable face mask it’s important to wash it regularly. No one is expected to keep a face mask collection that shames Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe closet, but you might want to have a few options so that you can wear one while you wash the others. The same way disposable masks shouldn’t be worn over and over again, cloth masks shouldn’t be used continuously without regular cleansing. Remember, this is going on your face daily and it should be just as clean as your skin.
Tip #4: Use a Treatment
One of the best options for getting rid of acne is a spot treatment. Look for acne treatment products that include benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. It’s also best to be proactive and treat acne as soon as you spot it. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), early treatment can stop a few pimples from spreading across your face and turning into deep painful acne. And for those with darker complexions, the faster you treat it, the less risk you’ll have at dealing with acne scarring after. Use your spot treatments nightly or as recommended by a dermatologist.