Tips to prevent and treat the dreaded "maskne"

woman in mask

September 20, 2020

Gina Morigeau
Gina Morigeau

Wearing a mask while in public and when around people who are not part of your immediate household is important to help limit the spread of COVID-19. As a Medical Aesthetician at the St. Peter’s Health Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics clinic, I wear a mask all day. You might have noticed that wearing a mask can have impacts on your skin.

Whether you are prone to acne and getting more breakouts than usual or you are someone who never gets acne and is now seeing some breakouts pop up, here are a few tips to prevent and treat the dreaded “maskne.”

If you haven’t already, start a simple skin care routine including cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and wearing sunscreen. Using skincare products will help with the skin’s natural shedding process. Daily cleansing, along with exfoliating 2-3 times weekly, ensures that all the dirt and dead skin cells that accumulate throughout the day are removed rather than clogging your pores. You can choose either a physical exfoliator such as a scrub, or a chemical exfoliator using products containing AHAs or BHAs such as glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid. Moisturizing and wearing sunscreen helps ensure the skin’s protective barrier function’s properly. Moisturizer can help prevent irritation caused by friction from your mask.

Wearing makeup under your mask can lead to clogged pores. To help prevent clogged pores, focus on your eye makeup and skip the foundation. If you’re the type that can’t say goodbye to makeup, try using products labelled “non-comedogenic.”

Make sure you are changing your mask daily and washing your cloth masks after every use. If you are struggling with irritation from your mask, try using a gentle laundry detergent that is dye and fragrance free.

Use a mouth wash before putting on your mask in the morning to eliminate the amount of germs you are breathing into your mask. Having fresh breath also makes wearing a mask a much better experience.        

Just because masks are the new normal, it doesn’t mean that acne has to be too!

Gina Morigeau is a Medical Aesthetician at the St. Peter’s Health Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics clinic. Gina began her career as an aesthetician when she graduated from the Montana Academy of Salons, after she received her Bachelor of Arts from Carroll College in 2015.