Skin Care

How to Prevent—and Treat—That Pesky Mask Acne

How to Prevent—and Treat—That Pesky Mask Acne

Feel like your face mask is causing Acne? You’re probably not imagining it. Not only is it becoming offensively hot and humid this summer, but we’re also wearing masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19—both of which may contribute to acne and other skin issues.

Breakouts, in particular, have become so common that mask acne has been dubbed “mask” on the internet. While you can’t ditch the mask, there are steps you can take to prevent and treat mask-related acne to enjoy a safe summer with healthy skin.

What causes mask acne?

Acne usually develops when pores get clogged by oil, dead skin cells, makeup, dirt, or bacteria. This can lead to blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples that can vary in size and type, depending on how infected they get.

Adopting a simple skin-care routine—including cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and wearing sunscreen—help manage acne because it helps with the skin’s natural shedding process. Regular cleansing and exfoliating ensure that all that gunk and dead skin cells are removed rather than clogging your pores. Moisturizing and wearing sunscreen helps ensure the skin’s protective outer layer functions properly.

Masks also provide the perfect humid environment for bacteria to grow in our skin, which can lead to a breakout, Noelani Gonzalez, M.D., director of cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai, tells SELF.

How can you treat mask acne?

If you’re dealing with an active mask breakout there are ways to treat it—and the methods aren’t so different from the way you’d treat regular acne.

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