Best Practices and Suggestions on Preventing “Maskne” by UCSF-trained dermatologist Olivia Choi, MD, PhD.
1. Wear the right mask. Look for a snug but comfortable fit. Soft, natural and breathable fabric (not a mask with a valve) like cotton or silk. If you have sensitive skin or acne prone skin, definitely try silk!
2. Skip makeup when wearing a mask. Under a mask, make-up is more likely to clog pores and lead to breakouts. If you must wear make-up, make sure it is non-comedogenic or oil free to decrease chances of a breakout. We recommend keeping it simple and wearing a Vitamin C serum like our BAOS and sunscreen. This will give your skin a chance to breathe and repair. Azelaic acid in BAOS can also help prevent Maskne!
3. Cleanse skin and your mask daily: Washing your face helps to remove accumulated debris and oil. Washing your mask after each use helps to remove oils and dead skin that collects inside the mask. Try our Damage Control Creme Cleanser if you have dry skin to normal skin or the Pure Blue Cleansing Gel which works on all skin types.
4. Hydrate your skin twice a day. A healthy skin barrier is important to preventing 'maskne' and replenishing lost hydration is key! To get the most benefit from a moisturizer, find one with ceramide, jojoba seed oil or hyaluronic acid. To prevent breakouts from moisturizer we recommend customizing as follows: oily skin use the BAOS, normal/combination skin: BAOS and Goat Milk Hydrator, and dry to very dry skin: Goat Milk Hydrator + 2 drops of Rescue Hydrate or Super Seed Oil.
5. Avoid harsh irritating products like chemical peels, scrubs, exfoliants, or trying a retinoid or retinol for the first time. In fact, you may need to use less of certain skin care products you've been using if they have the potential to be irritating e.g. acne treatments like leave on salicylic acid or retinoids as when covered with a mask these may become more irritating. If you've been using a retinoid or retinol, apply it at bedtime and don't increase the amount you apply.
Written by UCSF-trained dermatologist Olivia Choi, MD, PhD.