"Maskne" Is A Real Thing, And Here's How You Can Treat And Prevent It — According To Dermatologists

by Jenn Sinrich
Originally Published: 

Wearing a mask 24/7 has become commonplace. It’s our unfortunate new reality as we all do our part to curb the spread of COVID-19. While they’re undeniably uncomfortable, perhaps the worst side effect of wearing masks is that they trap acne-causing bacteria underneath that lead to pesky breakouts that have earned their own nickname: “maskne.”

It’s actually a well-known type of acne that was typically only seen in athletes who wore helmets or other facial equipment, explains Marisa Garshick, M.D., a dermatologist at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery (MDCS) in New York City. “Early on in the pandemic, we were seeing it in healthcare professionals and other essential workers, but now we are seeing it in everyone,” she says. “Some people with acne-prone skin are noticing worsening breakouts related to mask use, while there are also people who are only noticing new breakouts since wearing a mask.”

How to prevent maskne & maskne treatments

Needless to say, “maskne” is not cute—and we’re not keen on having yet another annoying thing to deal with in 2020. The good news is that there are some ways to prevent “maskne,” starting with your at-home skin care routine. Dermatologists recommend washing your face the usual twice a day and potentially adding in a third wash if you spend long periods of time under a face mask. “This will help remove oil, sweat, and buildup that has accumulated during the day,” says Brendan Camp, M.D., a Manhattan-based dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology.

Here are some of the best face washes and treatments on the market to tackle pesky “maskne” and get your skin looking bright, clear and healthy.

Maskne Skincare

Now that you’re set in the face wash department, check out some other top-rated and mom-approved beauty must-haves.


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