If you’ve been covering your face for the last few months, you know that the struggle with mask-related skin problems is real. There is rosacea, heat rash, and, of course, mask acne — or maskne. No one is immune to these woes, not even Adam Friedman, professor of dermatology at George Washington University, who said he’s been getting flare-ups too. “The most common issue is facial redness in the geometric distribution of the mask, with the greatest prominence at the border, so people get a lovely oval red outline. These areas are usually tender to the touch and any cream/lotion one would apply stings, as the skin barrier has been disrupted and in the setting of inflammation, the sensory nerves are hypersensitive to external stimuli,” he explained (via Healthline).
But trust Dr. Pimple Popper, aka dermatologist Sandra Lee, to come up with a simple TikTok hack to keep maskne under control — and the hack has nothing to do with taking off the mask and leaving it off. She’s recommending that those who are prone to breakouts spray the inside of their face covering with a salicylic acid-based product in order keep spots at bay. She says: “Spray it [the salicylic acid] on the inside of [your] mask [and] fan your mask to dry it a little,” she suggests in the video. ‘Salicylic acid cleans out the oil and debris within your pores, preventing acne.’ (via Daily Mail).
More tips from Dr. Pimple Popper to keep maskne at bay
As some of Dr Pimple Popper’s followers might have pointed out, the trick may not work as well on disposable masks, because health experts have said that once these paper masks are damp, they may not be as effective (hence her suggestion to fan your mask to dry it).
While the hack could be the one thing that ends the maskne cycle for you, Lee says there are other things you can do to keep your skin healthy while you wear a mask that keeps you from catching COVID-19. Lee says your cloth face covering should ideally be made with cotton, because it is both comfortable and breathable. At the same time, the mask needs to be tight enough, and sit close enough to the skin to create a seal. She also recommends keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated. She also recommends cleaning your skin before you put your mask on and immediately after you take it off to keep dead skin cells from building up. And she says you shouldn’t think about skipping the SPF even though it may be a good idea to give makeup a rest, at least for now (via SLMD Skincare).
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