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At this point we all know that we need to be wearing a mask when we have to go outside — masks are the new seat belts folks! They save lives!
But, as we wear them to stay safe, we're also confronted with a new dilemma — maskne (as if everything else wasn't enough). So we asked New York-based dermatologist, Dr. Anthony M. Rossi, MD, FAAD to talk to us about maskne; how to prevent it, treat it, and why it's even happening in the first place.
Maskne is the acne many of us are experiencing because we're wearing masks. Dr. Rossi explains "It's occurring because of the occlusion from the mask on someone's skin and the buildup of sweat and sebum (face oils) under the mask. Dermatologists call this Acne mechanica, which is a form of acne that is triggered when the skin is pressed or rubs against clothing or protective gear."
Okay, so how can we prevent it — especially if we need to be wearing masks? Well, according to Dr. Rossi, the key is to let the skin breathe. "Letting your skin breathe is helpful when you are not wearing a mask — make sure to wash your face regularly with cleanser and don't occlude the skin." Another tip Dr. Rossi suggests is to "avoid pore-clogging makeup," especially when wearing a mask.
If you've always been prone to acne (🙋) Dr. Rossi suggests "adding an acne-targeted toner with salicylic acid. This will help as the salicylic acid is able to penetrate the pores."
If you're on the go or wearing your mask for long periods of time, Dr. Rossi suggests using face towelettes or "your favorite oil-blotting pads. They can be helpful when you are on the go and want to cleanse the face or soak up the excess oil."
Exfoliating about once a week might also help. "You can exfoliate with a gentle scrub, dry washcloth, or clay mask once a week."
And since you've got the time while you're sleeping, Dr. Rossi recommends using a light over-the-counter retinoid at night. "They can help cut down on closed and open comedones (white and blackheads)."
Dr. Rossi also emphasizes that "you don't want to over dry your skin so it is still important to moisturize. A light-based one with sunscreen is helpful — SPF 30 or above."
And last but not least, Dr. Rossi notes that steam "can be helpful in general to unclog your pores."
And there you have it, here's to the end of our newfound maskne!
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