I have been seeing an increase in patients complaining of acne in the areas covered by the mask. We are all trying to do our share to keep each other safe, but worsening of the pimples, which also leave marks that persist for a long period of time is frustrating.
I already have acne prone skin and with wearing a mask for the most part of the day at work, I saw a dramatic increase in acne, especially on my chin.
Here are some tips for mascne prevention.
· Make sure to change your mask or wash it as instructed. Masks collects skin care products, make up, and skin oil, together with humidity it creates a breeding ground for acne causing bacteria.
· Experiment with masks. Some will be better for you than others. There are many choices, from synthetic to natural cloth options.
· If you wear makeup I would suggest a double cleanse method in the evening, with such products as Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing oil and Cetaphil or CeraVe Cleansers. In the morning use an exfoliating wash with Salicylic or Glycolic acid which will help remove dead skin and bacteria so they will not be clogging your pores. If you have what is called an inflammatory acne where you have more red pimples and white heads, then use a Benzoyl Peroxide wash. It comes in a variety of strengths. Start with the lowest, which is 2.5% to make sure your skin doesn't get irritated.
· Make sure your products are oil free. I can’t tell you how many times I find my patients using moisturizing lotions, creams and foundations that contain several oils. Once those products are stopped their skin gets better.
Add a topical vitamin A product. There is an over the counter tretinoin option that will be tolerated by most skin types. It is called Differin. If you have oily skin that can tolerate a stronger retinol, my absolute favorite is ZO 0.5% Retinol Skin and Texture. I have been using it for the past few months and my skin has improved greatly. Retinol and Retinoid is to be used in the evening. Pea size amount is enough for the whole face and you can use Cerave PM moisturizing lotion after.
· Chemical peels can be beneficial. At High Point Medspa I offer ZO skin chemical peels of superficial and mid depth that will improve both acne and marks left by the pimples. If non of these options are working, consider Rx medications.