Atlanta experts share tips for fighting maskne

Skincare advice to get us through the face-covering days

Tips for fighting maskne mask acne

Illustration by Celia Jacobs

While wearing a mask or face covering is essential for public health, it can be tough on your skin: “Masks trap heat and humidity, which compromises the skin’s delicate barrier and exacerbates existing oils, creating the perfect environment for breakouts,” explains esthetician Bisma Rais of Artisan Beauté in Buckhead. Banish blemishes, irritation, and other mask-induced issues with these tips from Rais and other skincare experts.

Opt for skin-friendly fabrics
Just like fitness enthusiasts favor breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics, dermatologist Dr. Nikki Hill recommends that non-frontline workers look for similar qualities in masks and face coverings. (To be most effective, they should be tightly woven and multilayered—or have a built-in pocket for a filter.) “Cotton will wick away moisture, and you should avoid fabrics made with synthetic dyes or chemicals.”

Prep your canvas
“Think about how you treat your skin when you’re flying,” explains Rais, who suggests using soothing and calming products before even masking up. Her go-to? Biologique Recherche’s Crème Masque Vernix, which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that create the “perfect barrier” between a face covering and skin. She also regularly hydrates her face with a mist “to bring oxygen and life back into the skin” and uses a gentle, oxygen-rich cleanser like BR’s Lait VIP O.

Ditch the makeup
A made-up face is so 2019. Not only will that carefully applied blush or foundation end up smudging, but it will transfer to your mask, which “increases moisture and leads to more breakouts,” explains Hill.

Esthetician and Kindred Studio co-owner Kelly Painter agrees. “So many of our clients have seen improvement in their skin by letting it ‘breathe’ more regularly and avoiding the inevitable bacteria and grime buildup of wearing foundation under a mask,” she says. “A tinted moisturizer like the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint is an excellent alternative to traditional foundation.”

This article appears in our September 2020 issue.