Derms Share Their Favorite Products for Fighting Maskne

February 24, 2021
Samantha Holender
By: Samantha Holender | by L'Oréal
Derms Share Their Favorite Products for Fighting Maskne

Wearing a protective face mask (ideally two!) is a must these days, but between the friction of the fabric against your skin and the buildup of sweat, bacteria and oil the mask can trap, it’s not uncommon to start breaking out on the lower half of your face. While keeping your face mask clean and skipping makeup are the best lines of defense against pimples, you may also want to consider revamping your skin-care routine. To find out which products are best for fighting maskne, we asked four board-certified dermatologists to recommend their favorite over-the-counter products. 

CeraVe Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

“Use a very gentle cleanser like the CeraVe Gentle Hydrating Cleanser and then spritz with a thermal spring water like the La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water. The hydrating cleanser won’t strip your skin, and the spray will hydrate it. If you have active acne, though, consider a cleanser with salicylic or glycolic acid, like the SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser.” —Dr. Elizabeth Houshmand, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Houshmand Dermatology 


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution
“This contains chemical exfoliants, including salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which gently but effectively exfoliate to remove dirt, sweat and other pore-clogging debris to help with congestion from wearing masks.” —Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entiére Dermatology


INNBeauty Project Foam Around Clarifying Daily Cleanser

“After removing your mask, I recommend using an exfoliating cleanser to fully remove dirt and oil from the skin that builds up under the mask. This cleanser contains a mix of alpha-, beta- and poly-hydroxy-acids to remove excess oil, dirt and dead cells from the surface of the skin to keep the pores clear.” —Dr. Joshua Zeichner, board-certified dermatologist of Zeichner Dermatology


EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer
“Oftentimes, acne patients will only focus on active products to treat acne, but using a lightweight moisturizer is key in ensuring a healthy skin barrier and well moisturized but not congested skin. Using a light weight moisturizer like this one, which is formulated with willow bark extract and niacinamide, will help restore a healthy skin barrier.” —Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin


SLMD Salicylic Acid Body Spray

"Spray this on the inside of your mask and wave it dry. You don’t have to actually apply it to your skin and mess up makeup. It works really well to minimize breakouts early in the process.” —Dr. Dhaval G. Bhanusali, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery


Alpha H Liquid Gold Exfoliating Treatment

“Maskne is caused by inflammation because of direct friction of the mask against the skin leading to inflammation. The mask causes indirect effects also by trapping oil, sweat and exhaled breath on the skin. This treatment contains glycolic acid to clear the pores and licorice root extract to soothe inflammation.” —Dr. Zeichner 



Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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