Is your mask causing breakouts? Here are 9 expert-approved solutions

People are facing a new skin care issue called "maskne." Here are expert-recommended products that can help.
By Megan Foster

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As many stores and restaurants begin to open their doors, it's important to remember that the CDC still recommends wearing a face covering in public. Though the added safety measures are enforced for a good reason, wearing a mask can be uncomfortable — especially as temperatures rise.

TODAY 3rd Hour spoke with dermatologist Dr. Angela Lamb to learn how to combat one of the biggest skin issues people are facing right now. "Maskne" describes the breakouts or blemishes caused by the friction, heat and sweat that comes with wearing a mask. She also shared her skin care picks to obliterate "maskne" once and for all.

From cleansers and sunscreen to zit dots and face masks, here's how to avoid "maskne" this summer.

Cleansers

Lamb advises washing your face before and after wearing a mask if possible. She says that using a gentle cleanser is preferable and that products with glycolic or salicylic acid are best for cell turnover, which helps keep skin clear,

1. Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

The Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is gentle and effective on normal, dry, combination or oily skin. Though it shouldn't replace your regular cleanser, you can incorporate it into your routine a few times a week to help improve skin's tone and texture.

2. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser

This daily, ultra-gentle cleanser is made to maintain your skin's natural protective barrier and pH levels. It features ingredients like ceramides, glycerin and niacinamide which lock in moisture and soothe skin.

3. Institut Esthederm Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser

Formulated with "cellular water technology," the Institut Esthederm Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser is formulated to remove impurities that can trigger breakouts and make skin look dull.

To use, apply a small portion to dry skin on your neck and face and massage it in circular movements before rinsing. "It's creamy but when you mix it with water and use it on your face you get more of a foam," explained Lamb.

Acne and breakout treatments

Though cleansing is a good preventative measure to avoid acne, there are options to treat breakouts after they occur. Lamb advises using acne dots to target specific blemishes and cleansing wipes after workouts.

1. Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots

"If you do get breakouts, you can apply these acne dots right underneath the mask," suggested Lamb. The zit-sized patches are made with 1.5% salicylic acid and tea tree oil to help soothe inflammation and banish blemishes in a few hours.

2. Lauren Napier Flaunt Facial Cleansing Wipes

This pouch includes 50 individually packaged facial cleansing wipes that are formulated to hydrate, nourish, and brighten skin. Active ingredients include vitamin C which helps fight acne and dark spots, vitamin K which stimulates collagen production and selenium to preserve skin's elasticity.

Lauren Napier is currently offering free shipping using the promo code "TODAY."

Face Masks

Lamb says that you should choose a face mask that suits your face shape and skin type. She shared a few of her picks, including one that goes behind your ears, one that secures behind your head and a lightweight mesh option.

1. Banana Republic Face Mask 3-Pack

Banana Republic's fabric face masks are made with breathable nylon, polyester and spandex. The designs are machine washable and have an over-ear design.

2. Birdwell Birdie Reversible Mask

This non-medical face mask is constructed with two thin layers of fabric for a protective yet breathable barrier. The reversible design has four strings to achieve a comfortable, customized fit.

When you purchase one of these masks, another is donated to CORE, a non-profit that provides free drive-through COVID-19 testing for high-risk individuals.

3. My E Three Neck Gaiter

This neck gaiter can be worn as a headband, scarf or face covering. It's made with breathable polyester microfiber that is soft on skin and wind-resistant.

Face chafing and irritation

Some people experience redness and irritation when wearing their masks. Lamb recommends using a nourishing cream to soothe damaged skin.

1. Boiron Calendula Cream

This cream is formulated with a healing agent called calendula, which helps soothe irritation. "You can use it on the bridge of your nose or behind your ears just to create that nice barrier so you're not getting as much of that redness," Lamb explained.

Sunscreen

Last, but certainly not least, Lamb notes that even if your face is covered with a mask, it's important to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from potential burns.

1. Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen

"You get a little color, protection and coverage with this one," said Lamb of Unsun's tinted formula. The lightweight mineral sunscreen has SPF 30 sun protection and is formulated with shea butter, vitamin E and coconut oil that help to moisturize skin.

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