Table of Contents
- 1 What is Maskne?
- 2 Here are 15 of the Most Effective Products For Treating Maskne.
- 2.1 5 Cleansers For Treating Maskne.
- 2.2 5 Leave-on Exfoliants for Treating Maskne
- 2.3 5 Spot Treatments For Treating Maskne
- 2.4 In Conclusion,
- 2.5 Share this:
This post will be sharing 15 different products you can use to treat maskne and keep it away.
I’m super sure that there’s no one who hasn’t experienced some form of maskne since we started wearing masks about a year ago. Except for maybe Asians who already wear masks as part of their lifestyle. I’ve seen people who left acne in their 20s suddenly waking up to new breakouts. Some times it spirals out of control into full blown adult acne.
From now to the foreseeable future, masks will become a part of our lifestyle so will maskne. So, the earlier you figure out how to prevent and treat it, the better for your skin.
What is Maskne?
I’m not sure who coined this perfect word but as you can tell it is the combination of the words ‘mask’ and ‘acne’. It is simply acne that happens as a result of wearing masks for an extended period of time.
According to a dermatologist,
Maskne is caused by occlusion, which is when something causes a blockage in the pores. Occlusion is defined as a blockage, which is exactly why dermatologists always recommend avoiding things that block your facial pores, for example, heavy makeup. It’s the same with face masks!DR Hiba Injibar
So yeah, your concerns are valid. You can actually get acne from wearing masks regardless of your age or gender. Thankfully, there are different products you can use to combat maskne before it gets out of hand.
3 Key Ingredients For Treating Maskne
Obviously, there are certain things you can do like changing your masks twice a day to combat maskne. But sometimes, that simply sin’t enough. You need topical products that will penetrate into your skin to unclog your pores. When buying products, there are three ingredients you should look out for;
- Salicylic Acid; is a beta hydroxy acid that works by penetrating into the skin’s pores to unclog the dirt and grime that causes acne.
- Benzoyl Peroxide: this is a bacteriostatic agent that kills the bacteria that causes acne.
- Sulfur: this also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that kill the bacteria that causes acne.
Whatever product you’re buying to target maskne, make sure that they have any three of these ingredients.
Here are 15 of the Most Effective Products For Treating Maskne.
For these recommendations, I’ve split them into three categories namely;
- Cleansers/Face Wash; for those that would like to use acne-fighting ingredients more frequently at low concentrations.
- Toners/Exfoliants: for those that prefer to go hard with treatments at moderate to high concentrations.
- Spot Treatments: for those that prefer to nib the acne in the bud before it escalates.
Depending on your skin type and routine at the moment, the most important thing is to find products you can use frequently without irritations.
5 Cleansers For Treating Maskne.
As someone with dry acne-prone skin, I always have either a Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide cleanser on hand. Depending on how my skin feels, I like to alternate between exfoliating and hydrating cleansers.
Cerave Renewing SA Cleanser/Smoothing Cleanser
Depending on what part of the world you are chances are you’ll be able to get your hands on either Cerave Salicylic Acid cleansers. I personally use the Cerave SA Smoothing Cleanser about three times a week and I love how gentle and hydrating it is for my dry acne-prone skin. While it doesn’t instantly get rid of my acne, it helps to significantly reduce inflammation over time. It is formulated with 0.5% Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide and Ceramides.
The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser
Currently giving the Cerave cleansers a run for their money is The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser. Based on all the great reviews I’ve seen, I honestly cannot wait to use it. It formulated with 2% Salicylic Acid which is the highest percentage allowed for over-the-counter products, Zinc PCA, Vitamin E and Allantoin.
PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash
Possibly the best Benzoyl Peroxide product on the market is the PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash. It is formulated with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide which kills the bacteria that causes acne. Plus it can be used from head to toe. So, if you also suffer from backne, buttne or acne in any part of your body, BO is super effective in that regard.
Cerave Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser
If 10% Benzoyl Peroxide is too strong for you or you’re allergic to Salicylic Acid and you just need to slowly introduce your skin to Benzoyl Peroxide, then you should absolutely try this Cerave cleanser with 4% Benzoyl Peroxide. Just like the rest of the Cerave formulations, it also has Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide. So, you definitely know that it won’t dry out your skin.
Vichy Normaderm Phytosolution Purifying Cleansing Gel
Another drugstore Salicylic Acid cleanser is this one from Vichy. It has about 0.5% Salicylic Acid which is suitable and gentle enough for daily use.
5 Leave-on Exfoliants for Treating Maskne
Sometimes cleansers don’t work as fast as you want them to. A lot of times, they take a few days longer to completely get rid of acne. In cases where your acne has quickly escalated from mild to moderate, you will need something stronger than an exfoliating cleanser.
Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
If you have acne-prone skin and you don’t have this product in your skincare stash, are you even ready to treat your acne? I don’t think so. This product is an OG for a reason. The other day, I introduced a new fermented essence to my routine and it broke me out in whiteheads. I knew I had to attack it quickly. So, I stopped using the essence and replaced it with my Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant for about three days. After attacking the whiteheads back to back, it cleared up instantly. It goes without saying that I don’t use this product frequently. Only when my skin is reacting badly to a product.
This product is either a hit or miss with most people. It’s either it works and works really well or it doesn’t at all. Personally, I didn’t appreciate the product until I was done with it. It has 4% Betaine Salicylate which is said to be equivalent to 2% Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide. Compared to SA, Betaine is more gentle particularly for those with sensitive skin. It’s a great product that is safe to use daily especially if you are a key worker that wears masks for an extended period of time. For 100ml of product, it lasts for a while.
Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleansing Toner
As a result of the Paula’s Choice BHA being a global best-seller, a lot of other BHA products don’t get as much love. This Farmacy Toner also has 2% Salicylic Acid with Lactic Acid and a bunch of fruit extracts. This is a toner you want to use a few times a week on freshly cleansed skin depending on how your skin feels. Using it at night will help unclog your pores overnight and prevent new maskne from forming.
This is my current BHA toner which I alternate with my Paula’s Choice BHA. I love it so much because it is so hydrating. You don’t even remember that it has 0.5% Salicylic Acid. With Aloe Leaf Water as its first ingredient, this semi-viscous toner also has Snail Secretion Filtrate, Beta Glucan, Aloe Leaf Extract and Aloe Leaf Juice. As a result of the low percentage of the Salicylic Acid buffered with hydrating ingredients, it’s fine to use daily.
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
Technically, this is not a leave-on exfoliant but a wash-off masque but you still need to leave it in for up to 10 minutes. With 2% Salicylic Acid in Kaolin and Squalane, you have an exfoliating masque that won’t dry out your skin. Use once or twice a week during your self-care routine and prep your skin for a new ‘maskne’ free week.
5 Spot Treatments For Treating Maskne
If you’re specifically keen on convenience or you’re lucky enough not to be as affected by maskne and would rather not get a full bottle of cleanser or exfoliant, then you should definitely try spot treatments.
The Inkey List Succinic Acne Treatment
Despite their shady marketing, this is a great spot treatment with Salicylic Acid and Sulfur as the key acne-fighting ingredients. It’s particularly great for those pesky breakouts that show up unannounced. It’s also pretty handy as you can slide it in your handbag and quickly apply it under your maskne when you feel a new pimple forming.
Vichy Normaderm Phytosolution SOS Sulfur Paste
As you can tell from the title, this Vichy line is targeted towards acne-prone skin. This spot treatment is formulated with Sulphur, Niacinamide, Glycolic Acid and Allantoin to reduce the appearance of blemishes overnight.
Glytone Acne Tinted Spot Treatment
Unlike most spot treatments, this one is transparent about the percentage of Sulfur used in the formulation. With 8% Sulfur, it comes in a tinted formula to treat and hide your blemishes simultaneously. So, if you wake up with a big zit on your forehead, this is the perfect product to hide it.
Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel
If you prefer to have your Salicylic Acid as a spot treatment or would like an accompaniment to your cleanser and/or exfoliant, then this product is for you. It has 2% Salicylic Acid that helps to get rid of your maskne whilst it is forming before it becomes visible.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Acne Treatment
If you can’t stand Benzoyl Peroxide as a cleanser but still want to enjoy the anti-bacterial benefits of the ingredient, then you can try this spot treatment with 5.5% Benzoyl Peroxide. This is definitely up my alley as I’m not particularly fond of BO in cleansers.
Regardless of your situation and/or occupation, there’s a product for you to treat maskne. So, don’t ignore it and hope it goes away because it might actually become very severe.