Adult Acne? Maybe it’s MASKNE! - The Bend Magazine

Adult Acne? Maybe it’s MASKNE!

3 Tips from Halcyon Med Spa on maintaining healthy skin under a mask

By: Gabby Gonzalez  

How many times have you had to go back to the car because you forgot your mask? Covid-19 gear is now routine, even if we’re still having trouble remembering to bring a mask every time we step out. Adding a layer over the skin in the middle of summer heat? It’s causing skin issues! We’re getting more acne questions here at the Spa than ever before, and masks are a big contributor. Here are 3 tips to help you prevent “maskne.” 


#1: No makeup, not even on your lips!

Problem: When you are trapped in your own oral pathogens for long hours, and probably sweating, the presence of makeup underneath a mask is a recipe for an acne flare-up and pimple formation. Lip products, such as lipsticks and balms also heat up and spread. The fragrances and dyes in the products inevitably reach your skin, leading to whiteheads and pimples. 

Solution: Ditch the foundation and replace it with serum or moisturizer and sunscreen. Wait 15 minutes after applying before putting your mask on. Remember, the less product you wear underneath your mask, the less for your pores to deal with! After you get home, rinse your face to gently cleanse away sweat.

#2: Exfoliate regularly! 

Problem: Your skin is turning over new cells all the time. Now the mask is capturing these dead cells, creating the perfect environment for clogged pores.  

Solution:  Exfoliation is more important now than ever before. Use an exfoliating product two or three times a week that’s gentle enough for regular use, without drying your skin. Men and women alike: if you’re wearing a mask, you need to exfoliate. If it’s been a while, a HydraFacial and dermaplaning by a skincare professional is a good idea to slough dead cells and fine hairs that trap debris. A HydraFacial will include a gentle peel, then suction blocked pores and cleanse and hydrate. Whether you pair it with a facial or not, dermaplaning will let your pores breathe more freely. This can keep your natural oil production to a minimum, and allow your at-home products to penetrate more deeply. 

#3: Incorporate a product with zinc and/or salicylic acid. 

Problem: Treatment for maskne can be tricky. You don’t want to use strong products like  Retinols or Retin-As because it can worsen the problem. While these are great on their own, they sensitize the skin. Friction caused by your mask and strings can cause more damage to the skin barrier, leading to more irritation and dry areas. 

Solution: Sunscreens containing zinc can aid in eliminating skin congestion. I have found that the Elta MD sunscreen has helped me tremendously. It contains zinc and hyaluronic acid, which plumps and hydrates the skin. The ZO Skin Health Complexion Renewal Pads and the Oil Control Pads are also great products to incorporate into your daily skin routine. A swipe across the face can neutralize any lingering bacteria and eliminate excess oils.

Just a few ideas to keep in mind while we navigate the array of tricky new problems that have accompanied this pandemic! 


Gabby Gonzalez is a Licensed Aesthetician at Halcyon Med Spa and is also currently studying at Del Mar College to pursue a nursing degree.

Halcyon Med Spa is solely owned and operated by Dr. Lonnie Schwirtlich. All medical services are performed by Allergan Master Injector Heather Lenhart, FNP-C, Donna Jackson, FNP-C and Dr. Katie Boyle.