The Best Maskne Products To Treat Your Mask-Induced Acne

woman with maskne looking at the mirror
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
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As we learned to accept that face masks are going to be a part of our everyday lives for quite a while, these protective gears have taken on interesting designs — from the functional to the artsy, to the quirky, face masks are no longer limited to the white medical mask we may have started out with. With their different patterns, colours, and designs, face masks are now a sight to behold, and for some,  a fashion piece worth flaunting.

However, wearing a face mask may also lead to something unsightly, such as the dreaded maskne — an acne breakout that is definitely not pleasing to the eyes, nor the skin. While we may consider maskne as another one of the inconveniences brought about by the pandemic, there’s no need to fret. We’re not as helpless when it comes to finding solutions to this particular problem. But what is maskne? Why do we get them? And what are the best maskne products to treat this skin condition?

What is Maskne?

Maskne, or mask acne, is a skin irritation that results in acne breakouts from wearing a face mask. It’s caused by the friction of fabric against the skin, which in turn, leads to inflammation and irritation that impacts the pores.

Maskne Skincare: What to do about Maskne

Just because we have to wear masks, for the time being, doesn’t mean we’d have to put up with the unsightly maskne breakout on our skin.

To know how to get rid of maskne, we’ll need to understand its causes in order to find the right maskne treatment for you. In some cases, it only takes a few simple changes with regards to how you wear your mask, while in some others it may require a maskne skincare regimen (or a diet for acne-prone skin) that’s addressed for your specific skin needs.

To start with, make sure that both your face and mask are clean. Be mindful also about constantly touching your face, or adjusting your mask as this causes the repeated rubbing of the mask against your skin.

Skipping makeup is also a good idea — it’s one less thing that will mingle with the sweat, dirt and oils trapped under the mask that can cause maskne breakouts. Also, choose masks that are not made from synthetic fabrics, such as nylon or rayon which can easily irritate the skin.

Maskne Treatment: the Best Maskne Products

When it comes to maskne treatment and maskne skincare, there are a lot of products that you can choose from. Read on to find out what are the best maskne products for you.

1. Perricone MD Gentle & Soothing Cleanser: $35 (6 oz)

The best products for maskne are those with gentle formulas — they do the work without adding stress nor irritating your skin. Among these is Perricone MD Gentle & Soothing Cleanser, a non-foaming cleanser that contains squalane to hydrate and sucrose to boost the skin’s microbiome. Use it twice daily (in the morning and evening) to wash away dead skin cells and debris, reduce excess oil, unclog pores and kill bacteria that trigger maskne.

2. Physiogel Calming Relief A.l. Cream  : $25.99 (50 ml)

Having super sensitive skin increases your risks of a breakout, so your maskne skincare should include a hypoallergenic cream like Physiogel Calming Relief A.l. Cream. It contains naturally-occurring palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) which gives it its antioxidant and anti-irritant properties, providing long-lasting relief for itching and redness. Aside from being hypoallergenic, it’s also free from preservatives, perfumes, and colorants.

3. Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel: $44.00 (1.7 oz)

Now more than ever, it’s important to boost the microbiome on our skin and Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel does just that — it prevents bacteria from gathering and forming an imbalance on the skin. It’s an effective maskne treatment because its ingredients include hyaluronic acid which deeply hydrates and salicylic acid, which exfoliates and fights acne. Meanwhile, its Korean red pine extract helps prevent irritation.

4. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: $42  (5.1 oz)

Another gentle maskne skincare product for sensitive skin, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser contains amino acid-rich soy proteins that cleanse and remove all traces of makeup (even mascara) — without losing the skin’s essential moisture. Its cucumber extract provides an added calming effect while rosewater helps balance the skin.

5. Avéne Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream: $42 (3.3 fl oz)

Avéne Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream is more than just skincare for maskne — with its whopping 45 uses, this product will prove to be handy long after you’re done with your maskne treatment.

Because it has an active ingredient like postbiotic C+ Restore complex, it can help heal the skin 4 times faster, which is what you need to treat maskne and irritation caused by face masks. It can also treat dry patches, rashes, sunburn, scratches, cuts and eczema.

6. PCA Skin Acne Gel:  $60 (1 fl oz)

Whether you choose to use it as a spot treatment or decide to slather it down all over the lower half of your face, PCA Skin Acne Gel delivers fast results. Its combination of two acids: salicylic (which exfoliates the skin and keeps pores clear) and azelaic (which helps to kill the bacteria and renew the skin) makes it an effective maskne treatment option. 

7. Pause Detox Serum: $85 (1 fl oz)

In order to reduce maskne breakouts, Pause Detox Serum unclogs pores and clarifies the skin. Its proprietary Pause complex (a blend of vitamins, antioxidants, & peptides) works together to give it a fast-absorbing formula that gently exfoliates and soothes inflammation without drying the skin.

8. Payot Clear Skin Serum: $38.00   (1.12 oz)

From a well-loved French skin-care line, Payot Clear Skin Serum is the best maskne product for combination to oily skin. This lightweight clarifying serum, relies on its key ingredient, zinc extract, to purify the complexion and to ward off maskne breakouts. To make sure that you apply only the right amount every time, the product comes with a dropper to tell you the right dose for your skin.

9. CeraVe Renewing Retinol Serum: $29.90 (1 fl oz)

Recommended by many dermatologists, CeraVe Renewing Retinol Serum is one of the best products for maskne. Because most maskne treatment options can be drying, products with retinol can ensure cell turnover and decrease dead skin cell accumulation. This serum is ideal for all skin types and is enriched by hyaluronic acid, soothing niacinamide and three essential ceramides to help restore the skin’s barrier.

10. Pai Skincare All Becomes Clear Serum: $53 (1 fl oz)

For those with acne-prone complexions, Pai Skincare All Becomes Clear Serum may be the best maskne treatment for you. With this formulation, Zinc and Copaiba play the perfect rebalancing act – helping to reduce the excess build-up of sebum while keeping breakouts at bay and calming irritation. And because it doesn’t contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, you won’t have to worry about any harsh, drying effects that you might have experienced with other maskne products.

11. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo: $29.99 (40 ml)

They say good things come in pairs, and this is true even for maskne treatments.  La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo is an oil-free, dual-action acne spot treatment: its micronized benzoyl peroxide formulation and micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid reduce acne blemishes, pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. As such, you can expect visible results from this maskne product in less than 3 days.

12. Acne BLU Pads: $69 (90 pads)

Products such as salicylic acid spray for maskne are very popular because they are effective in unclogging pores and preventing lesions, especially when used continually on milder acne.

Formulated and tested by Dermatologists and Diplomates of the American Board of Dermatology, Acne BLU Pads also contain resveratrol ( a compound that brightens tired-looking complexion), which is a precious antioxidant from red grapes. Because it’s free of parabens and synthetic fragrances, it’s also a perfect maskne treatment for all skin types.

 13. Probiotic Action Clarity in Balance: $18.95 (1.7 fl oz)

Because topical probiotics can regulate the skin’s microbiome and restore barrier function, leading dermatologists recommend these as a powerful solution to mask-related acne

Probiotic Action Clarity in Balance works by coating the skin with a layer of good bacteria called Bacillus subtilis (which naturally found on healthy human skin) to help fight harmful bacteria. As the product creates a dry mist, it spreads probiotics optimally on the surface of the skin and deeper in the pores. With regular use, the skin flora’s optimal balance is restored, and natural immunity is boosted to fight environmental damages. This way, you achieve the glow, softness, and tightness of healthy skin.

Maskne Problems Solved

Because proper cleaning and moisturizing are essential to combatting acne, your face should always be hydrated and sanitized. With this list of skincare products, you’re sure to find one that can help you with maskne treatment and maskne skincare.