How to treat and prevent maskne: tips and tricks from an acne-expert

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  • At one time it was easy enough to write off acne as par for the course of being a teenager. But according to reality TV skincare expert Sandra Lee – aka Dr Pimple Popper  – the same can’t be said for the current rise in ‘maskne’ .

    What is maskne?

    The technical term for ‘maskne’ is ‘acne mechanica’. In other words, it’s the result of the mechanical friction of fabric against the skin, which can lead to irritation.

    Referring to the painful pimples and acne breakouts caused by wearing face masks, she says, ‘maskne is down to occlusion from a mask.’

    Put simply, breathing into a closed off space creates humidity.

    ‘You’re sweating under there, if you have a propensity to develop oily skin, that can actually make things worse and it’s easier to have clogged pores,’ says Lee. ‘Blackheads and whiteheads form and a breakout ensues.’

    Dr Pimple Popper’s Genius Tip

    That’s precisely why Dr Pimple Popper took to TikTok to reveal a genius hack that keeps blemishes away.

    @drpimplepopperWhen you need to wear your mask but it keeps giving you MASKNE! 😫##wearamask ##drpimplepopper @slmdskincare♬ original sound – drpimplepopper

    Her solution? Using a salicylic acid body spray, which also happens to be sold by her brand SLMD Skincare.

    ‘Spray it on inside the mask,’ Lee wrote in her video while demonstrating how she spritzes the product.

    ‘Fan your mask to dry a little.’

    ‘Salicylic acid cleans out the oil and debris within your pores preventing acne,’ she further explains. 

    The SLMD Skincare Salicylic Acid Body Spray is formulated with two percent concentration of salicylic acid.  Importantly, this is an ingredient that dissolves the wax-like substance inside pores that traps dirt and oil. 

    While Dr Pimple Popper skincare brand isn’t available in the UK, these are some good alternatives to spray inside your face mask next time you go out:

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