The struggle for clear skin is real these days. Maskne or acne caused by mask wearing is indeed a thing and has become a concern for many of us finding the skin on our chin breaking out on the regular. We spoke to Toronto dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue about this and how to get breakouts under control quickly and easily which is of particular concern of course if your wedding day is approaching.

Mask causing acne: why is this a thing?
“As more people wear masks for extended periods of time that means the skin is under occlusion (covered directly or indirectly) which can aggravate pre-existing skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. In addition, it can also cause acne and dermatitis in individuals who have no history of these skin disorders. “

Is there a certain type of mask that is better than another for preventing breakouts (disposable vs. reusable).
“Given that materials used in these masks are so variable it is difficult to give a blanket statement. In both cases acne and dermatitis have been reported.”

What is the best way to treat these breakouts with home care?
Treat your entire face with a pea-size amount of over-the-counter 5% Benzoyl Peroxide cream. Also wash your face with a gel-based (non-foaming) cleanser twice daily.”

If you really want to bump up your treatments and accelerate the clearing process what are some professional treatments, you recommend to quickly remedy breakouts and any acne scarring?
“The Etherea-MX is a platform which can deliver IPL Blu Light which has an anti-inflammatory mechanism to reduce acne while improving skin tone. For those patients who develop marks on their skin after an acne breakout, there is also a handpiece that treats residual scarring. This treatment makes a huge difference to acne affected skin.”

Masks aren’t going away any time soon…what is your advice for tweaking your everyday skincare regime?
“Things you can do to help avoid maskne are use a gel-based moisturizer on skin before putting on your mask. Try to avoid wearing makeup under the mask. Simplify your skin routine steps. Take a 15-minute break from your mask every four hours to allow the skin to recover. Wash your mask with a hypoallergenic detergent by hand, not in a washing machine.”