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Portrait of young Black woman wearing yellow mask to protect herself against coronavirus

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When I first heard the term mascne I thought, here we go again, another buzzword to get people to step up their beauty routine. But as time has shown, and dermatologist Tiffany Clay, MD, has confirmed, “Mascne is super real.”

Like the name suggests, mascne is essentially acne caused by wearing a mask. And while leaving home without one isn’t as negotiable as some folks in some states may make it seem to prevent Covid-19, there are some other things you can stop wearing to halt breakouts during this time of quarantine.

“Try to prevent wearing makeup in the mask area,” suggested Dr. Clay. “No one is really going to see it anyway. Put on your eyebrows, put on your eye makeup, and leave the rest a clean slate.”

Just like your skin, your mask also needs to be regularly cleaned, Dr. Clay said, especially if you wear reusable cloth masks. “You’ve got to wash that mask after you wear it. You can just do a hand wash in the sink with detergent and let it air dry.”

Though rarely thought about, it’s also possible dehydration is the root cause of your mascne.

“When I wear my mask all day at work I’m at work for like 10 hours so my skin is really dry underneath,” Dr. Clay pointed out. “You definitely want to hydrate to prevent little cracks in the skin which can let bacteria in which can cause pimples too.”

Pointing out that now is a good time to get back to basics when it comes to skincare, Dr. Clay recommended Dove’s Beauty Bar “which helps remove makeup, dirt, and germs so it takes everything off of your skin gently.” That gentle cleansing makes the Beauty Bar particularly clutch during the summer months when may people are also experiencing sunburn and itchy rashes from bug bites which can leave skin irritated and extremely sensitive to the touch.

Dove Shea butter soap

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“Every now and then using an exfoliating cleanser like a glycolic or a lactic acid to gently exfoliate any debris out of the pores” should be enough to clear up mild cases of mascne, Dr. Clay said. However, if the problem persists, spot treatments formulated with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid may be necessary. “If you’re still having some trouble spots and you’ve tried some over-the-counter medications, there are some prescriptions that are really easy to incorporate into your routine.”


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