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Preventing Maskne (acne from masks) /commiseration thread

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    Preventing Maskne (acne from masks) /commiseration thread

    Does anyone have some great tips or products? I’ve never had so many darn pimples in my life since we started wearing masks out in public. The 90 degree temps at horse shows + sweating + wearing for many hours is not helping. Am I doomed to looking like a 14 year old until they get a vaccine?
    I am
    -washing my mask after each use
    - trying to avoid makeup

    but it’s not working. I’d go see a dermatologist, but many aren’t seeing clients unless it’s an emergency. Heck, my dentist won’t even have me come in for my cleaning.
    And yes, I know #firstworldproblems.

    #2
    They had this on the news here recently: the recommendation was benzoyl peroxide and then use a good quality moisturizer. I have multiple masks so I can always put on a fresh/dry one as needed. That might help.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

    Comment


      #3
      Pure soap like either dove or from lush or similar. Unless you have very tough skin (which it sounds like we don’t, how lucky) don’t put chemicals on your face. It just irritates them more I find.
      Soap x2 day, take off all makeup before going to the barn or exercising, and then MOISTURIZE before you go to bed. I like Palmers face moisturizer and skin therapy oil. It lasts forever. And keep masks and pillowcases clean.

      this is keeping the worst of it away for me. I always break out when I get sweaty in the summer. 😖

      Comment


        #4
        My skin would literally peel off if I used pure soap. Dove soap is super stripping and harsh for the delicate skin of the face. Stripping the moisture barrier makes skin far more prone to acne and dehydrated skin overproduces oil creating a vicious cycle.

        OP, what is your current routine AM and PM? Do you have any known sensitivities to certain ingredients? How would you classify your skin: dry, oily, dehydrated, acne-prone, etc.?

        If you already have a cleanser and moisturizer you like, I wouldn't change. They are not the culprit. I would also avoid stripping toners and face scrubs because both can actually encourage oil production. Keeping your skin hydrated and intacted makes it more resilient. If you don't have a cleanser you love, La Roche toleraine is a really wonderful line: https://www.laroche-posay.us/face-an...efv1=Toleriane . Likely, you can get away with cleansing at night and just using water in the morning. There are so many great moisturizers out there but my personal favorite is Cerave PM because it contains niacinamide, which is brightening and can help lighten existing acne marks.

        Benzoyl peroxide is a good spot treater but quite irritating for broad acne-prevention. Adalapene gel (differin) is now available without a prescription and is typically very well-received. I would do a thin layer on the cheeks, nose, and chin in the evenings after your moisturizer every other day. If you don't experience any irritation it is safe to use nightly. Adalapene is not wildly effective for spot treatment but is fantastic at encouraging turnover and preventing acne in the first place. The gold standard for acne is Tretinoin but this stuff can be mega potent and the side effects are not a ton of fun. If you don't have a history of acne I would be willing to bet that Differin Gel will be enough to get you on a good track.

        Other chemical exfoliants like AHA, BHA, Glycolic acid, etc. can also be really effective but I strongly recommend trying just one product at a time and giving it at least 2 months before coming to conclusions on efficacy. Your skin regenerates every ~27 days so giving yourself two full cycles is super helpful.

        If you tend to get pustules and end up prodding them, look into pimple patches. They are hydrocolloid bandages cut down to a small size. Placing them over an opened pustule can help draw out any lingering gunk.

        For shows and all day events it may be worthwhile to bring a few masks so that you can change them out every few hours if you get sweaty. Changing your pillowcase nightly and your towels frequently also help reduce bacteria and oil transfer.


        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by CHT View Post
          They had this on the news here recently: the recommendation was benzoyl peroxide and then use a good quality moisturizer. I have multiple masks so I can always put on a fresh/dry one as needed. That might help.
          The peroxide on your face? Or soak the mask in it?

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
            My skin would literally peel off if I used pure soap. Dove soap is super stripping and harsh for the delicate skin of the face. Stripping the moisture barrier makes skin far more prone to acne and dehydrated skin overproduces oil creating a vicious cycle.

            OP, what is your current routine AM and PM? Do you have any known sensitivities to certain ingredients? How would you classify your skin: dry, oily, dehydrated, acne-prone, etc.?

            If you already have a cleanser and moisturizer you like, I wouldn't change. They are not the culprit. I would also avoid stripping toners and face scrubs because both can actually encourage oil production. Keeping your skin hydrated and intacted makes it more resilient. If you don't have a cleanser you love, La Roche toleraine is a really wonderful line: https://www.laroche-posay.us/face-an...efv1=Toleriane . Likely, you can get away with cleansing at night and just using water in the morning. There are so many great moisturizers out there but my personal favorite is Cerave PM because it contains niacinamide, which is brightening and can help lighten existing acne marks.

            Benzoyl peroxide is a good spot treater but quite irritating for broad acne-prevention. Adalapene gel (differin) is now available without a prescription and is typically very well-received. I would do a thin layer on the cheeks, nose, and chin in the evenings after your moisturizer every other day. If you don't experience any irritation it is safe to use nightly. Adalapene is not wildly effective for spot treatment but is fantastic at encouraging turnover and preventing acne in the first place. The gold standard for acne is Tretinoin but this stuff can be mega potent and the side effects are not a ton of fun. If you don't have a history of acne I would be willing to bet that Differin Gel will be enough to get you on a good track.

            Other chemical exfoliants like AHA, BHA, Glycolic acid, etc. can also be really effective but I strongly recommend trying just one product at a time and giving it at least 2 months before coming to conclusions on efficacy. Your skin regenerates every ~27 days so giving yourself two full cycles is super helpful.

            If you tend to get pustules and end up prodding them, look into pimple patches. They are hydrocolloid bandages cut down to a small size. Placing them over an opened pustule can help draw out any lingering gunk.

            For shows and all day events it may be worthwhile to bring a few masks so that you can change them out every few hours if you get sweaty. Changing your pillowcase nightly and your towels frequently also help reduce bacteria and oil transfer.

            Sunscreen in the morning, cleanser and moisturizer at night. I am sensitive to certain moisturizer ingredients (causes a rash) but I do have one I really like. My skin is normal, basically if it didn’t do anything it looks fine. I usually get some really small breakouts after being in really hot weather but nothing like this.
            I will look into the Differin! I actually pulled out an absolutely ancient tube (10+ years.... probably not effective anymore) of proactiv last night out of desperation.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by StormyDay View Post

              The peroxide on your face? Or soak the mask in it?
              Clean your face with it.
              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by StormyDay View Post

                Sunscreen in the morning, cleanser and moisturizer at night. I am sensitive to certain moisturizer ingredients (causes a rash) but I do have one I really like. My skin is normal, basically if it didn’t do anything it looks fine. I usually get some really small breakouts after being in really hot weather but nothing like this.
                I will look into the Differin! I actually pulled out an absolutely ancient tube (10+ years.... probably not effective anymore) of proactiv last night out of desperation.
                Kudos for being a sunscreen user! Double cleansing can be really beneficial when you wear sunscreen, make up, or are extra grungy (hello show days!). Double cleansing means using an oil-based cleanser first to break down all of the yuck and then using your normal cleanser to ensure everything is removed. Double cleansing is nice because it doesn't strip your skin but really gets everything off. My personal favorite is Speedy clean. DHC is another really popular option.

                Differin is pretty awesome and finally got me over the hump of 10+ years of cystic acne.

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post

                  Kudos for being a sunscreen user! Double cleansing can be really beneficial when you wear sunscreen, make up, or are extra grungy (hello show days!). Double cleansing means using an oil-based cleanser first to break down all of the yuck and then using your normal cleanser to ensure everything is removed. Double cleansing is nice because it doesn't strip your skin but really gets everything off. My personal favorite is Speedy clean. DHC is another really popular option.

                  Differin is pretty awesome and finally got me over the hump of 10+ years of cystic acne.
                  Great idea, I will try that too.
                  I have to wear sunscreen. I’m basically neon white

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Make sure to use a 'free', hypoallergenic laundry detergent and no scented anything added to the laundry. I break out if anything with scent touches my skin. I developed a beak mask to keep the fabric off my mouth area.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by StormyDay View Post

                      The peroxide on your face? Or soak the mask in it?
                      Just want to clarify- you do NOT want plain peroxide (the wound-care stuff in the brown bottle). Benzoyl peroxide is a totally different thing- it's an OTC medication that's really common in acne spot treatments. As an aside, it can be really drying until you build up a tolerance, and the higher the percentage, the more drying it is. Studies have found that anything over 5% is really drying but no more effective, so look for something with 2.5-5% active ingredient.

                      I'm not a doctor, but just from my adventures in sensitive/acne-prone skindom, it reminds me of a couple of things. As others said above, it takes 6-8 weeks for skin to turn over, so give each fix some time before trying something new.

                      First thing to rule out is that the masks are just simply trapping dirt there, with maybe some extra irritation. I'd look for masks that fit snugly on the borders, but give you a little air pocket around your nose and mouth, and are made from softer fabrics. Bonus points if you can find something moisture-wicking (not cotton). I'd also take a break once or twice a day to either use a gentle face wipe or even just splash water on your face to keep the dirt down. If there's a particular problem area, it's ok to apply the benzoyl peroxide regularly in that spot, but I'd avoid using it all over your face. If it makes that area red or dry, use it every other day until you tolerate it better, then increase to once a day.

                      Second thing that I've gotten specifically in warm weather is dermatitis, which is just a mild bacterial irritation from sweat and close fabric contact. I usually get it when I exercise in more form-fitting tops in the summer. That goes away with a mild antibiotic cleaner for a few days as needed. Since this is usually more harsh on skin, I'd see if the above works first.

                      Finally, chin-area acne in adult women is often tied to hormones, and won't really change until they do. You could talk to your doctors about different birth control options that are better for acne, or a dermatologist about others meds. The only thing finally changed mine was spironolactone, which is a blood pressure medication that can also be used with lower doses to control hormonal acne.

                      Also, what kind of sunscreen are you using? Make sure it says either "won't clog pores" or "non-comedogenic" (same thing), otherwise that could be contributing to your problem. I like the Neutrogena Sport Face since it's non-clogging, but also on the sweatproof side.
                      "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                      Phoenix Animal Rescue

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Not sure if you are a reddit user or not, but you should check out this subreddit: https://old.reddit.com/r/SkincareAddiction/ they have a lot of good tips for figuring out what will help your skin

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I would definitely have multiple masks to wear so you can change them throughout the day as they get sweaty. Certain fabrics (cotton vs a synthetic) may also help. I also second double cleansing to make sure you're removing everything from your skin--use a balm or oil and follow up with a mild cleanser. Resist the temptation to go harsh with products...they'll strip your skin and potentially make your acne worse.

                          A good toner after you cleanse can help remove traces of sunscreen/dirt left on your skin, and provide a first step treatment. I like this one for breakout-prone areas--it's gentle and inexpensive: https://www.paulaschoice.com/skin-pe...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

                          Also, this stuff is a bit harsh, but I swear by it for cystic acne..apply a few drops and it'll often nip it in the bud before it even fully erupts: https://www.mariobadescu.com/product/buffering-lotion

                          I also like the hydrocolloid patches...they're pretty effective and gentle. And yes, differin, or any good retinoid, will also help keep skin clear. Just don't use it every day, especially to start, moisturize well, and make sure you're really diligent about sunscreen and wearing a hat/visor when you start using it, as it makes skin more photosensitive.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If you are that pale, be careful of Differin causing some photosensitivity. You might find something like a clindamycin gel helpful, but it would require a prescription. There's also azelaic acid that can help with rosacia like bumps, but if you are really sensitive you might want to be careful with that one--turns out I'm pretty allergic to it.

                            Clindamycin in the morning and Differin at night helps me with these kinds of breakouts (including helmet breakouts and other ones attributable to hot icky weather and contact with clothing or other items). For some reason my insurance quit letting me buy clindamycin gel at all, but it's usually fairly inexpensive.

                            I also agree with the oil pre-cleanser approach for sensitive skin.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I wear a mask for 12+ hours a day at work, so I feel your pain, OP!
                              The regimen that I've settled upon which seems to be working is washing morning and night with Kiehls cleanser, CosRx AHA/BHA toner after work, The Ordinary Niacinamide + Zinc 2x a day, and follow up with CosRx Oil Free Moisturizer.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thank you for the suggestions!
                                - I already use a free and clear laundry detergent because I am super sensitive to any soaps
                                - thank you for the peroxide clarification, I was a little confused as to how splashing some disinfectant on my face was going to help haha
                                - I just got a 48 pack of disposable masks so I think I’m going to try those for a while instead of the cloth masks.
                                - I use neutrogena sensitive skin/sport face
                                - I am sensitive and pale, but I can’t get a script right now since my dermatologist is on an emergency only’ basis. I think I will try the diffrin and hope for the best

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  I had oily skin as a teen and it persisted into my adulthood, though I am finally aging out of it.

                                  I eventually came to the realization that acne is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria on the skin and what's needed is to reduce that bacteria over time. Into my 30s and 40s I used to get the occasional flare-up on my back and shoulders. I finally stopped that by wiping my shoulders with rubbing alcohol twice a day, and being sure to wear a clean top and bra every day.

                                  Faces are more delicate but I would get something with antibacterial properties and I would 100% suggest either disposable masks or multiple cloth masks that get one use and then washed in hot water. Maybe even change your mask every couple of hours.

                                  My skin is drier these days, and between that and Covid hermit life, I maybe wasn't washing my face as carefully as when I need to get all done up for work every day. I had the start of some break outs and used the chlorhexidine scrub from the horse's first aid kit for a few days. Break outs went away. The chlorhexidine is quite drying however.

                                  Anyhow it has worked for me to understand acne and break outs as an overgrowth of bacteria and treatment to consist of gently changing the bacterial population. I think it might actually be one of the staph bacteria that are always present but get out of control on occasion.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by HereComesZach View Post
                                    Not sure if you are a reddit user or not, but you should check out this subreddit: https://old.reddit.com/r/SkincareAddiction/ they have a lot of good tips for figuring out what will help your skin
                                    this is like one of the best subreddits ever!

                                    Comment

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