Should you Dry out Maskne or Moisturize it - Deepstash
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Should you dry out maskne or keep it moisturized

Should you dry out maskne or keep it moisturized

We wear masks all day, every day: at work, in school, even in malls. Obviously for most of us, our faces would react negatively this. Some YouTube videos would tell me to use stuff with ingredients like salicylic acid that dry out blemishes while some would tell me to keep the pimple moisturized. If you're like me, you'll be at a loss too.


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What causes maskne in the first place?

What causes maskne in the first place?

Maskne or acne mechanica (professionally), includes any skin issues caused by friction brought about by pressure, friction, rubbing, squeezing, or stretching. Friction causes the upper layer of your skin to release water, causing your skin to lose its natural moisture.

"The constant chafing of the mask in contact with skin can cause the skin barrier to break down and hair follicles to break open, consequently allowing acne-causing bacteria on to the skin," - Hadley King, MD, board-certified dermatologist, New York City. 


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"The occlusive nature of a mask creates a humid and warm environment under the mask, which can lead to increased sebum and sweat. In turn, this leads to irritation, inflammation, and breakouts," says Dr. King.

In short, maskne is a contradicting matter of the skin being dry and oily and getting rid of it also requires drying out the pimples and also keeping them moisturized.



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Drying out the zit while keeping it moisturized

Drying out the zit while keeping it moisturized

First, support the skin barrier with a non-comedogenic moisturizer that contains the trifecta of these soothing ingredients: humectants to moisturize the skin, emollients to seal in hydration and occlusives to reduce friction.

Most pimple treatments decrease your skin's natural oil production, so it's important that a moisturizer be there as a buffer for your skin to tolerate the harsh acne regimen. 

2. Once you have your hydrating base, use a good spot treatment to dry out the zit. Why spot treat? The goal is to dry out the pimples, not your whole face.


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Ingredients you should look for in a spot treatment

Ingredients you should look for in a spot treatment

1. Salicylic acid- exfoliates the upper layer of the skin) and penetrates deep into pores to remove sebum. 

2. Benzoyl peroxide - kills P. acnes and Staph. Aureus bacteria that contributes to acne and helps prevent and clear clogged pores. Opt for micronized formulations; they cause less irritation to the skin and the molecules are stabilized for longer shelf life.

Also try adding a topical retinoid into your routine at least 2-3 times a week (every day if your skin is already well adjusted) to help clear gunk from pores, leaving them less swollen.


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The verdict: you should moisturize and dry out blemishes scars

The verdict: you should moisturize and dry out blemishes scars

Moisturize maskne because it is inflammation—and inflammation needs hydration. But you should—layer it with targeted treatments like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids, to unclog pores and boost skin cell turnover.

See a dermatologist about starting a stronger prescription medication if these methods don't work.


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Jack of all people-related trades, master of none. Majored in Psychology, Customer Service Assoc for a few Years, HR Officer for 4, Manager and ESL Teacher for over 11 yrs now, an artist since birth.


Maskne has been a problem since Covid started.

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