Mask acne, or “maskne” as it’s quickly come to be called, is rampant among mask wearers currently, and there’s no doubt the Austin heat makes it even worse for us here! Having to wear a mask for protection has created the perfect storm for maskne: oil, sweat, heat, bacteria, and friction!

What do dermatologists say about maskne?

Dermatologists describe maskne as “acne mechanica,” the type of acne caused by repetitive physical trauma to the skin, usually by rubbing or scratching. In this instance, that would be the fabric of your face mask sitting against your skin all day.

How can I prevent maskne?

Since the need for mask-wearing probably isn’t going away anytime soon, now is the time to figure out a good skincare regimen for yourself! It’s important to wash your face with a gentle cleanser before and after wearing a mask. Not all cleansers are created equally, though! Make sure you find one that works for your skin. Our wellness department has some great options, and the team there can help you choose one suited for your needs.

Remember to also moisturize when you cleanse to prevent dryness and avoid heavy cosmetic use under a mask. If possible, no makeup at all under your mask is your best bet! Stress and diets high in sugar and processed foods may exacerbate all forms of acne. Reducing stress, getting plenty of sleep, eating clean, exercising, and staying hydrated can be difficult to do on a daily basis, but every little bit can help keep maskne at bay!

How can the Peoples compounding team help?

We often use salicylic acid and a few other ingredients when compounding dermatological products, depending on your skin’s specific needs. A base we use in many formulations thanks to its nourishing properties is Pracasil™- Plus. It promotes faster relief and recovery, and is rich in skin-friendly fatty acids and lipids. It also creates a soothing, nurturing environment that provides long-lasting moisturization, protecting the skin’s barrier and reducing water loss. It’s traditionally used in scar therapy, but is beneficial in reducing the appearance of acne scars while providing a moisture barrier for the skin. It’s also formulated without gluten, casein, dye, or parabens!

The other base used in our maskne-specific formulas is Clarifying™ Cream Base. It’s a topical base that moisturizes and improves the appearance of red, blotchy skin. The avocado extract in it nourishes skin and decreases oil formation, rendering it especially useful for acne-prone skin, rosacea, and aging skin. It can easily accommodate antimicrobials, benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, alpha and beta hydroxy acids, and more.

There are a lot of other ingredients frequently used in our compounded formulas that can help combat maskne.

  • Clindamycin is an antibiotic that reduces the number of bacteria and has anti-inflammatory effects to make lesions less red and swollen.
  • Niacinamide also has anti-inflammatory properties resulting in fewer pimples, increases the production of ceramides which are lipids that help maintain the skin’s protective barrier, and decreases oil production.
  • Spironolactone decreases androgen-stimulated sebaceous activity which decreases acne lesions.
  • Tretinoin is a Vitamin A derivative that replaces older skin with newer skin, creating a smoother skin texture, decreasing fine wrinkles by increasing collagen production, improving hyperpigmentation by dispersing melanin granules, increasing dermal volume, and adding a pink glow to skin.
  • Our Niacinamide 6% cream is another useful formula, which includes broccoli seed and black currant oil. The black currant oil is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, providing protection and promoting healing. Niacinamide reduces inflammation, which may help ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions like maskne. Niacinamide can also minimize pore appearance, keeping skin smooth and moisturized, as well as regulate oil production.

As always, our expert pharmacy team is here to help you figure out solutions to your problems! Feel free to reach out with any questions and let us help!
Jenni Kroplin has been in pharmacy compounding, marketing, and education for 6 years, and is the Educational Outreach Director for Peoples Rx. She is passionate about educating and advocating for compounding, and actively participates in continuing education courses with PCCA for the latest innovations and updates in compounding.

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