Nurses, hospital staff and dermatologists have been working together to figure out how to be safe and protected while also being able to take care of your skin.

What is Maskne?

Health care workers need their masks tight and form fitting to protect themselves from the virus. New York dermatologist Dr. Hadley King says this is what causes the irritation. When picking out a mask, make sure its not tighter than necessary as well as being smooth and not abrasive to the skin. King says, "If you notice this kind of irritation after removing the mask, wash the area with water and a gentle cleanser and apply an ointment to help the skin heal."

Some include:

Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($13.79;

CeraVe Healing Ointment ($17.18, originally $19.99;

“Lubricate the skin with occlusive ointments like Aquaphor Healing Ointment and CeraVe Healing Ointment to create a barrier and help the skin heal,” says King.

Dynarex Hydrocolloid Dressing ($14.28;

“Thin hydrocolloid bandages can also be placed in high-impact areas like the nose and cheeks to relieve some pressure,” she says.

Winter Maskne

Winter is coming and with that comes dry and red skin which can be affected by masks rubbing against the skin. Similar to the oil and sweat trapped during the summer, cold winter air can prolong chapped skin and lips. Be prepared to carry around some form of lotion and/or vaseline to keep your skin and lips protected.

Preventing Maskne

Number one rule: wash your face before and after wearing a mask.

“Polishing, cleansing and nourishing the skin daily will ensure skin barrier maintenance and repair,” says Dr. Harold Lancer, dermatologist and founder of Lancer Skincare,“Normal cleansing is important at this time, as it removes natural debris, but the antibacterial component creates an added barrier of safety. Make sure to have a post-cleansing thorough rinse.”

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Foaming Cleanser ($8.29;

*Make sure that your cleanser is gentle on your skin while also being able to effectively remove dirt and oil

CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser ($9.89;

*If you have oily and acne-prone skin, use a face wash with salicylic acid (or pore-clearer) twice a day to keep sebum (which clogs pores) in check and prevent pimples.

Acne Free Blackhead Removing Scrub ($8.55;

*Also, to help deep clean every few days, use this scrub, which contains 2% salicylic acid and has charcoal to absorb oil.


Next up, moisturizers! Dr. Harold Lancer, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, and Dr. Hadley King suggest products with hyaluronic acid.

Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster ($36; and

*This produce plumps up the skin as well as repairing the skin, healing inflammation and boosting collagen production.

Cosmedica Skincare Hyaluronic Acid Serum (starting at $10.95, originally $19.57;

*With more than 14,000 reviews, this product has reviewers noting how quickly their skin felt plumper and more hydrated after use.

Yes to Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Wipes, 30-Count ($4.29;

*For those with acne-prone and oily skin who want a super simple routine, Lancer recommends these blemish control wipes.

Clean & Clear Advantage Spot Treatment ($6.49;

*After cleansing and moisterizing, this is super helpful is you see pesky pimple popping up.

Hero Cosmetics Maskne Bundle ($23;

*Hero Cosmetics has created a maskne-specific bundle as well, complete with two different pimple patches and a balm to help fade and heal post-blemish spots.


Generally, both King and Zeichner suggest that we should spot-treat inflamed areas of our face with an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory cream. However, if you don't want to go find this produce, you can substitute with petroleum jelly.

Makeup With Face Masks

All three dermatologists suggest no makeup under the masks but if you choose to wear some then try for the bare minimum.

*Avoid comedogenic products or your skin which may become congested with blackheads.

Some makeup products that will help keep maskne under control are:

Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation ($42;

*Try opting for a lightweight base with hydrating and clean ingredients

Sigma Beauty SigMagic Brushampoo Liquid ($19; and

*Make sure you wash your beauty tools more often now to keep all the germs and bacteria off your skin

Beautyblender Blendercleanser Solid ($16;

*This is for those who prefer solid brush cleaners

Best mask for maskne

Look for materials used in surgery or procedural medicine, says Lancer. Materials that are 100% cotton are best when searching and/or making your own masks.

Make sure the material is thick enough to see through but not too thick that it becomes difficult to breathe. This will push up against your skin and continue to irritate it.

Finally WASH YOUR MASKS. After a few uses be sure to wash it, and you can wash it in the washing machine with your other clothes. Since its cotton, it will be fine in the machine (maybe put the setting on delicate to be sure!).

Cloth Masks

Image via BestMaskBoutique

-Avoid synthetic material because more heat retention occurs which causes more irritation to the skin.

BestMaskBoutique Fabric Face Mask (starting at $5.99;

*These masks are a favorite with almost every color available to purchase.

Kishubaby 100% Organic Cotton Muslin Face Mask With Pocket Filter ($18;

*These are helpful for those who need a pocker to place a filter in their mask.

LuckyDuckyUS 3-Layered 100% Cotton Face Mask (starting at $7.80;

*Looking for more fun and bright patterns? These are your masks! (They also come with a pocket to put in a filter)

Don't put up with irritated skin and maskne any longer with these 17 products recommended by dermatologists!

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.