5 Of The Best Drugstore Treatments For Maskne



Wearing a mask in public has become the new norm. They’re proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19, so that’s good enough for us! We’re viewing them as the new must-have accessory, and we’re building up a healthy collection of dope designs.

However, regardless of how cute or breathable your mask is, many people are experiencing breakouts, chafing, and even fungal infections because of them. Seeing as ditching your mask isn’t an option, here’s how to combat maskne and the products to help soothe and fight irritated skin.

Why Your Mask Is Causing Breakouts

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, explains why your mask is breaking you out, “First, direct friction promotes inflammation in the skin and breakouts, known as acne mechanica. Second, face masks trap humidity, oil, and sweat on the skin and allow for overgrowth of microorganisms, which collectively block the pores and lead to acne flares,” he explains. “As for chafing, this is essentially skin barrier disruption and inflammation from chronic rubbing of an external surface against the skin. For face masks to be effective, they need to form a tight seal on the skin, which leads to chafing.” 

So as well as some targeted acne-busting formulas, it’s also important to calm and restore your skin with targeted products that will address chaffing and protect the skin. Here’s our step-by-step guide and go-to drugstore formulas for treating maskne.

Step 1: Hydrate and Cleanse Your Skin

combat mask-ne Source: The Body Shop

Our go-to formula: The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, $15

It’s always important to cleanse your skin properly at the end of the day, but even more so when you’re wearing a mask. Look for a gentle formula that’ll soothe your skin while simultaneously cleaning deep into your pores. We love this gentle and efficient cleanser that’s formulated with calming chamomile extract that helps to reduce redness and inflammation. We always recommend double cleansing in the evening, so start with this cleansing butter as the first step and follow with a hydrating gel formula. We like the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel, $7, and the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, $11.

Step 2: Detox the Skin

combat mask-ne Source: L’Oreal

Our go-to drugstore formula: L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask, $13

One of our favorite ways to detox the skin is by using a clay mask, and we love this affordable L’Oreal formula. The purifying face mask combines pure clay and charcoal, which work together like a magnet to draw out impurities like dirt, oil, and pollution that damage the skin and clog pores. Apply this mask to cleansed skin once or twice a week to keep your skin clearer and brighter. If however, your skin is feeling dry, tight or dehydrated, skip the all-over clay mask and use this as a targeted spot treatment for 20 minutes on pimples.

Step 3: Tackle The Breakout

soothe maskne Source: Neutrogena

Our go-to drugstore formula: Neutrogena On the Spot Acne Treatment, $9

If you’re facing a stubborn breakout, treat your pimple head-on with an acne treatment. The Neutrogena On the Spot Acne Treatment, $9, is an effective, affordable option. The formula contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and is clinically proven to clear the skin in 24 hours. It’s also oil-free and non-comedogenic so it won’t block your pores. Use this sparingly on problem areas and follow with a good hydrating moisturizer.

Step 4: Protect Your Pimple

soothe maskne

Our go-to drugstore formula: COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch, $6

If you’re experiencing a breakout, wearing a mask can feel like it’s making it worse. Not only does the mask chafe and rub against sensitive skin, but it can even spread acne-bacteria and worsen the breakout. This is where the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patches, $6, come in to save the day. The airtight dressing will extract and absorb puss or sebum while creating a protective barrier to avoid friction. The best thing is, you can use these while you’re wearing your mask and no one will know.

How to use: Once you’ve completed your morning skincare routine, use a clean cotton bud to carefully wipe the small area, then firmly apply your sticker so that it covers the entire zit. Pop on your mask and you’re good to go. Find out more about how pimple patches work and how you can make your own here.

Step 5: Keep Your Skin Protected

soothe maskne Source: Aveeno

Our go-to drugstore formula: Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Sunscreen, $10. 

According to Dr. Zeichner, you should keep your skin protected with a zinc oxide sunscreen as it’s both a UV blocker and a skin protectant. In fact, he says it’ll create a seal over the skin to provide some level of protection from the mask itself.

The Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Sunscreen, $10, is our go-to mineral sunscreen! Firstly, it’s formulated with oil-regulating zinc oxide and it’s enriched with soothing oat extract, so it’s safe to use on even the most sensitive skin. It’s also super lightweight and oil-free, which is perfect for maskne-prone skin, plus it wears well under makeup.

Have you guys been experiencing maskne? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.