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Walnut Creek Magazine


Fall in the Bay Area is warm and dry, so when we venture out to work or play masked-up, we might end up with a few related skin issues. When worn properly, face masks help slow the spread of COVID-19, which scientists say travels in the air—as we cough and sneeze, talk or just breathe, we naturally release droplets (small particles of fluid) and aerosols (smaller particles of fluid) into the air. They also estimate that 40% of the people with the virus are asymptomatic—they do not show signs of the disease—and blindly pass it on. But we've also found out masks can cause skin problems such as heat rash, acne, and worsening of rosacea.

To help deal with “maskne,” we talked to Best of Walnut Creek winner, Changes Salon & Day Spa, to get tips from their aestheticians on how to maintain your best autumn skin while wearing a mask.

Wear Cotton.

First things first, the fabric of the mask plays a huge role in how your skin is going to react to wearing it for long periods of time. Avoid synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polyester, and rayon which are more likely to irritate your skin and cause breakouts. Cotton is breathable and keeps your skin cool while offering protection. Wash your mask after each use, your skin will thank you.


To prevent clogged pores and breakouts, try to avoid applying makeup in the area on your face under the mask. It is also key to wash with a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and put on a light-weight moisturizer to protect your skin barrier and keep it hydrated. A great moisturizer for oily/combo skin is Shineless from Cosmedix. It’s oil-free and won’t clog pores but gives your skin the hydration it needs.

Ditch your foundation.

In warmer months, heavy foundations will only further trap bacteria in your pores under your mask — the perfect storm for acne. Instead, opt for a tinted sunscreen from Skinsceuticals or apply the SPF 30 GLO tinted primer for a light layer of coverage.

Use salicylic acid.

To deal with "maskne" look for products that contain salicylic acid like Cerave SA Crème (sold at drugstores) which helps eliminate pore-clogging oil and gently exfoliates. Another good one is Clarity by Cosmedix, a skin-clarifying serum that removes impurities and exfoliates the skin for a smoother complexion.

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