How to prevent breakouts from your face mask

If you're starting to see irritation, swelling, or acne from wearing a face mask daily, UT Health and UT Physicians dermatologist Dr. Adelaide Hebert has tips to get keep your skin healthy.

Dr. Hebert says there are ways to help keep your skin healthy and moisturized, while still wearing your mask daily.

She says it's important we all continue to wear a face covering when out in public.

"It's not perfect, but it's probably one of the best defenses besides washing your hands on a regular basis that we can offer," Dr. Hebert said.

Before and after putting your mask on, she recommends washing your face and then applying a moisturizer or balm.

"Use a ceramide containing cream moisturizer on the surface of the skin," Dr. Hebert said. "That will reduce the friction and make the skin more tolerable."

Hebert says you can find inexpensive ceramide moisture creams without needing a prescription.

A quick search online finds a number of brands selling the creams anywhere from $12 to $26.

She says to NOT:
  • Wear makeup under the mask
  • Wear sunscreen under the mask
  • Use any product with fragrance around the area the mask will cover

If you suffer from acne, rosacea or eczema, she recommends only applying your medication in areas the mask won't cover. She says you can also apply your medication like normal, but you should wash it off in the area the mask will cover before putting it on.

It's important to wash your masks in the laundry after each use, but the detergent and fabric softener may cause some irritation to your skin.

Dr. Hebert says to help, rinse your mask three times in water after it's been washed and then let it dry completely before wearing again.

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