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We’ve all been there! You’ve just been out with your friends and you get home and take off your mask and boom, red, painful splotches everywhere! What are you supposed to do? You can’t go out without your mask. 

Unfortunately, mask-acne is a problem that many people face, and it isn’t unique to just one skin type. Having cloth on your face for long periods of time just does that. So, how does someone avoid it, and how does someone treat it if they get it? Here are some helpful tips so you can keep your face feeling fresh and nice, even behind a mask.

Tip #1: Wash Your Masks

One of the easiest ways to avoid mask acne is to wash your masks. Treat them like a pair of socks or underwear, you wear it for one day, and then you put it in the laundry. There are two methods for washing a mask. The first is to wash it by hand with a laundry bar and warm water. This method is pretty easy. Just wet the mask, wet the laundry bar, and scrub! Make sure to rinse the mask well as soap residue can create irritation. I recommend Zote Soap Laundry Bars.

The second method is to machine wash your face masks. This is also simple but requires a few extra steps. First, you want to put all of your masks in a delicates bag. These mesh bags are a must for washing these.

Next, you can just place the bag in with your regular laundry. When you take the laundry out of the washing machine, separate the bag from the rest of the clothing. You don’t want to put your masks in the drier because they can shrink, and then they may not fit properly.

The next thing you want to do for both methods is to uncrumple the masks, which can get crumply in the washing process, and shape them. Untangle the elastic and reshape the metal in the nose of the mask, if your mask has them. Finally, you can hang them up on a drying rack, or even on a clothesline. Wait until the masks have completely dried before wearing them again.

Tip #2: Change Your Mask Regularly

Masks should only be worn for one day, and then you should wash them. This is because they absorb sweat and steam from your face and mouth throughout the day. If your mask becomes wet or damp, you should also change it. I recommend having a spare mask in your purse or backpack just in case this happens. If you wear a mask while working out, you might want to consider changing into a fresh one after you’re done.


What should you do if you get mask acne? Sometimes, it just can’t be prevented, so how can you alleviate it? Here are some tips to help you!

Tip #3: Let Your Skin Breathe

If you find yourself in a position where you have mask acne, the best thing you can do is let your skin breathe. Go without makeup for a few days to let your skin relax, or at least avoid heavy waterproof foundations and creams. These products can clog your skin even more, and further irritate blemishes.

Tip #4: Continue Your Current Skin Routine

Although you might feel tempted, don’t wash your face more than you already do. That can dry out your skin, causing it to produce more oils to make up for it. The excess oil can cause more blemishes. Instead, consider spot treating with a pimple patch or cream, or even a mask. I recommend Clearasil Overnight Ultra Spot Patches to do the job. They contain salicylic acid, which is a great ingredient to alleviate acne. Just place a patch on the blemish overnight, and remove it the next morning for a smaller, less irritated blemish!

Emily Scharf

DePauw '24

Emily is a vocal performance major at DePauw University! She loves all things creative, fun, and musical.
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