Maskne -- How to Prevent It According to Dr. Pimple Popper

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Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, is sharing her tips on preventing and treating maskne -- acne caused by abrasions and clogged pores from wearing a face mask for a long duration of time.

"Definitely maskne is an issue and you want to get something like a salicylic acid spray or an alpha hydroxy acid and just put it on your skin or even spray your mask and dry it out and put it on," the board-certified dermatologist and TV star tells ET. "It's like refreshing and it helps to clean out your acne."

Other acne treatment products Dr. Lee recommends are benzoyl peroxide for oily complexions and active bumps, retinol for faster cell turnover and pimple patches to prevent you from picking at your skin. 

As for the best type of face mask for acne, she prefers cotton face masks as they are more absorbent of, you know, that upper lip sweat. Humidity, moisture from the mouth and oil build-up brews under face masks, which results in a warm environment where bacteria likes to live.

"Cotton is also a really good idea because if you wear a cotton mask that helps to soak up the moisture a little bit," she says.

The skin expert also suggests having a lineup of clean face masks to use in rotation each day and wash them frequently "like you would your underwear."

To further prevent breakouts, Dr. Pimple Popper says to apply less makeup products.

"Minimize your makeup under there. I've started to train myself to just put makeup [from the eyes up]," she explains.

With Dr. Lee's tips in mind, shop ET's favorite acne-fighting beauty products. 

This exfoliating treatment from The Ordinary went viral on TikTok for its bright red color. Leave it on clean, dry skin for 10 minutes at night twice a week to help improve the look of blemishes and uneven texture. 


Spritz this salicylic acid spray, from Dr. Sandra Lee's skincare brand, onto the skin or directly on the mask to prevent acne from forming.


It may sound counterintuitive to put oil on acne-prone skin, but trust us on this one. The Sunday Riley U.F.O. Face Oil is specifically made to treat and prevent blemishes with 1.5% salicylic acid. It's non-greasy and dries on quick.  


This creamy clay face mask from K-beauty brand innisfree is a unique one. Formulated with Jeju Super Volcanic Clusters plus AHA helps to absorb oil and gently exfoliate the skin without leaving the skin feeling tight and dried out after washing it off. 


The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is a cult-favorite for helping to heal and dry out surface pimples or whiteheads overnight.


If you tend to pick your pimples, opt for a pimple patch. These patches from Rael contain high-grade hydrocolloid that removes impurities, acts as a protective barrier from bacteria and helps reduce inflammation and scarring. Place the patches on existing blemishes to prevent them from touching your mask! 


The LightStim for Acne light therapy device uses UV-free blue and red lights to eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation. 


Be sure to thoroughly cleanse your face after a full day of wearing a mask. This two-in-one cleanser from Fenty Skin lathers up to removes dirt, oil and makeup.


Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) in skincare exfoliates the surface of the skin to aid in preventing breakouts. This Summer Fridays solution has 16% AHAs and niacinamide to unclog pores, brighten and refine the skin's texture.


Double-cleansing is the best way to ensure all of the excess oil, dirt and impurities built up from the day are gone before you start your nighttime skincare routine. Use the Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm to melt away your makeup and to cleanse the skin before using a cream, gel or foam cleanser. 



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