If there’s one thing that’s certain in the coronavirus era, it’s that “maskne” is at an all-time high. Thankfully, the pros have come to the rescue to share a simple (yet often-overlooked) solution for unwanted breakouts: Washing your mask with a gentle, antibacterial and hypoallergenic fabric wash.
“If you’re wearing a fabric face mask, you should wash it after every single use,” says aesthetician Veronica Barton Schwartz, founder and president of Veronica Skincare.
She also recommends buying a mask with zinc oxide—as it is anti-inflammatory, soothing to the skin, and helps in protecting the skin’s barrier—embedded in the fabric. If this wash cycle is too much to deal with on a daily basis, she says try something even simpler: Buy a few masks, rotate them and wash in-between uses.
As for which detergent brands to trust to knock-out all the scary bacteria without irritating the skin? Here, three derms give their picks.
“Washing masks regularly is important for preventing acne,” notes Rochester, NY dermatologist Lesley Loss, MD. “Facial skin tends to be more sensitive and detergents that have fragrances or dyes may cause breakouts. I typically recommend using detergents that are safe for sensitive skin such as Arm & Hammer Free & Clear.“
Tide Free & Gentle ($12)
“One thing you may not think about is washing your mask,” says New York dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD. “Washable masks and other face coverings should be washed regularly using water and a mild detergent like Tide Free & Gentle.”