Thursday, 26 Nov 2020

I asked a dermatologist to help with my mask-induced acne, and he suggested adding organic extracts to my skincare routine

  • Victoria Barranco, a 24-year-old who uses they/she pronouns, volunteered to have their skincare routine reviewed by Dr. Stuart Kaplan, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist based in Beverly Hills. 
  • Kaplan said Victoria has a solid basis for her routine but need to add in a toner and exfoliator to help with acne. 
  • Using products with natural ingredients like pineapple, jojoba, and date seed can help reduce inflammation and redness. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Victoria Barranco, a 24-year-old who uses they/she pronouns, volunteered to have their skincare reviewed by Dr. Stuart Kaplan, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist based in Beverly Hills. 

Victoria, an animation producer at Insider, said their biggest skincare concern is the "maskne" they've developed along her chin and jawline — likely a result of wearing a mask all the time. Victoria has combination skin and dealt with some acne previously.

"I have very sensitive skin, so I'm always trying to pick products catered to that," Victoria told Insider. "I've been getting a lot of pesky chin acne lately; I suspect it's a result of all the mask-wearing and because I tend to fidget and touch my chin a lot while I'm working from home."

Kaplan reviewed Victoria's routine start to finish and made some suggestions on which products to swap out and what products to keep. 

Victoria should consider swapping their face wash for one containing benzoyl peroxide

Currently, Victoria's first step in the morning is to wash her face in the shower with Neutrogena's Creamy Cleanser. But she might want to swap their wash to something with benzoyl peroxide, according to Kaplan, 

Benzoyl peroxide is good for killing acne bacteria under the skin that causes acne and redness. 

"Assuming that their skin is not sensitive to benzoyl peroxide, benzoyl peroxide is a very effective way of treating mild acne," Kaplan said. "I like the wash more than the creams because you can put it on and then basically rinse it off in the shower." 

Using a wash can be better than applying acne cream with benzoyl peroxide afterward because the cream can bleach clothes, Kaplan said.

She should apply toner before moisturizing

After they wash their face and pat it dry, Victoria moves on to moisturizing with Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter SPF 30 or Neutrogena SPF 35. 

While the products are good, Kaplan said Victoria should apply toner before this step. Toner can lift any remaining dirt and dead skin cells from the pores after cleansing. 

"I like using a non-alcohol based toner because if you're using acne products, one of the side effects of treating the acne is it could sometimes dry the skin," Kaplan said. "If you're using an alcohol-based toner that's going to further contribute to that.

They should also consider washing their face consistently at night, especially after they work out 

Victoria said their nighttime skincare routine is a bit more inconsistent than their morning one, as sometimes they wash their face and other nights she doesn't. 

Kaplan said washing their face at night is important, especially because they work out which can build up sweat and dirt. 

Victoria should throw in a gentle exfoliator two or three times a week at night 

After they cleanse at night, Kaplan said Victoria should consider adding in a gentle exfoliator two to three times a week.

Exfoliators can strip away dead skin cells and help with skin cell turn over to prevent clogged pores. 

Kaplan recommends looking for an exfoliator that contains papaya enzymes, pineapple enzymes, ground date seed extracts, and jojoba particles.

"The pineapple and papaya extracts break down the dead cells and then the jojoba and date seed extracts will wipe it away," Kaplan said. 

If the maskne isn't getting better after trying over the counter benzoyl peroxide wash, they should go to a dermatologist 

If the maskne continues after they adjust their routine, Kaplan suggests they go to a dermatologist for more help. 

"I think that if the acne is not getting better and you've tried all the over the counter products you can, then maybe it's time to see a dermatologist, who specializes in skin, who can give you more effective treatments," Kaplan said. 

The verdict

Overall, Kaplan said Victoria has all the right components to their routine. He only suggests they swap out some of their products for ones with organic extracts. 

"She's trying to keep it simple," Kaplan told Insider. "It's a solid, basic routine." 

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