Drew Barrymore shares genius tip to put an end to ‘maskne’


Drew Barrymore has positioned herself as the authority on all things beauty. Take her epic product reviews on Insta, for example. Or, you know… the fact that she founded her own cosmetics company.

So when she dishes out advice, you bloody bet we listen up – especially when it comes to something so many of us sick of experiencing.

In a recent installment of her signature #BEAUTYJUNKIEWEEK series, the actress can be seen in her bathroom analysing a huge whitehead zit just above her lip. The culprit? “Maskne” which is caused by wearing face masks for long periods of time (cheers, covid!) This, btw, can manifest in many ways (not just breakouts). Think redness, sensitivity or irritation along the nose, cheeks, mouth and jawline.

“Can you see that?” the 45-year-old says in the video, moving her face closer to the camera to give viewers a glimpse of her “undergrounder.” This [type of pimple] is all I have been getting. Ugh, maskne!”

Source: @drewbarrymore

As for her method of masking it? (…Pardon the pun.) Microlet Coloured Lancets – small, sterile, super-thin needles that are usually used to test blood glucose levels.

“If you have to pop something, use these little Microlets,” she says in the vid, before demonstrating how she gently pokes her zits aiming the needle “not in but through.” (Squeamish? Dw, the camera cuts riiiiight before she goes to town on it.)

Drew reckons this is a cleaner and gentler alternative to using your fingers, but what about preventing the problem in the first place?

Speaking with Shape, certified dermatologist Dr Robyn Gmyrek explained that facemasks retain moisture and heat, which becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

“You will likely not need the same level of topically applied moisturizer as you did before you started wearing a mask regularly,” she says. Her recommendation? Opt for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer such as La Roche-Posay  (Priceline, $41.99.)

Source: Priceline

It’s also important to cleanse with a product that has ingredients like salicylic acid to “help gently exfoliate the dead skin cells [and] prevent them from clogging your pores.”

“Products containing  retinoids (vitamin A( benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid are wonderful at dissolving the dead skin cells above the top of the pimple, helping to open it up,” Dr. Gmyrek continued. “But do not be overzealous and use more than is recommended on the instructions. You can dry out your skin and irritate and even chemically burn the skin with overuse.” She noted that drying the skin out actually has the opposite effect, “stimulating it to produce even more oil. In addition, you can cause irritation from overusing products which can lead to dermatitis or eczema.” Washing your mask daily is also key for getting rid of any germs.

Thanks for the tip, Drew!

Share your thoughts

Comments 29

  1. Do not have that issue as do not wear things like masks. I am not a surgeon or a bank robber, so it is weird. Lately had no acne at all of any kind I think due to the regular chemical exfoliator use. Atm AlphaH liquid gold and a serum with acid as well.

  2. We have to wear masks here in Melbourne, but I haven’t been out long enough for one to bother me much. They are very uncomfortable to wear, and I feel sorry for those who have to wear them all day.

  3. Oh lordy….and here I was thinking she was talking about beauty face masks such as sheet masks. I started to freak out that perhaps I might be over doing it. As for covid face masks so far here in QLD its not something we have had to worry about but it seems there is an outbreak in Brisbane now which is quite a distance from me but people travel all over the place so I guess we all need to take extra care over the next couple of weeks.

  4. I live in Qld and we don’t have to wear them at the moment. I have bought some disposable ones and a cloth one in case they’re needed. There has been a few cases of COVID announced today in QLD from a detention centre which is a bit of a worry.

  5. Didn’t know that leaving a Face Mask on for too long can cause breakouts wondered why I have had pimples, especially when I am 60 years old.

    Thank You Drew Barrymore and BH for such an informative article.

  6. I’ve only been wearing face masks when shopping and can’t wait to take it off when I’m out in the open. I can only imagine the skin damage to those who have to wear them all day.

  7. I haven’t been going out for long & only for short periods, but I’ve found that wearing masks is giving me more blemishes than usual. I’m not looking forward to wearing masks when the weather heats up.

  8. The pain is real!
    Stubborn jawline acne have officially formed.
    I find the best thing to do is up your skincare game: use a serum that targets blemishes and apply a lightweight lotion.

    Once a wk use some sort of acid treatment such as tarte knockout toner which has AHA and BHA or Dr Denis gross pads.

  9. Definitely getting maskne atm, no matter what type of mask I use (disposable or reusable – the reusable ones aren’t suitable for my sensitive skin either sadly, they irritate me). Whilst I don’t wear one all day every day, maskne is an absolute pain for someone like me who never dealt with acne in their teens. I’ve been trying to keep the spots at bay with a lil’ Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, which does work…until the next one pops up.

  10. Thankfully my lifestyle means that I only need to wear a mask occasionally so it’s not been a problem for me. I imagine it would be if I had to wear one daily and all day as I have very sensitive skin.

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