Dr Pimple Popper’s hack for preventing maskne takes just 60 seconds

TV dermatologist Dr Pimple Popper, aka Sandra Lee, is world-renowned for being the expert in, well, popping zits, as well as just taking good care of our skin in general. And while we thought we left acne behind in our teenage years, now maskne – acne caused by irritation from friction on the skin from fabric – is on the rise, due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing us to wear masks in an increasing number of work settings and public spaces.

woman in face mask
Getty Images

Dr Pimple Popper took to TikTok to share her top tip for preventing the skin condition, and it’s quite surprising.

The dermatologist and surgeon revealed that a couple spritzes of the Salicylic Acid Body Spray from her very own SLMD Skincare range is all it takes to tackle maskne head on. But it’s not going onto the skin – instead, Dr Sandra suggests spraying it onto the inside of the mask, fanning it for a minute to let it dry (a damp mask is less effective) and then go ahead and pop your mask onto your face, knowing you’re much less likely to get spots at the end of the day.


When you need to wear your mask but it keeps giving you MASKNE! ?#wearamask #drpimplepopper @slmdskincare

♬ original sound – Sandra Lee, MD

Salicylic acid is a skincare ingredient known for it’s acne-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties, so by applying it to the mask you are creating a protective barrier between the irritating fabric and your skin.

Followers of the skin doctor filled the comments section with praise for her hack, with one saying: ‘Omg! Thank you!! I work at a hospital and a pharmacy so I’m constantly wearing one and my skin can’t breathe! I battle with cystic acne as it is’.

Another said: ‘Thank you for this! My mom already has very bad cystic acne and having to wear a mask all day building cars was making it worse’.

Unfortunately, Dr Pimple Popper’s SLMD Skincare range isn’t yet available to shop in the UK, so until then you could try using Murad’s Clarifying Body Spray or the Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing All Over Toner.

Clarifying body spray

Murad Clarifying Body Spray, £35, Lookfantastic

clear start toner
John Lewis & Partners

Dermalogica Clear Start™ Breakout Clearing All Over Toner, £19, John Lewis & Partners