10 Best Tips For Maskne: How To Treat and Prevent Mask Breakouts

We've all become accustomed to wearing masks on a regular basis due to COVID-19. Some of us only have to wear masks briefly as we go in and out of stores. Others work in positions that require wearing a mask for extended periods.

No matter how long you have to wear your mask, you may have started to develop acne, breakouts and irritation from wearing it. This annoying reality has been termed "maskne".

Don't worry, its common and lots of people are dealing with it. 😷

In this article we're giving our best tips to treat and prevent maskne. We'll first  get into the details of what maskne is, how to prevent maskne, and our favorite skincare routine for both treating and preventing maskne.

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What Is Maskne?

In order to treat and prevent maskne, you should have a good understanding of what it is. Maskne is a bit of a misnomer as it refers to more than just acne breakouts. Maskne can in fact refer to several skin conditions that are caused by wearing face masks.

Maskne Skin Conditions Can Include:
  • Acne- With maskne, many people complain about increased breakouts. Acne is a condition that arises when your pores get clogged with dirt/debri, dead skin and excess oil.
  • Contact dermatitis- Maskne can also refer to plain old irritation aka contact dermatitis. Some of us with sensitive skin may suffer from this maskne condition if we are allergic to the the material of our mask. Usually maskne contact dermatitis will leave your skin red and feeling sensitive.
  • Folliculitis- This one is most common for the guys! Maskne can be caused by hair follicle irritation. You may notice bumps around the hair follicles that appear like acne.
  • Rosacea- People with rosacea have sensitive skin and mask use may lead to more redness and pimples that they commonly see with a flare-up.

What Causes Maskne?

Clogged pores is the most common cause of maskne. It's perfectly normal to have oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells on your skin.  Always!  However, when you wear a mask, especially for extended periods of time, these substances build up more than normal and cause clogged pores.

Wearing a mask decreases the ventilation underneath it and causes moisture from sweating and breathing to build up under the mask. This moisture increases the risk of clogged pores and acne.

Maskne can also be caused by the material of your mask rubbing against your skin. Some masks are even pre-treated with certain chemicals your skin may be sensitive to. Both of these things can cause redness and irritation.

how to prevent and treat maskne

How To Prevent & Treat Maskne: 10 Best Tips

The best way to prevent and treat maskne is to incorporate multiple lifesyle and hygeine practices into your daily mask-wearing life! Here are 10 of the best tips we have!

1. Wash your face regularly, but not excessively.

Use warm water and pat your skin dry. No rubbing as this can flare your maskne!

  • Wash once in the A.M
  • Wash once in the P.M
  • Wash after any prolonged mask wearing (greater than 4 hours).

2. Use a gentle cleanser.

Gentle cleansers, are specifically formulated to wash off impurities, unclog your pores and remove makeup without causing tightness or irritation.

  • Avoid cleansers that contain alochol, fragrance, parabens, phlalates, or any other toxic skincare ingredients as these will all make your maskne problems worse.
  • If your maskne is characterized by lots of breakous, you can certainly use a cleanser with AHAs or salycytic acid.

3 . Apply a moisturizer before you put on your mask.

A moisturizer can help reduce maskne by acting as a barrier that reduces irritation from the friction of your mask rubbing against your skin.  It also protects the surface of your skin from excess pore clogging bacteria.

4. Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer.
As we mentioned earlier, maskne is most often caused by clogged pores.
  • Your skin needs moisture, so it's important to still use a cream or facial oil, but make sure the product states that it is non-comedogenic. This means that it is formulated with ingredients that do not clog pores.

5. Ditch Your Makeup!

If you're suffering from maskne or wanting to prevent it, you want to do whatever you can to prevent your pores from being clogged. Makeup products are yet another layer added to your skin.

  • The more layers, the worse for your pores.
  • With your mask on, no one is going to see your makeup anyway!

6. Wash your fabric mask after each day you use it.

The same bacteria, oil, dirt, and sweat that can build up on your skin can build up on your mask.

    • A wash a day keeps the maskne away!

    • Try using a detergent formulated for sensitive skin with no perfumes.
    7. Discard disposable masks each day.
    • These masks are meant for single-use. They can't be washed, so toss them!

    8. Choose A Proper Mask.

    Since maskne can be caused and exacerbated by the material and fit of your mask, it's important to consider the following:

    • Wear a mask that is not too tight.
    • Choose a mask that is not pre-treated with chemicals
    • Look for masks made of organic, natural, soft fabrics.
    9. Take a mask break every 4 hours.

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you should let your skin breathe mask-free every 4 hours for at least 15 minutes.

      • This will reduce the likelyhood of developing or worsening maskne caused by clogged pores and friction.

        10. Follow A Good Skincare Routine.

        It's always important to take proper care for your skin. Since wearing a mask increases the chance of maskne, you need to be even more diligent in following your skincare routine.

        Super Simple Maskne Skincare Routine

        Our favorite maskne skincare routine is only 3 steps! Because it is so simple, you can do it daily. Because it adresses cleansing, sloughing dead skin cells, and fighting inflammation, it works great for maskne!

        maskne skincare routines

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        Good read and great advice. I’m going to ditch my makeup under the mask today. Luckily, I have the products to do my maskne routine so I won’t need makeup! The products really help my skin.

        Sara February 12, 2021

        Love this routine!

        Kelsey February 12, 2021

        I can definitely do this routine!

        Rachael February 11, 2021

        Leave a comment

        Thank you for sharing!