Defining 'Maskne' & How To Treat It

The emergence of COVID-19 has altered our sense of normal. Prior to the outbreak, we were able to navigate spaces without the anxiety of catching or spreading something potentially fatal. It was easy to plan last-minute get-togethers, beauty appointments, and even travel with ease. With restrictions on these things ending nowhere in sight, our society has moved from the fear of COVID-19 to now learning to live amongst this disease and its after-effects. One common example of this is our daily use of facial masks. Globally, laws have been mandated to control the spread of coronavirus by requiring any type of facial covering when in public spaces such as hospitals, beauty salons, restaurants, and public parks. While this choice is imperative to controlling the spread, for many acne-prone people, the constant use of face masks has created a new form of acne primarily concentrated around the mouth, chin, and cheek area that many estheticians has now coined as 'maskne.' In this blog, we'll be breaking down what 'maskne' truly is and steps to combat them.


What is it?

'Maskne', or acne mechanic is actually skin irritation that is caused by excessive heat, pressure, and rubbing of the skin. As this irritation continues over time people may experience a range of multiple red bumps to both white and blackheads. Now, this form of acne is different from other forms of acne such as hormonal but it is primarily caused by the face mask rubbing against your skin and also trapping oils and bacteria to promote a breeding ground for a breakout. It is more likely to see these breakouts along your cheek, chin, and outer mouth area. 

Steps to Prevent Maskne

1. Make Sure You're Prepping Your Skin Properly Before Applying Your Mask


Investing in skincare products loaded with acne-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Be sure to cleanse your face for at least 60 seconds prior to applying serums and moisturizers. We recommend CeraVe's Renewing Salicylic Acid cleanser for a gentle but clarifying face wash.

Try choosing a non-comedogenic moisturizer (products that won't clog pores) that are packed with moisture-boosting ingredients such as hyaluronic acid to prevent the overproduction of sebum oil. Additionally, try to opt for lighter foundation routines or no foundation at all. Adding extra layers of makeup around your mouth to only have it covered can foster a breeding ground for oil buildup to create even more breakouts. We suggest using a light BB cream or mineral moisturizer.

2. Consider Opting for a Fragrance-Free Soap

While it is important to wash reusable masks daily, your soap may also be a culprit Using a soap that is loaded with fragrances or dyes can have a negative impact on your skin.  Opt for a fragrance-free detergent to prevent excess irritation. 

3. Opt for Disposable Masks

 Using sterile disposable face masks is another way to prevent the spread of "maskne." Choosing to use disposable masks may be more effective for those who are often on the go and may forget to actively wash and dry reusable cloth masks. Another plus to disposable masks is that they tend to be less form-fitting thus giving your skin a better chance to breathe.

Main Takeaway 

Whether you're already prone to acne or experiencing a new surge of blemishes, remember that skin is not perfect especially in a time like this. Make sure to be patient with yourself along your skincare journey. There is beauty in acne, texture, hyperpigmentation and so much more.

What are some tips that have helped you handle your maskne? Leave a comment below!

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