Maskne: What It Is and How to Get Rid of It


Maskne: What It Is and How to Get Rid of It

You’re wearing your mask like a responsible citizen, and you get home to find it: acne around your mouth and nose. These breakouts have become common enough that they have their own name: maskne. Especially for healthcare workers, teachers, and other jobs that require constant mask wearing, the breakouts can be particularly bad. But don’t despair! There are steps you can take to prevent and treat maskne.


How do masks cause acne?

The skin on our face is particularly sensitive, and the fabric of masks can rub against our skin, irritating hair follicles and leading to pimples. The moisture is another factor. Masks trap the humidity from our breath against our skin, leading to bacterial growth and clogged pores over time. 

So what can you do to prevent maskne? Keep reading.


Choose the Right Mask

An ideal mask should be snug enough to protect others and comfortable enough that it doesn’t irritate you. Look for reusable masks in a soft, breathable fabric such as cotton or (if you’re feeling fancy) silk. These will be less aggravating for your skin.


Wash Your Masks!

It can be tempting to reuse your masks, but resist the temptation! Remember all the moisture we said gathers inside your mask? That carries with it germs, plus dead skin cells and contamination from any makeup or moisturizer you’re wearing. If you can, stock up on masks so that you can toss them in the laundry and wear a fresh mask every day. If you’re working a long day, you may want to change masks halfway through. If you have space, take a break or two outdoors away from other people, where you can let your skin breathe. You may even want to take a quick break to wash your face or apply a refreshing mist.



The mask rubbing against your face is damaging your skin’s natural protective barrier. This may become a more dramatic problem as winter approaches, bringing dry skin with it. Don’t forget to moisturize in order to keep up your skin’s protection up. Look for a hydrating moisturizer with ingredients like glycerin.


Wash Your Face!

Your daily cleansing routine just got even more important. Make sure you’re washing your face twice a day: once when you wake up in the morning, and once in the evening, after you take your mask off. Especially because the mask can aggravate your face, opt for a gentle cleanser; look for ones marketed for sensitive skin. These will help to soothe your face while cleaning it.


Spot Treat Pimples

If you’re already the victim of a maskne attack, you can use a spot treatment directly on pimples. Look for over-the-counter treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid. These ingredients will target inflammation and help your spots to disappear quickly.


Keep Makeup to a Minimum

The more makeup you’re wearing, the more buildup will be happening underneath your mask. You can wear your normal eye makeup, but skip foundation. Opt for spot treatments on the top half of your face if you need them. No one is going to see your face under the mask anyway.


Use these steps to keep maskne at bay, so we can all keep safely wearing our masks.

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