How to Treat & Prevent Maskne

Maskne: Your Guide to Prevention & Treatment

We’re all familiar with the change in the way we work, live, and enjoy ourselves during Covid-19. Measures like social distancing and protective face masks have become the norm as we all do our part in curtailing the spread.

If you’ve been wearing your protective face mask a lot, chances are you’ve noticed an increase in pimples and acne around your mouth area and face. Known as “maskne,” this symptom of face masks has become a common issue for many of us. The good news is that you don’t have to choose between wearing a mask and having radiant, healthy looking skin. Read through below for our helpful guide to keeping maskne at bay. 

What Causes Maskne?

The scientific term for maskne is ‘acne mechanica’. This skin reaction is caused by the prolonged use of facial coverings like masks, which tend to trap in warm air, oil and sweat. Long periods of wear also create a humid environment that is ripe for bacterial growth. These factors, combined with the rubbing of the mask on skin causes inflammation, redness and breakouts.

We’ve laid out some basic steps you can apply to your morning and evenings skincare routines to prevent or reduce maskne, while continuing to stay safe.

1. Choose Your Protective Face Mask Wisely

From surgical and fabric facemasks, to those you make yourself – there are a plethora of options available to us. Each type can impact our skin differently, and choosing the right one for your skin type and need is important. 

When deciding what type of protective face mask is best, your first consideration should always be safety. Check the guidelines in your country or state to confirm what form and thickness is advised. After that, figure out how different materials make you feel and opt for the type that lets you breath comfortably. Alongside this, make sure your mask fits well. A snug fitting mask means less friction and need to touch your face, which decreases the transmission of bacteria from your hands.

In general, dermatologists recommend masks which are made from layers of light and breathable fabrics such as 100% cotton or silk. These fabrics are gentle on skin and go far to minimise friction and irritation. 

Finally, it’s key that you wash your mask daily in order to remove nasties like oil and bacteria. Opt for fragrance-free detergents and fabric softeners to minimise skin irritation. 

2. Keep Your Skincare Routine Simple

To stave off maskne, ensure that your skincare routine is optimised for your specific skin type. A well-rounded morning and evening routine will target your specific concerns and make sure that your skin can defend itself against the effects of mask-wearing. 

Be wary of potent active ingredients like retinol and acids. This might not be the time to start something new. If you are using a product that contains a particularly strong ingredient, you might want to try including it in your evening routine only. 

As general rule, gentle hydrating products are your best friends when wearing masks. Mild cleansers and moisturisers, as well as fragrance-free make-up removers are all great at caring for mask-wearing skin. Products like the Age Perfect Gentle Eyes and Lips Makeup Remover effectively remove dirt and makeup without drying skin out. If you find that wearing a mask makes you sweat more, try cleaning your face with a gentle makeup wipe such as the Revitalift Classic Make-Up Removing Wipes at the end of each day.

3. Skip Makeup

When applying foundation and concealer, consider skipping the area covered by your mask. Makeup can clog pores (not to mention leave behind residue on your mask’s fabric). If you’re not so keen on partial application, you can swap out traditional foundation for a light tinted moisturiser. Moisturisers help to create a barrier between your skin and the mask, which can reduce friction and irritation. Light, water-based foundations like our Skin Paradise Tinted Water Cream combine the best of skin care and makeup, leaving you with a dewy moisturised glow. 

How to Treat Maskne

If you’re mid-maskne breakout, don’t stress. Classic acne spot treatments work to recover skin without causing further irritation. Keep in mind that these treatments often leave skin drier, which may in turn cause an overproduction of oil. Make sure to follow any treatments with a moisturiser to balance your skin.

Creating a good routine for preventing and treating maskne is an essential aspect of our “new normal”. Following the above tips will allow you to keep your skin looking at its best, while still protecting yourself and others.

For more advice on curating an effective skincare routine, discover Our Foolproof Skincare Routine for All Skin Types from our experts.