Suffering From Acne Under Your Mask? Easy And Effective Ways To Prevent And Fight Mask Acne

9 min readMay 23, 2021

Summary: Don’t let an increased flare of ‘mask acne’ keep you from wearing a mask regularly. Here are some skin-care tips that will help you put a stop to maskne.

Who would have imagined a year and a half ago that masks would be the new normal? We’re wearing masks as a safety measure to prevent ourselves from contracting and spreading Coronavirus. The scare of this pandemic has got everyone to be cautious about wearing masks every time they step out of the house even for the most minute work. A mask has become an important accessory and no one can do without it, considering the ongoing pandemic.

However, changing weather conditions and constant wearing of masks may contribute to acne and skin-related issues. Mask acne is more likely to happen during the summer season because of the hot and humid weather. You can’t get rid of masks anytime soon, so, it is important to understand what exactly is mask acne (also referred to as Maskne) along with the causes, prevention tips, and ways to fight this skin problem.

What is Mask Acne?

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You might have noticed that the diligent use of a face mask reacts negatively while coming in contact with the skin. Mask Acne or Maskne are pimples that surface on your skin in areas where your mask touches your face. This occurs when oil, sweat, or bacteria are trapped on your skin while you wear a mask, creating an adequate ground for breakouts. Not to mention, this acne differs from the usual hormonal blemishes that arise on your skin.

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What causes Maskne?

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Basic acne develops when the pores of your skin get clogged due to various reasons such as dirt, makeup, oil, etc. This in turn leads to issues like blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. A mask, blocking the specific skin area and causing heat, rubbing, and excess pressure leads to itchiness and inflammation which gives rise to maskne. Wearing a mask disallows the dead skin cells to shed throughout the day because of which they remain in your pores. Since mask acne is becoming a common skin issue, we need to be aware of the correct skin-care routine to be followed on regular basis. We all might be aware of basic skin-care methods like washing your face, wearing sunscreen, and applying a moisturiser. However, there is more to this routine and other steps that we need to keep in our mind to prevent mask acne.

Let’s have a look at the modified skin-care routine to keep your skin fresh and healthy while wearing a mask and protecting yourself from COVID-19.

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How can you fight Mask Acne or ‘Maskne’?

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The methods of treating mask acne aren’t so different from the way you would treat normal acne. There are various treatments, remedies, and prescriptions by dermatologists to deal with maskne. It’s necessary to choose the right treatment for your skin based on the intensity of the issue and skin type. For milder mask acne, products with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid (a chemical exfoliator that helps unclog pores) and benzoyl peroxide (kills the bacteria along with acne) should be your everyday go-to. It’s good to use face cleansers or face washes that contain these ingredients. In case of severe maskne, it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist, who in turn might suggest treatments like retinoid medications, anti-inflammatory cortisone creams which will increase the speed of the skin’s natural cells turnover process.

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Best ways to prevent Mask Acne

Here are some habits that you must practice to prevent mask acne.

#1. Select the right mask

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The first measure is to make the right selection of the mask that you wear. While selecting your mask, you need to make sure that wearing the mask, allows your skin to breathe while it gives proper coverage to protect you from the virus. The mask should sit comfortably on your skin and should cover your nose and mouth at the same time. The fabric of the mask is yet another factor that needs to be kept in mind while selecting a mask for yourself. Cloth masks are not advisable as they do not protect against the virus! Wearing a clean N95 mask is advisable. If you are wearing a cloth mask, double it with a surgical mask for complete protection.

#2. Choosing the right skin-care and makeup products

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It’s very important to know the right products to be applied to your skin beneath the mask. Products that are oil-free or non-comedogenic are better to use as they might help to prevent the occurrence of acne on your skin underneath the mask. It’s always advisable to avoid applying heavy and multiple layers of makeup which can clog your skin pores and eventually lead to mask acne.

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#3. Wash your face regularly with a cleanser

Every time you remove your mask, make sure you wash your face gently with a cleanser to eliminate all the accumulated dust, dirt, and oil on your skin. Washing your face at least twice a day is good for your skin. Not only will it help you clean your face from external dirt but will make your face feel rejuvenated. The choice of your cleanser needs to be made as per your skin condition. A gentle cleanser can be used by all skin types.

#4. Moisturise your face after a wash

Using the right moisturiser helps in maintaining skin balance. It gives your sensitive skin the boost it requires to repair the dead cell areas and also helps to even out existing blemishes. It’s a necessary product to keep your skin safe from impurities. Apply your moisturiser daily after washing your face. Here is a guide that will help you choose the right moisturiser for your skin type:

  • For Dry Skin — Cream-based moisturiser
  • For Oily Skin — Gel-based moisturiser
  • For Normal Skin — Lotion

#5. Use sunscreen whenever needed

Applying sunscreen not only protects you from the harmful UV rays but also enhances the health of your skin. A sunscreen protects important skin proteins such as collagen, keratin, and elastin. Better the health of your skin, lesser are the chances to get acne.

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#6. Try not to touch your face

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Many of us have the habit of pricking the acne on our skin due to irritation and itchiness. This leads to further inflammation of the acne because of the dirt that’s settled on the surface of your fingertip. Touching your face can transfer oil and impurities from your hand onto your face. Pricking of the maskne might lead to scarring in later days. Hence, it’s very important to resist the urge of fidgeting with your face.

#7. Wear a clean mask and wash it properly

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As we know that mask acne is caused because of the constant wearing of a mask, we need to make sure that we’re always wearing a very clean mask. It’s recommended to wash your cloth mask after each use as this will remove the dirt, oil, and dead skin that gets collected on the inner surface of the mask. The right way to wash your mask is by using warm water and a soft detergent that doesn’t cause any irritation to the skin. If you’re using a disposable mask, don’t forget to change it from time to time.

This gives you a complete guide that you can follow to fight mask acne or maskne. Being conscious about taking care of your skin is more important than ever. If you experience an uncontrollable maskne issue, then consider consulting a dermatologist at the earliest.

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