; Maskne: How to prevent irritation & breakouts when wearing a mask – Skin Health Science

Maskne: How to prevent irritation & breakouts when wearing a mask

Due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, we are encouraged more and more to wear a mask - in some parts of the world it’s compulsory. This is extremely important in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our communities safe. However, it does come with a not-so-great consequence for our skin, Maskne.

Maskne, technically known as acne mechanica (1), results from pressure on the skin. In this case, this pressure is due to the friction between the skin and the fabric of the mask. 

Another factor causing your skin to break out when wearing a mask is the humidity created by your hot breath becoming trapped by the fabric of your mask. 

This increased pressure and moisture irritates the skin, creating the perfect environment for bacteria and breakouts - not to mention the added stress of wearing makeup AND the accumulated dirt and bacteria that becomes trapped in the fibres of your mask(2). Not fun.  

Now, we know what you’re thinking...how do you prevent it?

Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

This is what you need to do:

Wash your mask. Disposable masks are only meant to be worn for hours at a time, so if you’re using a cloth mask make sure to wash it after every use! The more you wear your mask, the more bacteria accumulates which isn’t safe for you or your skin! (2)

Go light on the makeup. A lot of foundations are very heavy and clog your pores. When combined with the humidity and friction caused by your mask, your skin is struggling to breathe. Try to avoid full coverage makeup and opt for a lighter option - or skip it all together! (2)

Avoid touching your mask. If you constantly touch your face and mask, you’re increasing the pressure on your skin and exposure to additional bacteria. Resist the urge to scratch and pull at your mask - your skin will thank you. (3)

Cleanse and exfoliate. Make sure you keep cleansing your face to remove dirt and bacteria, reducing the risk of breakouts. Exfoliation is also key in combating the effects of your mask. Our Carbo Cleanser contains organic exfoliating fruit extracts which decongest pores, and charcoal which entraps toxins for ultimate skin purification. This is the ultimate product to protect your skin from the causes of maskne. (4)

Hydrate and protect. Your skin goes through enough stress throughout the day, especially with the added pressure of a mask, so you need to make sure you nourish it. Moisturising is essential in preventing additional irritation and maintaining healthy skin cells. Protecting your skin is also integral in enhancing its resilience to avoid future breakouts. Our REM Serum is designed to restore barrier function and regulate excess oil production, making it the ideal serum to reduce your skin’s vulnerability to breakouts. (3)

If you do find yourself developing maskne, these tips will still help in reducing additional effects on the road to reducing irritation. However, our Acne Skin System is a convenient package of all of our best acne-fighting products designed to heal your skin and protect it against future breakouts.

For more info, check out our Skincare 101: Back to Basics guide or book an online consultation with one of our specialist registered nurses for professional advice on how to be your best skin!



  1. https://www.laroche-posay.com.au/article/maskne-101-guide-to-protective-face-mask-skin-care
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/maskne#causes
  3. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-tips-to-avoid-maskne-skin-irritation
  4. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/face/prevent-face-mask-skin-problems