Maskne: How to Prevent Irritation & Breakouts When Wearing a Mask

The development of the COVID-19 vaccine(s) has brought a glimmer of light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, as well as a significant reduction in mask requirements across the world.

Even so, one huge takeaway from the global pandemic is that masks offer an incredibly effective and necessary precaution to minimise the spread of contagious diseases. This means we can expect that someday, we’ll put on a mask again in order to help keep our community safe.

We are in full support of mask wearing under these circumstances, but they do come with a not-so-great consequence for our skin - maskne.

What is Maskne?

Maskne, technically known as acne mechanica1, 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 mask2. Not fun.

So… how do I prevent Maskne?

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 Vita Cleanser contains organic exfoliating fruit extracts which decongest pores, 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


Even taking all of these precautions, you may still fine you develop a bit of maskne, but don’t despair or give up! All of these tips will help to reduce the irritation and friction, so by following them, you’re still minimising the effects of maskne tremendously.

Sources

1Guide to Protective Face Mask Skincare
2Maskne Causes
3Tips to Avoid Maskne Skin Irritation
4Prevent Face Mask Skin Problems