“Maskne”: Could wearing a face mask be causing those breakouts?

"Maskne": Could wearing a face mask be causing those breakouts?

Now that we’re adjusting to the “new normal”, wearing a face mask has become a part of daily living. Nobody really enjoys it. They can make you feel claustrophobic, uncomfortable and sweaty. Still, they might just save your life so, for the time being, you’re going to have to make peace with them. However, have you noticed more pimples popping up in your chin area? If so, you might be dealing with a case of ‘maskne’ – acne caused by wearing a mask.

Understanding maskne

When you wear a mask for a long period of time, your breathing creates a lot of humidity that gets trapped around your mouth area. Also, re-using the same disposable mask and not washing a cloth one can make things worse. Dirty material covered in oil produced by your skin in a humid environment is basically a member’s club for bacteria. If just reading this has made you want to never touch a mask again, never fear. If you practice good mask hygiene and invest in the right products, maskne can be beaten.


Your first line of defence against maskne is to keep things clean. This means not being tempted to wear a disposable mask a second time. Much like the virus, we’re trying to protect ourselves from, the bacteria that causes acne is invisible. So, toss that mask in the trash at the end of each day. Still, a better idea than burning through a pile of disposables is to invest in a couple of cloth masks. This way, you can pop them in the wash and have another option to wear while it dries.  

Wash smart

Your next step? Give your skincare routine a little makeover. To start, take a look at your face wash. Ideally, you want something that contains salicylic acid. It does a brilliant job of exfoliating the inside of your pores to help keep them clean and clear. Another way to ensure flawless pores is via regular exfoliation. Instead of using a scrub containing grains that could irritate and cause micro-inflammation, opt for a chemical exfoliator. These will use gentle acids like glycolic or lactic acids that will loosen and remove dead skin cells. Keen on getting the best of both worlds? Consider snapping up SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Cleanser Gel. It’s formulated with both salicylic acid and glycolic acid to give you the best of both worlds.

Hydrate cleverly

Even oily and acne-prone skin requires moisturiser so don’t skip this part. Just ensure whatever you’re using is oil-free and formulated to help blitz bacteria. A nice option is Lamelle Clarity Corrective AM. It’s lightweight yet hydrating and contains salicylic acid and award-winning growth factors to help speed healing. Better yet, it contains peptides that have anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial ingredients. In short, it’s a dream come true for anyone who suddenly finds themselves with acne-prone skin.

Treat on the spot  

Despite our best efforts, anyone can still get the odd the spot. When this happens, it’s time to whip out a targeted treatment. These should be applied to the spot directly, not your entire face. The best kind will contain proven pimple bacteria-busters and anti-inflammatories to help calm redness. We like NeoStrata Targeted Spot Treatment Gel as it makes use of salicylic acid along with a triple alpha-hydroxy acid blend.

Ultimately, with the right routine, there’s nothing stopping you from wearing a face mask, enjoying clear skin and, most importantly, staying safe.


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