9 Tips on How to Avoid “Maskne” (Mask Acne)
By Enliven Aesthetics. Posted January 4th, 2021.
In order to follow CDC guidelines for Covid-19, we’ve all been sporting face masks in public. Ten months into the pandemic, you may be noticing more pimples than you’re used to in certain areas of your face. While easy to blame on stress or an unhealthy diet, chances are these breakouts might actually be “maskne.”
Coined by Dr. Dendy Engleman, “maskne” or mask acne, is when spots appear on your skin as a result of wearing your face mask. Of course, the easiest solution would be to just stop wearing your mask, but government-mandated face mask requirements will not be going away anytime soon. So, what can you do to help prevent more mask acne? Keep reading for tips from our medical staff to help keep your skin glowing and acne-free!
But first…what is maskne and what causes it?
For the majority of people, maskne is the result of your pores clogging due to trapped oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Masks also trap humidity inside, which may increase the risk of acne, especially if you’re a heavy breather or sweat easily.
Another possible cause of maskne is the friction between your skin and the face mask material that may be causing chafing or irritation. Or perhaps you are sensitive or allergic to the type of face mask that you choose to wear. Some masks are pretreated with chemicals that can feel rough on the skin or cause an allergic reaction.
Read below for tips from our medical staff to help keep your skin glowing and acne-free!
1. Keep your skin clean
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by how effective regular cleansing is for treating acne. Please make sure to wash your face in the morning, before you go to sleep, and after working out or wearing a mask for a long time (like at work!).
To avoid any irritation or inflammation, we recommend that you use a gentle cleanser that works well with your skin and avoid cleansers that contain alcohol or perfume. Click here for some of our favorite acne-reducing cleansers.
2. Take a break from makeup or heavily scented face products
One of the best things about having to wear a face mask in public is that the pressure to wear a full face of makeup has been lessened to a certain degree. While not everyone has chosen to go makeup-free, we recommend that you skip the makeup while your acne heals, if at all possible.
Beauty products such as foundation, concealer, highlighter, and blush can block your pores and prevent your acne from healing. Scented face products may also be delaying your acne from healing, so consider switching to an unscented face product.
3. Wash fabric masks after every use
We know it’s a hassle to have to wash your face masks after every use, but dirty facial coverings will only irritate your skin more. We recommend that you wash your mask with unscented hypoallergenic laundry detergent and then dry it completely.
4. Toss disposable masks after every use
Please do not wear a disposable mask more than once. If possible, keep several of them nearby for easy access, so you can replace your current one with minimal trouble.
5. Remove your mask every 3-4 hours
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you should remove your mask for 15 minutes every 3-4 hours to help give your skin some fresh air, assuming you can still prioritize social distancing.
6. Consider alternative mask materials
Sometimes changing your mask type is all you need to do to prevent maskne. We recommend that you use a mask made of silk and tencel, antimicrobial silver, or of a natural, soft fabric, like cotton. Avoid masks made of synthetic fabrics, such as nylon or rayon.
7. Avoid the urge to touch or pick your acne
While it’s tempting to pick at or touch your acne, more contact can lead to more build up and a slower healing time.
8. Apply moisturizer before putting on a mask
Moisturizer can be an excellent remedy for those who suffer from dry skin. We recommend using a non-comedogenic moisturizer to help hydrate your skin.
9. Make an appointment
If none of the steps above seem to be doing the trick, please schedule a consultation with one of our medical professionals to discuss treatment options for you.
Medical-grade peels are perfect for your maskne — they treat acne, and no one will even see you’re peeling! Or book a vampire facial or microneedling package, as these treatments get deeper into your skin to treat maskne scars (perfect timing while your face isn’t exposed to the sun!).
To schedule a complimentary consultation, please click the button below:
Regardless of what you decide, we want you to know that we are here for you and that it’s perfectly normal to have maskne–we all do right now! Please keep following CDC guidelines and wear a face mask when in public.
Wishing you all the best,
Have a Question?
If you have any questions about a treatment, or would like more information, feel free to fill out the form below, or call us at, (858) 609-0866 during our business hours to speak directly to a representative.