How to Treat Maskne

Let's talk the skin concern of the moment: "maskne"!

To slow the spread of COVID-19, a face mask has become a part of everyone's daily routine - most people now carry a mask in their handbag, car, at work, gym bag, and have several laying around at home.

But if you, like me, have also developed breakouts from wearing a mask, don't worry. There are ways to mitigate your maskne and skincare products to help you tackle that.

In addition to maskne, wearing a mask everyday can also result in a series of skin concerns like redness, bumpiness, and irritation.

What are the skin concerns that wearing a mask can cause and why?

  •  Acne - First of all, our now famous maskne. Acne happens when your pores become clogged with dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. That non-oxygenated environment then becomes the perfect spot for bacteria to thrive, which leads to breakouts, congestion, or blackheads. This happens when wearing a face mask because it creates a high humidity, non-oxygenated environment - in other words, the perfect set up for acne to form.

  • Folliculitis/keratosis pilaris - This is a skin condition that causes bumps underneath the skin due to an infection of the hair follicles. Folliculitis, or Kerastosis Pilaris, are common skin concerns to be seen with the use of a face mask, due to the friction of the mask-wearing or an unhygienic mask.

  • Rosacea - If you already suffer with rosacea, wearing a mask continuously can cause flare-ups due to your skin not being able to breathe, to an unhygienic mask, the friction of the mask, or an allergy you might have to the fabric of the mask.

  • Contact Dermatitis - This is a skin concern that causes sensitivity and an allergic reaction to the fabric mask, causing a red rash and irritation.

Other causes why you might have maskne

  • Not washing your fabric masks regularly
  • Not replacing your paper masks regularly
  • Wearing too heavy makeup under your mask, or not wearing mineral base make up and allowing skin to breathe
  • Not washing your face morning and night - especially due to the humidity of breathing in your mask and sweating.
  • Washing your mask in a scented non-organic washing detergent.


Extra tips on how to keep a maskne free face:

  • Wash your fabric face mask regularly
  • Recycle your paper face mask after each day in the bin.
  • Try avoiding wearing make-up where possible. Use mineral makeup and only put it on where your mask does not cover it.
  • Always sanitise your hands, as we can play with our masks on our face and the bacteria can cause breakouts
  • Putting on a clay mask on the affected areas to help draw out any excess oil or bacteria from an acne flare-up
  • Put on a soothing, calming mask to help with a more irritated, red, rosacea flare-up
  • Keep well hydrated throughout the day, by wearing a mask we can easily forget to drink water.

My top recommendations to tackle maskne:

CosMedix Detox Mask

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This charcoal and clay based mask, gently exfoliates skin, draws out impurities and effectively cleanses away pollutants for a visibly brighter, more radiant complexion.

Mesoestetic Anti-Stress Face Mask

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Soothing, repairing face mask for all types of skin, even the most sensitive. It beats the effect of oxidising stress thanks to its emulsifying, reepithelisation action.

My Top Hand Sanitiser recommendation

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Non-alcohol antibacterial hand sanitiser kills 99.9% of germs while keeping skin hydrated.

Light, creamy lotion forms a protective barrier against moisture loss to support skin's natural defences.

At Skinmart we offer over the phone, or Zoom Complimentary Skin Consults if you need to discuss your skin concerns or get a personalised skincare plan made for you! Chat with one of our Skin Therapists here.

About The Author

My name is Sari Pols,
I have been in the skincare industry for over 15 years. My passion lies in ‘Health’. Health for the skin and body. My philosophy is if we have good well-being on the inside, then it shows our vitality on the outside.
I have furthered my knowledge of Skin Anatomy, Skin Concerns, and Fitness. I am a true believer in how to make my clients feel their best both inside and out. My emphasis is on guiding my clients through their journey of skin concerns and conditions. I do not like to band-aid a concern or condition but want to get down to the root of the cause. I aim to give personalised consultations with treatment and correct prescribed skin products.

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