Following the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it has been absolutely crucial to follow the guidelines in order to stay safe and limit the spread of the virus. One of these guidelines was to ensure the constant wear of a facial covering or mask when in public places. Following this new requirement, you may have recently noticed that you have started to get breakouts after taking your mask off when you get home – enter Maskne. This guide will explain what Maskne actually is, what causes it and how you can ultimately avoid it! Let’s get into it.


What is “Maskne”?

Mask Acne or “Maskne”, medically known as Acne Mechanica, occurs when you wear a mask or facial covering of any kind, for extended periods of time. Typically, these kinds of breakouts are quite easy to identify as they only will occur in the areas that your face covering or mask is protecting e.g. your mouth, chin, nose etc.


What causes Maskne to happen?

As well as the appearance of Maskne, acne also differs in how and why it is caused. Acne is caused by hormonal changes. Maskne, on the other hand, is caused as a direct result of the constant rubbing of material against our facial skin. This, in turn, may result in micro-tears, making way for bacteria, dirt, oil etc to easily be able to enter and clog our pores. Unfortunately, because face masks are designed to limit any external air from entering your facial environment, they also stop it from exiting too. Cells usually shed throughout the day and so by wearing a mask or facial covering for extended periods of time, these cells are trapped inside, further exacerbating the problem.


How can you prevent Maskne from occurring?

As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure” so before we get into how to treat Maskne, it is very important to ensure you are doing all you can do to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Below are a number of things you can do to help prevent the occurrence of maskne:


  • Let your skin breathe (Avoid makeup). At the moment, with most people working from home, what better time to let your skin breathe by stopping wearing makeup. Wearing too many products alongside a mask or covering e.g. concealer, foundation etc, can lead to additional irritation and breakouts.
  • Ensure your mask fits properly. If your mask is too tight, or even too loose, this can also lead to breakouts. Wearing a mask that is too small means there will be a buildup of heat that will lead to irritation. Having one that is too loose will mean that it rubs and scratches your face. Ideally, you want your mask or covering to fit fairly snugly around your nose and the sides of your face. Also, ensure that there is enough room for you to speak and move your lips without them constantly rubbing against your mask.
  • Take care of your cotton mask. Cotton masks are great because they are the more stylish and breathable choice, but you must wash it daily for it to be fully effective at keeping you safe and limiting the spread of COVID-19. This also happens to help reduce maskne from happening. However, you must ensure that your detergent is fragrance-free, otherwise, it can cause irritation to those with sensitive skin. 


How can you treat Maskne?

If you already have maskne, and have started following the steps above in order to prevent maskne from occurring again, in order to treat it here are some simple steps you can follow:


    • Regularly wash your face. While this might seem obvious, washing your face regularly (aim for twice a day) can go a long way in preventing maskne. Avoid any harsh products, toners or exfoliators otherwise that will simply cause further inflammation and redness. 
  • Replace your current cleanser. The right cleanser for your skin type will remove any excess oil while gently exfoliating and removing any dead skin cells or debris, all while leaving your skin’s protective barrier intact.
  • Apply a good moisturizer. After you wash your face, ensure that you are applying a good lightweight, oil-free, non-clogging moisturizer to prevent dryness and repair your skin’s natural layer of protection.


If you’re struggling to tackle maskne then you should talk to your skincare specialist who will be able to advise you on the best products and treatments that will help you combat maskne. Get in touch today using the link below to book a free consultation with one of our skin experts to learn more about what options are available to you and how you can reach your skin goals.