MASKNE: Acne Caused By Masks + How To Get Rid Of It!

Mask Acne aka MASKNE: when skin starts breaking out from wearing a mask, is becoming a growing issue.

If you are serious about protecting yourself and others you will be wearing a mask, the pandemic has changed our world and we are now growing to adapt to it. For many people the side effect of wearing a mask is the onset of blemishes or acne and this is caused by either being allergic to the material of the mask or from the fact that your skin is not being able to breathe, the irritation from constant friction or pressure from the mask (Acne Mechanica), and creating a breeding ground for bacteria to grow. Think about it, you’re basically giving the skin under that mask a moist and warm environment for it to thrive!

Of course we aren’t saying you shouldn’t wear a mask, we 100% believe you should! But here we have some tips on how to reduce and prevent unsightly blemishes from wearing masks.


This would seem like a no brainer but there are many of us (sometimes us included) that just either forget or don’t have the time. If you wear a reusable mask, then it should be washed every day! Placing a used mask in sunlight won’t kill bacteria either (we’ve realised) it just multiplies it! You constantly sweat and secrete sebum under that mask so washing it daily and letting it air dry helps to reduce bacteria and keep your skin clean. If you use the disposable paper masks, then please throw them out after using it once as spraying anti-bacterial on these masks renders them useless as they lose the filtration system since the spray breaks down the mask!


If you’re seeing the start of blemishes or rashes around the lower half of your face it may be time to switch up to more gentle skincare products. Use fewer heavy products as your skin won’t be able to breathe under the mask so stay away from oils or rich creams when wearing a mask. Wait at least 15 to 20 minutes for your moisturiser to set before wearing your mask if you can!

  • Try using a gentle AHA or BHA exfoliant to clear away dead skin cells that can build up on your skin and create blemishes
  • Wash your face daily to keep it clean
  • Use a gentle pore clearing toner
  • Spot use retinol products on affected areas a few times a week


Products with petroleum such as heavy creams or Vaseline jelly break down the integrity of masks for those that need to work with protective gear, they also don’t allow skin to breathe and cause irritation.


Make-up wise we recommend staying away from lip glosses or lipsticks that are rich in texture as they smear (not a great look) and they block the pores around the lips. Try to stick to light makeup, preferably no make-up! If you do need to look put together, try just wearing concealer and a light BB cream or tinted moisturiser.

We found that with a combination of using a cotton mask (allows skin to breathe), being make-up free on the lower half of our face and switching up to a more gentle skincare regime really helps to prevent Maskne and blemishes in general!

Some of our recommendations:

A Gentle Exfoliator to remove dead skin cells and debris from the skin's surface
A super mild foam cleanser that won't irritate the skin
Tea Tree infused toner to help prevent breakouts and heal skin
A cooling and soothing sheet mask to calm inflamed skin whilst providing a protective barrier
And finish with a lightweight breathable moisturiser!

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