How to Prevent Maskne

By: Melody Lau

Wearing face masks is essential in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but we can all admit we get annoyed with masks at times — especially when it leads to maskne.

What is Maskne (Mask Acne)?

Have you noticed more pimples, redness and bumpiness on your cheeks, chin, mouth area or jaw since you started to wear masks regularly? Healthline says mask acne is the result of clogged pores, as wearing a mask builds up the bacteria, oil and dead skin cells — blocking your pores.

Another reason why your skin may not be feeling the best is the friction caused by your mask, especially when it’s humid and warm outside. The friction or rubbing may cause chafing or irritation while increasing the number of pimples because of the mask trapping humidity. On the other hand, cold weather can also dry out your skin under your mask and cause chafing.

You should also be wary of allergies or face sensitivities, as some of you may be allergic to the mask material or of disinfectants. Some masks are pre-treated with a chemical called formaldehyde to disinfect them. If you notice a particular mask causes greater discomfort, then take note of the mask materials and you can ask your doctor for a detailed explanation.

Maskne can be unpredictable with everyone’s skin conditions being different, but we have some tips for you on treating mask acne.

How to Prevent Maskne

1. Wash your face frequently and moisturize

Don’t worry, we’re not talking about a full skincare routine every hour or so, but it’s important for you to rinse your face with warm water without rubbing it to avoid irritation. Especially if you’re at school or work where you’re not given opportunities to take off your mask, remember to take washroom breaks to rinse and let your skin breathe.

Another tip is to moisturize every few hours with a non-fragrance moisturizer to further prevent dry skin while acting as a protective layer between your skin and mask.

Most importantly, take some time to properly wash your face once in the morning and the other at night before you head to bed! 

2. Try to wear less makeup

As much as makeup is fun to put on and it can make us feel more confident, try to wear little to no makeup under your mask. Without foundation, concealer or blush being piled up under your mask trapped with humidity, your pores won’t be as clogged up. You can still put on your favourite eyeshadow or eyeliner to match your mask colour and make your eyes really standout. 

3. Wash or toss out masks frequently 

Cloth masks should be washed after every use, especially after long hours of wear. We recommend throwing your cloth masks in the laundry to ensure a thorough wash, but you can hand wash your masks if needed. For disposable masks, it’s recommended to throw out each mask after every use.

Before leaving your home, always make sure you have a few washed cloth masks or disposable masks ready for you whenever you need them !

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that dealing with maskne or the discomfort of face masks is more important than catching COVID-19 and spreading it to your loved ones. If you keep wearing your masks and encourage others to do so as well, the sooner we can return to our normal lives and never worry about maskne again.

If you have any “embarrassing” questions that are living rent-free in your mind, be sure to message us on our contact form or just say hi on IGPlease remember that no questions are ever embarrassing or too awkward.

About the Author:

Melody is a Master’s student in Journalism and Communication at Western and hopes to pursue a career in entertainment or investigative journalism. She also loves Letterboxd, country music and is excited to be a part of the Apricotton Team! Connect with her here