How to Prevent Maskne? 10 Tips to Apply

With summer in our mists, the hot and humid air may feel good while we are relaxing outside, but it isn’t doing many wonders for the half of our faces covered by a mask. Acne and other skin issues are now more present than ever, so much so, that the internet is calling it ‘maskne’.

There isn’t much we can do about wearing a mask, but there are a few ways that we can help prevent the maskne we have all grown to hate over the past few months, and get back to that clear and healthy skin that we all cherish in the summertime. 

What Causes Maskne?

Acne usually develops when pores get clogged by oil, dead skin cells, makeup, dirt, or bacteria. This can lead to blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples that can vary in size and type, depending on how infected they get. Your face is constantly shedding old, dead skin cells throughout the day, and a good skincare routine can help with that process and help to tame and prevent future breakouts.

Here’s the problem: when you wear a mask all day, it interferes with that shedding process and the mask prevents those dead cells from shedding, therefore making them now get clogged in your pores.

Masks also provide a humid environment for bacteria to grow in our skin (the humidity makes bacteria thrive), which can lead to an almost inevitable breakout.  

The 3 main ways masks cause breakouts:

1. Rubbing 

Masks can cause irritation through friction and chafing, almost like your legs do on a hot summer day. The bridge of the nose and where the elastic bands hit behind the ears are the most at risk, and over time, tightly fitting masks can put enough pressure on the skin to break it down. 

2. Irritation

The material of a mask absorbs the skin’s natural oils. For some people with naturally oily skin, this can be a bit of a blessing but, for some people, this leads to dryness and sensitivity. When irritation becomes inflammation, you will see redness, dry patches, peeling, and/or dark marks. If you have a skin condition like rosacea or psoriasis, the inflammation can make it flare-up. 

3. Occlusion

When pores get clogged, they can become pimples or acne cysts. Your breath trapped beneath the mask makes the skin surface warm and moist, which allows the pores to open up and make the skin more exposed and prone to breakouts. Besides regular acne, this environment can lead to a breakout called folliculitis, which is when yeast or bacteria infect the hair follicles. 

woman padding face

The solution is on your vanity

A good skincare routine has always been crucial, but it’s now more important than ever that we start focusing on what we are putting on underneath the mask. Here is a list of 8 tips and tricks on how to fight against maskne:

  1. Skip the makeup. No one is going to see it underneath the mask, so this is the perfect time to let your skin breathe and not bring in any other outside factors that may clog your pores
  2. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser after you remove your mask. After wearing your mask, it’s important that you use a gentle cleanser to wash your face to remove all the debris and oil that has been built up throughout the day. Moisturizing right after you wash your face is also very important, as masks can be very drying and can strip your face of the natural oils that help lock in moisture. A great gentle cleanser to try is the Obagi Nu-Derm Foaming Gel
  3. Help exfoliate and cleanse with SkinMedica AHA/BHA Cleanser. This product will improve the skin’s texture, tone, and smoothness while also exfoliating the dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, revealing fresh, young cells and enhancing skin radiance and luminosity. Be careful with the sun though. This product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunburn.
skinmedica retinol complex
  1. Increase Cell turnover and decrease dead skin cell accumulation with retinol. This product diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while enhancing skin tone and texture. When used regularly SkinMedica Retinol Complex may help to increase the skin’s firmness, and create a more vibrant and evenly colored complexion. 
  2. Use sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. This will keep the skin moisturized while also protecting your face from the sun’s harmful rays, and most importantly, help to prevent awkward tan lines. The SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair SPF 34 (tinted) is a great alternative to a foundation or BB cream. 
  3. Miss your office treatments? Try Obagi Professional-C Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask. Just like after a long overdue facial, this mask gives you results after just one application. This 2-in-1 skin polishing mask exfoliates and preps skin for a powerful level of vitamin C. After just one application, testing showed that the mask reduces signs of aging, such as dull complexion, fine lines, and wrinkles. It’s oil base also leaves the skin feeling hydrated and energized.
  4. Bring the focus to your eyes! With a mask covering everything from the nose down, it’s time to focus our efforts on the one area that is seen, our eyes. The SkinMedica Instant Bright Eye Cream instantly improves eyes’ appearance, including dark circles, sagging, puffiness, and lines. It also works over time to continue reducing the visible signs of aging and fatigue. The Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Serum does something very similar by utilizing a breakthrough bi-material complex that replenishes elasticity and accelerates the production of collagen for results of younger-looking skin around the eyes in just 14 days. 
obagi elastiderm eye serum
  1. Moisturize. Masks can be very drying to your skin as they can absorb the natural oils that your skin produces to lock in moisture and keep it hydrated. Keeping your skin moisturized is very important and can help prevent other skin issues from arising like breakouts. The SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier is a smooth gel formula that sinks in for deep hydration, improved skin texture, and an even glowing complexion. You can use this smooth gel formula as the last morning step before applying sunscreen, or after applying your retinol at night. The SkinMedica HA5 instantly restores skin’s suppleness with a super hydrating formula. This cream helps to calm and soothe sensitive skin types, which is great for when your skin becomes irritated or inflamed after wearing a mask. 
  2. Masks hit the lips first so moisturize. With 5 forms of hyaluronic acid for maximum hydration, SkinMedica HA5 Lip System enhances lip fullness, smoothness, and rosiness while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It’s best to keep your lips hydrated while wearing a mask to help prevent dryness and cracking. 
  3. Drink water. This one may come as a no brainer, but a big benefit of water is its ability to flush your system of toxins. This cleanse keeps your skin clean, pushing out bacteria and reducing the risk of acne and other skin problems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also enjoy





13280 Evening Creek Drive South Suite 225
San Diego, CA 92128

tel: 888-910-0623

[email protected]

© 2023 All rights reserved.