Maskne: What It Is and How to Get Rid of It

While face masks have been helping us all stay healthy and safe this pandemic, they have been quite the annoyance for those suffering from “maskne”. Surely you can guess what this term refers to, but if not we’ll break it down for you.

“Maskne” is a popular term during this pandemic that refers to the acne specifically caused by wearing a mask regularly. By no means does this mean wearing a mask will automatically give you acne but the way you wear your mask plays a large role in its appearance. According to Dr. Amy Kassouf of the Cleveland Clinic, this sort of acne is brought on by the hot, humid air trapped inside our masks from talking and breathing. This environment can cause bacteria and friction which may lead to acne, especially for those who already suffer with rosacea, acne, eczema and other general skin sensitivities, as per John Hopkins Medicine

This condition can be very frustrating if left unmanaged, but luckily there are many steps that can be taken to treat and prevent future maskne.

Step 1. Start with Clean Skin

One of the most important steps to take when preventing maskne is starting with clean skin -- face and hands. Each morning and night one should wash their face with a cleanser that suits their needs, i.e. Cerave for sensitive skin, preferably something gentle enough for daily use. Make sure you wash your hands before cleansing your face and apply a moisturizer after to help reduce mask irritation, and wash hands again when applying your mask.

Step 2. Find a Mask that Fits You

According to John Hopkins Medicine, the way your mask fits plays a large role in how your face may be affected. Aim for a mask that covers just above your nose and below your chin without any gaps or excessive tightness. Look for masks that allow you to adjust the fit.

Step 3. Wear a Clean Mask

A dirty mask can be a common reason for maskne, so to avoid that try to use a clean mask each time you wear one. This means sending your cloth masks through the wash and tossing the disposable masks once you’ve got proper wear out of them. 

Step 4. Go “Fresh Faced”

Since a mask takes up about 60% of your face, maybe try skipping the makeup in that region to avoid anything that could clog pores and cause breakouts. Moisturizer and sunscreen are enough to keep you covered under your mask, but if you must wear makeup focus on the region above the mask.


When dealing with breakouts you may want some extra help to get rid of them, and pimple patches can help prevent further irritation from your mask. Brands like Starface and ZitSticka have sticker with ingredients like salicylic acid and niacinamide that you just place over your blemish and go about your day; excellent for times you must wear a mask!

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