How to Deal with Maskne: 6 Best Practices

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how to deal with maskne

Before you learn how to deal with maskne, it’s important to understand why it exists in the first place. Keep reading to find out exactly what the triggers are and how to prevent this skin condition from re-occurring.


Mask wearing has been widely recognized as a crucial protective layer against the spread of the coronavirus. For most of us, this is the first time in our lives where daily mask use has been implemented. But here’s the thing – we didn’t anticipate the skin concerns that would come with it, like new breakouts, redness, and irritation, to name a few. It turns out face coverings create the perfect breeding ground for inflammation and acne to arise. So with the sudden onset of these issues, we’re now forced to figure out how to deal with maskne, including learning effective strategies to treat and prevent these triggered skin conditions.

So, What Exactly Is Maskne? 

Maskne is a newly coined term that combines the words “mask” and “acne.” Maskne refers to bumps or a sudden onset of acne-related problems as a result of mask wear. Those who typically suffer from maskne may notice pimples around the mouth region (think chin or cheeks) or any other part of the face that comes in contact with prolonged mask use. 

How Do You Get Maskne? 

Maskne typically arises from a combination of friction and moisture. Rubbing or shifting your mask can irritate the skin barrier; this, coupled with hot air trapped inside your mask, leads to bacteria and excessive oil forming and clogging your pores. 

Cue breakouts. 

And since masks have become mandatory in most indoor settings, prolonged use increases opportunities for pores to become plugged and skin inflamed. Ahead, we’ve curated the most effective tips on dealing with the realness of maskne, including a few must-have products. 

Tips on How to Deal with Maskne 

1. Use Gentle Cleansers, Daily 

Harsh cleansers can strip the skin’s natural moisture barrier, leading to excessive dryness and irritation. Opt for cleansing gels or soap-free cleansers that are gentle and rich in emollients to keep skin protected. Products like CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser or Avene’s Tolerance Extreme Cleansing Lotion are designed to be non-irritating yet still leave skin squeaky clean. 

2. Soothe Skin with Thermal Spring Water 

One of the most underrated yet most effective treatment options is the use of thermal spring water. It does wonders for the skin. Rich in minerals, these products combat irritation, reduce redness, and restore the skin barrier. Spray the ultra-fine mist across your face for instant relief. 

3. Moisturize 

According to the ADD, dry skin is a common occurrence due to mask use. Ensuring the skin is adequately moisturized can help prevent dryness or skin from peeling – acting as an additional protective measure against maskne. 

After cleansing your face, apply a moisturizer – one that contains ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help keep moisture locked in. 

4. Avoid Face Makeup

Under normal circumstances, foundation or bb cream is no problem. However, when combined with mask use, it can increase the likelihood of clogged pores. If you can, skip it. Otherwise, stick to makeup that’s lightweight and non-comedogenic, like Glossier’s Skin Tint

5. Wear the Correct Type of Mask 

In a matter of a few short months, we went from a society that hardly wore masks – where public demand was non-existent- to a place where you wouldn’t dare to step foot outside your house without one. 

Today, masks flood retail space, and you can find one for every age, mood, and personality. But not all masks are created equally. You want to find a protective cover, yes, but it shouldn’t be so constraining that it makes wearing uncomfortable. 

Choose a mask that contains soft, breathable fabric, like cotton or silk but still feels well-fitted around the face. A mask that’s too tight or made with synthetic material can exacerbate irritation. We like the ones from Peace Collective and Herschel as they’re multi-layered, adjustable, and easy to wear. 

6. Avoid Skin-Irritating Ingredients 

Ingredients like alcohol and fragrance tend to be harder on the skin and may irritate. Check the ingredients’ label on your skincare products to see what’s listed. If you notice these ingredients are mentioned, it might be worthwhile to switch to products geared towards sensitive skin.