An Asian woman checking her face in the mirror

Wearing masks is now part of our daily routine and has, unfortunately, become a cause of pimples and breakouts otherwise known as Maskne. 

ICYDK, Maskne, a combination of the words “mask” and “acne,” describes breakouts that result from wearing a mask. It is an umbrella term that covers pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, rosacea, contact dermatitis, and folliculitis that arise from wearing a mask for prolonged periods. It affects all skin types. 

However, if you already have these skin issues to begin with, you could be more prone to maskne than most. But this doesn’t mean we have to grin behind our masks and bear it. 

What Causes Maskne?

Maskne happens when oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells all mix together and clog the pores while wearing a mask. Coupled with humidity and sweat, these clogged pores increase the risk of acne or breakouts. Friction caused by the mask rubbing against your skin can also cause maskne and bumps. Other causes include a dirty mask or a mask that’s been washed with harsh detergents.

Since wearing masksis mandatory everywhere outside the home (in this heat!), maskne has become a widespread problem! The good news is that there are ways plus a simple, affordable solution to beat Maske!

How Do You Prevent Maskne?

Here’s how you can effectively and easily avoid getting maskne.

Wash your face in the morning, at night, and after wearing a mask.

Dennise Lazaro fights maskne while looking fresh. (Credit: instagram/denniselazaro)

Washing your face regularly helps remove dirt, oily, sweat, and bacteria that can clog pores and lead to maskne. Remember to do this, especially after wearing a mask for an extended period of time. The World Health Organization recommends changing your mask every four hours. Take this as your cue and wash your face in between changes if you can.

POND’S Anti-Bacterial Facial Foam is your best bet against maskne. It is clinically proven to fight 99% of germs and maskne-causing bacteria. It is formulated with Advance Protect Technology, beta-hydroxy acid, and glycerin to keep skin fresh without drying. 

Moisturize with a non-comedogenic moisturizer, wear sunscreen, and avoid makeup.

Moisturizing is an essential step in fighting maskne because dry skin is more prone to irritation. Choose a light, non-comedogenic product that won’t block pores. Avoid heavy creams. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays. And since you’re already trying not to clog your pores, go easy on the makeup. Most makeup contains oils that can block your pores. If you must wear makeup, choose products that are non-comedogenic.

Choose your mask wisely.

Some silk masks come with pockets where you can insert filters for an extra layer of protection. (Credit: instagram/synelabel)

To avoid maskne, choose a mask that fits snugly to protect yourself and the people around you from infection but is also not so tight that it causes chafing. Wearing a mask that is too loose can also cause friction, as it will tend to slide around the face. 

If you’re using cloth masks, dermatologists recommend reusable cotton face masks or silk face masks that offer two layers of protection. These fabrics are more breathable and also dry pretty quickly. Just make sure to always hand-wash your masks after every use with a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergent to avoid irritation. If you’re using disposable surgical masks, which can be quite irritating since they are partly made with a type of plastic called polypropylene, just be sure to change it every four hours.

Mask wearing may be a cause of pimples, but this doesn’t mean you have to dread it. Simply observe proper hygiene, change your mask every four hours, and use an anti-bacterial product like POND’S facial wash to keep maskne away.