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Everything you need to know about Maskne: Causes, Prevention, and Cure

Wearing of face mask in public is a must due to the current pandemic the world is experiencing. This regulation aids in decreasing the spread of the virus however, prolonged use causes skin problems.

This dilemma affected many people, including frontline and health workers. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, a high number of health care workers in Hubei, China, suffered from skin problems on the face because of the lengthened use of masks.

Concerning this, people with sensitive and oily skin types experience similar skin irritations because the prolonged mask use. Factors such as clogged pores, trapped dirt, heat, sweat, and moisture inside the mask cause the occurrence of acne breakout as “Bacteria and yeast love to grow in that environment,” Dr. Pruett said.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Photo by Anna Shvets

How to prevent:

Find the right mask to wear

To prevent and/or cure Maskne, considering the mask's material and quality is very important.

Synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polyester, and rayon are not soft enough to the skin that you can completely avoid irritations. If you have sensitive and oily skin, 100 percent cotton masks can be a good compromise. It allows your skin to breathe, lessening the chance of moisture and sweat.

To clean the mask, use hypoallergenic wash and avoid using harsh detergents and opt for light cleansers and fragrance-free fabric softeners. 

Change mask regularly

Wearing the same mask every day increases the risk of bacterial growth and skin inflammation. “You want to think of your mask almost like underwear. You want to wear a new one every day,” said Dr. Pruett. 

Make sure to use fresh and clean masks daily. Keep your face dry and clean, especially the area around the mouth.

How to cure:

Wash your face daily

Washing your face daily is an important step to prevent ‘Maskne’. Use a gentle cleanser to clean your skin without casusing irritation. It is advisable to cleanse twice a day - morning and night.

If you are prone to a breakout, use an acne cleanser. 

Double cleanse

The concept behind this method is to use a cleansing oil or similar product to first remove the first layer of dirt (such as grime, pollution, and makeup).  For the second timeand a water-based one to have it work its way to your skin.

Double cleansing is meant to give a more thorough cleanse. It also helps revitalize dull skin and allows additional skincare products to better penetration.  

Moisturize your skin

Proper hydration is essential especially for balancing oily skin. Use light hydration as it is weightless and comfortable even when you wear a mask right after application. This helps the skin stay fresh and healthier without clogging the pores.

Photo by Vera Davidova on Unsplash

Photo by Vera Davidova





'Maskne' becoming a common complaint with face mask requirements in place. (2020, August 25). Retrieved March 29, 2021, from

(2020, May 1). Retrieved April 01, 2021, from