Maskne, It’s a Thing Now

As we’re slowly and steadily reclaiming our past routines, the new reality looks different from what it was six months ago. Though we love a socially conscious law requiring everyone to wear a mask when in public, unfortunately our skin is taking a hit. Hello “Maskne”, it’s acne appearing around the area covered by a mask.

 What causes maskne?

Maskne is caused by the warm humid air trapped by the face mask when simply breathing or talking. This creates an idea environment for the bacteria trapped by the mask to turn into acne. Other factors like chafing cause irritation and can trigger a flare up.

Didn’t know it was a thing? here’s how to prevent it

Since not wearing a face mask is not an option, you should take into account the type of mask you’re using. We believe in sustainable practices, and it’s recommended that you opt for cotton fabric (breathable, less friction and lower risk of irritation) masks like the ones Baggu make that are gentle on the skin and easy on the eyes. Avoid polyester as it is not breathable and other rougher textured materials that cause irritation. Remember to alway wash masks after every use.

Simplify your morning routine: gentle cleanser, light oil free moisturizer and SPF; always SPF, there is never an excuse to skip out on SPF. The moisturizer can act as a barrier between the skin and the mask and reduce the chance of irritation.

Don’t forget about your lips! Use a balm to protect them from irritation caused my masks.

One thing you can ditch is foundation. It’s summer and the sweltering heat only aids in bacteria growth. Let’s be real, no one’s looking under the mask, so it’s best to focus on the canvas not the paint.

Got maskne? Here’s how to treat it

Treating maskne is a gentle balancing act, you want to use products that effectively target the concerning area while avoid using irritating ingredients. Meaning this is not the time to experiment with retinol and for the more experienced user, you may have to consider cutting back. 

Nighttime cleansing is key, generally salicylic acid is an effective ingredient in cleansers and spot treatments as it gently exfoliates the skin’s surface and unclogs pores. If you find acids irritating, double cleansing is a tried and true method. Start with an oil cleanser to remove the day's accumulation of buildup followed by a water based cleanser to guarantee a clean surface.

Follow your cleansing with an oil free moisturizer preferably one infused with ceramides to help retain moisture and repair the skin barrier (we’re trying to prevent acne, not dry out the skin!). As stated before, this is not the time to experiment with new-to-you products and ingredients, so a simple routine is an effective routine.

Wash your hands throughout the day and avoid touching your face as much as possible. Do not pick your flareup! These may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised what we unconsciously do. Reduce stress, cut out the toxicity from the outside to thrive on the inside. Try to get as much sleep as possible and as always, stay hydrated.


About the Author
Nauf Alfahad is a Digital Editor at a leading publishing company with a background in Applied Linguistics. Her interests range a wide expanse driven by her need to understand the human condition, her appreciation for well curated aesthetics, and achieving that inner glow.  
For more on this beauty and brains, follow her at @riyadhblogs
illustration by the ever so talented @_frdesign