Make maskne a thing of the past


Rising from an era of Covid

Face masks have been a necessity in our lives since the global outbreak in 2020. We hear you, while we wear masks to protect ourselves and loved ones, they are the culprit of a common new-age skin condition, maskne. 

Mask-related acne, it’s a thing. A survey during the 2020 lockdowns found that acne was the most common skin problem, with 52% of responders saying that they had either experienced or were still suffering skin breakouts. If this is also you, you are not alone! As our world shifts towards a post-covid norm, these pesky masks are here to stay for a while so we’ve put together some tips to help keep your skin sane during these times.

Masks Global

What causes maskne?

When we wear facemasks, moisture is trapped inside while we speak and breathe. It’s like giving yourself a personal steam facial, except the pores are being filled with your own breath and sweat. (Pleasant, we know.) Long days of mask-wearing create a super steamy environment for the skin and combined with friction against the mask, it’s easy for our skin to get irritated and inflamed. A build-up of all that bacteria, oil and dead skin cells under the mask can really clog our pores, resulting in angry-looking acne.

Tips and tricks for better skin in a post-covid era

Firstly… relax! We all know that restrictions and lockdowns have been stressful,but anxiety is also a common cause for breakouts, so sit down, have some tea and tune in for what we have to share. Here are some of our tips for habits, hygiene and skincare for times of mask-wearing!


Mask Habits

Good mask habits are very important for hygiene and skin health. 

Tip #1 – Clean hands, always

Be sure to wash or sanitise your hands before and after handling your mask. Remember never to touch your face afterwards unless you want to get all those germs and bacteria onto your skin. Masks aside, keep your hands away from the face at all times especially if your skin is acne-prone. 

Tip #2 – Store it right

Always remove your mask with clean hands and store it in a clean, plastic resealable bag. If you don’t have one, fold the outward-facing surface inwards and put the mask into one of your clean pockets when you’re not wearing it.

Tip #3 Give your skin a mask-break

If you’re wearing a mask for long hours, make sure you take regular breaks to let the skin breathe. The AAD recommends taking a 15-minute break every 4 hours, and of course only when it is safe to do so!

Mask Care

Here is some advice for proper care of reusable and disposable face masks.

Keeping them clean

Wash your reusable masks everyday either in the washing machine or by hand using hot water with soap or detergent. Another way is to wash the mask in soap then boil for 1 minute in hot water to kill any lingering bacteria, a much quicker option for our fellow time-poor people. Make sure your mask is completely dry before wearing it next. You can dry cloth masks in the clothes dryer or air-dry by laying it flat under direct sunlight. 

Disposable Masks

As the name suggests – they are designed for single-use only! Do not wear the same mask for a few days in a row, use a fresh one every day – your skin will thank you for it. The PETA and RSPCA have warned about surgical masks being a hazard to our wildlife being found tangled in mask straps. So at the end of the day, remember to cut the ear straps before putting your mask in the trash.

Choosing Masks

When choosing the right mask for you, be sure to check for fit, filtration and breathability. It’s good for the skin but also makes breathing a whole lot easier. All masks should have a few layers of fabric, 3-ply is ideal.

The AAD recommends choosing a mask that is snug, but a comfortable fit to reduce skin problems and irritation. According to the WHO, inner layers of cotton are good choices as they are soft and skin-friendly. Avoid synthetic fibres like nylon, polyester and rayon, as these tend to irritate and cause breakouts.

Skincare for mask-wearing

When it comes to skincare for regular mask-wearing, our advice is to keep it simple. 

Lose the makeup, or go mineral

If you have a mask on, skip the makeup! Sure, you can still rock a cute eye look, but if the mask is covering it, makeup can congest your skin even more. If you absolutely need to wear makeup under your mask, stick to mineral makeup asthey are soothing and won’t block the pores.

Calm and decongest

To target mask-related acne, opt for products with salicylic acids, niacinamide and zinc to treat breakouts and calm inflammations. Products with hydrating and soothing properties will help your skin reset and recover. Using exfoliating toners in your routine can help with skin cell turnover and congestion. Try to avoid alcohol-based products as they can over-dry the skin, causing pores to over-compensate by producing oil. Lastly, finishing the day with a clay mask can unclog pores and calm inflammation. 

Lighter choices

Oilier skin will benefit from less sebum build-up by choosing lighter moisturisers. Avoiding heavy products for all skin types in general and opting for lighter, more hydrating choices can reduce congestion and irritation from hours of mask-wearing. If you find that your mask is rubbing against the skin, try using a moisturiser 30 minutes beforehand, this can help reduce the friction.

Gentle cleanse and double cleanse

Using lukewarm water combined with a gentle (sulphate-free) cleanser will open up the pores at the end of the day without drying or irritating the skin further. But here’s the real tip, double cleanse! Just like you would do to remove traces of makeup, especially when your face has been covered all day. Cleansing twice will make sure that we remove excess oil, dirt and debris on the surface as well as inside the pores so that our serums and creams can penetrate deeper and work their magic!

Make-up wipes can be a quick pick-me-up and refresher after long mask days (or even mid-day), but beware as they can be quite aggressive, especially on skin that is already irritated. If you must, opt for gentle wipes made with calming ingredients and without alcohol.


We hope these tips will help keep your skin under control and kiss maskne goodbye! 

Facemask Elbow Bump


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