How to Prevent ‘Maskne’ Breakouts from Face Masks

How to Prevent ‘Maskne’ Breakouts from Face Masks image

2020 has been a year of changes and challenges, from practicing physical distancing to wearing masks. While most of us have adjusted to mask-wearing, our skin has not. Now we must understand how to prevent breakouts from face masks. That’s right; you may have a new pattern of pimples, redness, and itchy skin that seems to get worse after covering your nose and mouth for prolonged periods of time.

Maskne, that combination of irritation, rash, and blemishes, is lurking underneath, but with a few simple changes to your skin care routine, you can prevent breakouts from face masks. These tips can help you clear up your skin and stop maskne in its tracks.

Protection at a Price

Medical professionals agree that wearing masks is one of the most important ways to stop the spread of germs to others while also protecting yourself. You may wonder, does wearing a mask cause acne?

The truth is, for some people, it does. While you may not develop lots of pimples, you could also have these skin changes:

  • Rosacea
  • Folliculitis
  • ingrown hairs
  • contact dermatitis

When skin problems pop up in the same areas that your mask covers, you can probably assume they were caused by the mask.

Peter Thomas Roth Acne Cleanser

Prevent Breakouts From face Masks – A Simple Solution

How do you improve the health and appearance of your skin? Well, you should not just stop wearing masks, because that would put you and others at risk for contracting the Covid virus. Instead, make a few adjustments to skin care with ppe masks, and you should see an improvement.

Start by considering your facial cleanser. If it is too aggressive, switch to a mild, fragrance-free cleanser that you do not mind using a few times a day. A cleanser formulated for acne, such as Peter Thomas Roth Acne Cleanser, is a good option if your maskne is particularly aggressive.

Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash 6 oz

Another cleanser we like for maskne is Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Foam Wash, which is formulated with salicylic acid to clear pores, exfoliate skin, and encourage cell turnover.

How often should you wash your face? In addition to your morning and evening washing ritual, you may want to wash your face after you come home from work or errands to remove any extra oil, sweat, or dirt that accumulated under and around your mask while you were out.

Another Layer of Protection

Follow your face wash with a moisturizer to address the dryness and irritation caused by mask wearing. An oil-free moisturizer is a good bet for most skin types, but choose a formula based on your needs:

bareMinerals Bare Haven Essential Moisturizing Soft Cream 1.7 oz
  • Gel for oily skin
  • Lotion for normal and combination skin
  • Cream for dry or extremely dry skin.

Try a moisturizer with ceramides rather than retinoids if your maskne is flaring up, as they lock in moisture while adding another barrier for your skin. You can also apply moisturizer before you put on your mask to reduce friction and dryness.

One of out top picks is bareMinerals Bare Haven Essential Moisturizing Soft Cream, which absorbs quickly and works great for normal to dry skin.

Other Tips and Tricks

Health care professionals are experts in skin care with ppe masks, and their advice for the average mask wearer is common sense at its core. Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Find a mask with at least two layers of breathable fabric like cotton or silk
  • Avoid synthetic fabrics that trap moisture against the skin
  • Make sure your mask is not too small or too big; it should fit snugly yet be comfortable
  • Have several masks that you can change out on rainy or hot days
  • Wash cloth masks after wearing it for the day
  • Take mask breaks throughout the day to give your skin a rest from the friction and humidity
jane iredale LipDrink Lip Balm Sheer

Another upside to mask wearing is that you can skip makeup altogether, at least from the nose down. Giving your pores a break from concealer, foundation, and contouring can eliminate another potential source of irritation and clogged pores.

If you skip lip color, go with a lip balm to prevent chapped lips under your mask. Any emollient formula you like can work just fine; we like jane iredale LipDrink Lip Balm in sheer to keep lips kissably soft.

Hopefully, you can get your maskne under control and prevent breakouts from face masks with these tips. For more skin care advice, check out our resource guide on acne-prone skin as well as our selection of top brands at amazing prices.

For even more tips on preventing acne caused by face masks (“Maskne”), read this article by GoodRx.