5 ways to prevent maskne

Woman removing face mask.
Woman removing face mask.
Getty Images

Acne is the most common skin problem that people of all ages experience. With the new normal forcing us to constantly wear facial masks – a type of skin condition which can be caused by masks has emerged.

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Known as maskne (mask acne), the condition is an umbrella term for a number of skin conditions that can be caused by wearing a face mask or covering a part of your face, Healthline reports.

These conditions include:

  • Acne – which happens when pores become clogged by oil, dead skin cells and dirt.
  • Rosacea – wearing a mask may cause flare-ups which may lead to pimples and redness if you have rosacea.
  • Contact dermatitis – which happens if you are allergic or sensitive to the material of your mask.
  • Folliculitis – which is an infection of your hair follicles, it can cause breakouts which look like ace.

Having one of these conditions may cause you to become more prone to develop maskne. Here’s how you can prevent it:

1. Wear the right type of mask

Considering the type of mask to wear plays a big role in preventing maskne. According to the New York Times, masks made out of 100 percent cotton are suggested by dermatologists because they allow skin to breathe. This will also help to reduce the dampness that causes bacteria growth.

2. Wear clean masks

Washing your face masks with a gentle, fragrance-free detergent is also necessary for preventing maskne.  

3. Have a skincare routine

A skincare routine that consists of regularly washing your face is essential to preventing maskne. Healthline suggests washing your face three times a day: in the morning, after a full day of wearing a mask, and before going to bed at night. This should then be followed by the use of a gentle cleanser, a moisturiser and cream.

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4. Avoid or wear less make-up

If you makeup such as a foundation or concealer beneath your mask, this can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Speaking to Seventeen,  Dr Michelle Henry said that mixing a faceful of foundation with a sweaty mask is "a recipe for disaster.”

“The combination of mask friction, the humid environment created by the mask, and heavy makeup or comedogenic products can cause acne, rashes and irritation. Consider a tinted moisturiser or sunscreen and avoid an oily foundation," she explained.

5. Remove your mask every 4 hours

Removing your face mask every 4 hours will also help your skin to breathe and prevent maskne. However, you should only remove your mask when it is safe to do so, such as when you are at home, alone inside your car, or outdoors while socially distancing from others. You should also wash your hands before taking a break from your mask.

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