Maskne: why you're breaking out from your face mask and how to stop it

by Carly Hibbins

Maskne: why you're breaking out from your face mask and how to stop it

Maskne, or mask-induced acne, is a real thing and it’s becoming an increasing problem for many people. Medical Director at British Aesthetics, Dr Bibi Ghalaie, says that “wearing masks can cause any oil, makeup and bacteria or dirt on your skin to become occluded. In turn that can trigger outbreaks of spots, bumps, blemishes, dermatitis, inflamed hair follicles, irritation, broken blood vessels and redness or rosacea.”

Wearing a face mask on public transport was already compulsory, but after the latest announcement you'll also need to wear them inside shops soon too. So with many of us wearing face masks for the foreseeable, we wanted to tell you our top tips for preventing an unwanted breakout.

1. Choose a lightweight mask

Try to choose lighter, more breathable fabrics that don’t cause as much friction against your skin and that can be washed at a high temperature (at least 60 degrees) to kill off bacteria; dermatologists recommend cotton, linen, silk or satin.

Investing in multiple reusable masks means you can change and wash them more frequently, while still having a mask to wear to the shops.

2. Avoid wearing makeup underneath your mask

To prevent your pores from becoming clogged, Dr Bibi Ghalaie recommends not wearing makeup underneath your mask. Bacteria can build-up underneath the mask and this can further add to the chance of a breakout. If you want to wear makeup underneath your mask, try something lightweight like a tinted moisturiser.

3. Drink plenty of water

It’s important now more than ever to keep your skin hydrated and moisturised. Aesthetician and founder of Westroom Aesthetics explains that “keeping the skin moisturised is key for comfort, to encourage wound healing and skin repair.” This will help to prevent any dryness and irritation caused by the mask too, helping to keep breakouts to a minimum.

4. Cleanse your face twice a day

The most important one of all - cleansing. You should aim to cleanse your face twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening. It’s easy to overcleanse when you get a breakout or are trying to prevent them from happening, but this can actually do more harm than good. You may find your skin becomes drier, more irritated, sensitive or red.

You can even end up stripping away your natural oils, making your skin work harder to keep itself hydrated, which leads to excess oil production and the thing you were trying to avoid in the first place - breakouts.

If you’re acne-prone or have oily skin, try a cleanser with acne-fighting and pore unclogging ingredients such as Salicyclic Acid. If you find your skin is becoming dry, sensitive or irritated, opt for a gentle cream cleanser which should help to calm and soothe your skin while lifting away dirt from your skin.

The best way to cleanse your skin is with a cleansing device, as these can help to flush out pores and lift away any daily dirt and oil build-up caused from wearing a face covering. They're proven to work more effectively than cleansing with hands or wipes, using Sonic Cleansing technology for a thorough, deep pore cleanse.

Shop some of our favourite cleansing devices below:

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