How to Avoid Maskne

Katie Gillis, Feature Editor

Since the beginning of the pandemic, masks have become an essential part of most people’s daily outfits. While masks help stop the spread of coronavirus, they also, unfortunately, contribute to the breakout of acne. The typical recommendation for acne is to avoid whatever is irritating the skin, but that is obviously not possible in this case. Instead, here are some tips that can help you avoid “maskne.”

Although it may seem simple, the most effective way to avoid acne is to wash your face before and after putting on a mask. Wearing a mask, especially for long periods of time, causes dirt and oil that may be on the surface of your skin to become trapped in your pores, causing breakouts. Washing your face with a fragrance-free cleanser is a simple way to prevent this. 

Keeping your skin moisturized is equally important. Masks tend to dry out your skin, and applying a light, fragrance-free moisturizer, such as Cerave or Cetaphil, is important to keep your skin hydrated. Plus, moisturizer offers an extra barrier for your skin that protects it from getting irritated by the mask. 

Dermatologists also recommend keeping your skin care routine simple. Too many products combined with the irritation from the mask is very likely to cause a breakout. Because your skin is especially sensitive to products that it is not used to, try to avoid trying new skin care products before putting on a mask.

Wearing makeup under your mask is another major cause of acne. Products like concealer and foundation clog your pores already, and adding in the mask only makes this worse. Though it may be different from your normal routine, limiting the amount of makeup you have on to only areas not covered by your mask can save you from a breakout. 

The kind of mask you wear also has an affect on your skin. Wearing a mask, even for just a short time, causes oils from your skin, bacteria, and dirt to clog your pores. Because there is no way to wash disposable masks, these should only be worn once and then thrown out. 

Cloth masks, on the other hand, are reusable. Dermatologists recommend that they get washed between each wear with a fragrance free detergent to avoid skin irritation. Cotton masks are also said to be better for sensitive skin compared to other materials, like polyester. Brands such as Herschel, Old Navy, and Vistaprint are very popular for cloth masks, and Black Friday is a great opportunity to invest. 

Making these adjustments to your routine may not seem like much, but they will ultimately help to make your skin clearer and healthier. It is important to take care of your skin because wearing a mask for long periods of time can damage your skin, and based on the increasing number of cases worldwide, masks are here to stay.