How to Avoid Maskne

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks were required in most all public gatherings and it's been undeniably important we wear them. But with social distancing guidelines and masks becoming the new norm, many of our complexions are starting to pay the price. More and more time spent behind a face covering often means frequent breakouts and skin irritation. Your mask is protecting you from viruses and infection, but it also can trap sweat, dirt, oil and humidity inside. Enter friction, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for inflammation and a major breakout! Maskne is a shortened version of the scientific term “acne mechania,” which happens when there is friction or pressure on the skin, like when you wear a mask to the store or all day at work. But it doesn’t have to. Don’t worry about those pesky pimples; we have tips to keep maskne at bay!

Tips to Avoid Face Mask-related Acne:

Use a clean mask.

Using your mask over and over again can cause it to collect dust, dirt, makeup and oils from your skin. Wearing that same mask day after day essentially rubs that grime on your face repeatedly. If you have a cloth mask, wash it after every use. We suggest getting a few masks so you can cycle through a fresh one every day. Prefer a disposable mask? Use a new one each time.

Don't wear make-up.

We know you may be used to putting on bronzer or foundation everyday, but reduce the amount of makeup you wear on the days that you know you’ll be wearing a mask for an extended amount of time. That make-up may be the reason for your pimples surfacing under your mask! Wearing a mask for a short time should not cause a problem, but long term coverage with your makeup may cause some angry pimples. Here’s a helpful tip! Use a face wipe with toner and a light AHA like Vivant’s Daily Repair Pads throughout the day to keep sweat and dirt from collecting under the mask. This is also a great strategy if you’re regularly wearing a mask at the gym or during exercise.

Use moisturizer.

Moisturizer is great because it creates a barrier between your skin and the mask. Not only does it create a protective barrier from bacteria, but it also helps prevent perinasal and peri-oral dermatitis (a more extreme breakdown of the barrier of the skin), which is characterized by its painful rash and pimple-like spots. Just a friendly warning not to treat this condition like acne should it pop up. The best remedy for dermatitis is moisture and healing. An even better idea? Skip the dryness, itchiness, and inflammation + apply moisturizer twice a day!


It’s impossible to avoid all bacteria and pimple producing oils, so it’s important to exfoliate! Dead skin, oil and bacteria build up on your skin normally, but wearing that mask, although important, causes that build up to speed up. Fret not, exfoliating at least once a week will help unclog pores and wash away that dead skin and oil!

Wash your face.

Don’t forget to wash your face twice a day. Sound like common sense? Many people don’t realize how much a simple face wash can help reduce your acne and scare off pimples. Even one wash a day can help clear pores, remove oil and dead skin as well as prevent wrinkles. So take a few minutes and give yourself a warm rinse twice a day! Are you dealing with maskne from wearing a face covering? avoid-maskne-acne-trouble-the-only-facial We’d love to hear from you! How are you caring for your skin?