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What is maskne?

2020 has been stressful enough – why not add a new type of acne into the mix! NOT. The term ‘maskne’ was dubbed by the internet in reference to the breakouts on the lower part of the face, consolidated riiiiight under your mask. It’s no surprise that the addition of a face covering is causing breakouts due to the bacteria that can linger on your mask. Worse, the constant friction of the mask rubbing against your face can add even more irritation where you’re used to having none.

Just like touching your face breeds acne-causing bacteria, so does wearing a mask. It traps oils, sweat, saliva and bacteria from your mouth and spreads it across your face where it sits for the rest of the day…..YUCK. Fortunately, though it seems like we will be wearing masks for the foreseeable future, there is something you can do to keep your skin from becoming a petri dish:

Wash your mask (and your hands) regularly 

Kill bacteria at the source. If you wear a reusable mask, we recommend getting a few extra so you can wear a fresh one every day if you don’t have time to wash it. If your skin is extra sensitive, avoid washing with scented detergent that can add extra irritation. 

Don’t skip your skincare routine 

Keeping up with your skincare routine (yes, even if you’re too tired to do it) is crucial for keeping maskne at bay. Having healthy skin improves your skin’s natural barrier so it’s better able to seal the good stuff in while keeping acne-causing bacteria out. If you feel greasy during the day and don’t have time to cleanse with water, our Mandelic Acid 5+ Re-texturizing pads will do the trick.

Wash your face with an antibacterial cleanser

Though gentle cleansers are great for preventing dryness, they don’t always kill acne-causing bacteria. Look for a cleanser that has mandelic or salicylic acid to keep pimples at bay. Throw in a detox mask 1-2 times a week for an extra boost. 


It might seem like adding a layer of moisturizer underneath your skin will clog your pores and make the maskne problem even worse, and don’t worry, we hear you, but that isn’t the case. 

Keeping the skin hydrated protects the skin and prevents cracking, aka the places bacteria likes to settle into to wreak havoc on your complexion. The key ingredient to look for in addition to antioxidants and ceramides? Non-comedogenic, meaning, it won’t clog your pores. When wearing a mask your skin is taking on physical occlusion (blockage or closing of a blood vessel), sweat, and makeup residue. Think twice before opting out of using a moisturizer because skipping this step can make your acne flare up even worse.


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