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What Is Maskne And How To Prevent It

What Is Maskne And How To Prevent It
Writer and expert4 years ago
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As you no doubt know, as of last Friday, we all have to wear a face mask in shops and supermarkets. Whilst this is obviously a great way of preventing the spread of coronavirus, wearing a mask does come with a few impracticalities – namely irritation and breakouts. With that in mind, I’ve put together a guide to help you prevent maskne and find the right mask for you.  

What Is Maskne? 

Mask acne or ‘maskne’ (or acne mechanica, as it’s known in the medical world), refers to the irritation and breakouts that appear around your nose and mouth as a result of wearing a mask. You see, the friction caused by the fabric grazing against your skin, as well as the heat and moisture that gets caught under your mask causes bacteria to build up. Add makeup and skincare products into the mix and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a breakout. Don’t worry though! I talk you through the preventive steps you need to avoid flare-ups... 

How To Prevent Maskne 

1. Choose Your Mask Wisely  

If you’ve been using disposable face masks, it’s time to consider making a switch. These throw-away products are much more likely to irritate your skin than a softreusable face covering. Luckily, you’ll find three gorgeous designs on our website. You can also check out both the StylPro Reusable Cotton Face Mask and the Slip Reusable Face Coverings on These are soft on the skin and fitted to your face to minimise rubbing, so you can stay safe and blemish free.  

2. Wash It Regularly 

In the same way that you wouldn’t wear dirty underwear two days in a row, you should wash your reusable mask at the end of each dayMake sure that it is fully dry before wearing it again too. You don’t want to expose your skin to even more moisture! 

My suggestions would be to have three of them on rotation: one to wear, one in the wash, and one spare.  

3. Cleanse Your Skin 

With dirt, sweat and moisture all gathering onto your mask, it’s essential to wash your skin before and after wearing it if you want to avoid maskne. For this, I’d recommend using a very gentle cleanser that won’t cause further irritation. Oh, and keep cleansing morning and night as you usually would too.  

Looking for a gentle cleanser? Try the Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser. Specially developed for fair, thin and sensitive skin that has become irritated, it soothes and comforts your complexion, leaving it calm and hydrated.  

Related: The Best Cleansers For Acne

4. Use Gentle Formulas 

I know how tempting it can be to pile on anti-acne products after anti-acne products onto a breakout, but that would only make things worse. You see, acids and harsh clearing treatment can weaken your skin’s natural barrier, meaning that, the next time you wear your skin, your skin would be even more susceptible to irritation and acne. Instead, opt for acne products designed for sensitive skin 

You might like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Breakout CorrectorSuitable for sensitive skin, it targets blemishes and spots to purify, soothe and refresh specific areas, leaving your complexion clearer and silky smooth. 

5. Go Makeup Free 

As a face mask covers most of your face anyway, try going foundation free. It will give your skin more of a chance to breathe and will avoid clogging up your pores. It will also cause less of a build-up under your mask and prevent blemishes from appearing. 

6. Don’t Forget Your Beauty Sleep 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sleep is essential to healthy skin. It gives it time to breathe and repair itself. So, to make the most of your shut-eye, apply a nourishing moisturiser before bed to help speed up that natural regeneration process.

Not sure which cream to go for? Give the REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm a try. It provides instant relief against dryness and irritation, leaving skin brighter, softer and healthier by morning. 

7. Sanitise Your Hands 

You’re no doubt tired of hearing it, but keeping your hands clean is essential to clear skin. You don’t want to pick up dirt and bacteria, then touch your face and spread it across your skin. So, make sure that you wash your hands before you put on or take off your mask 

Trust me, if you follow all of the above rules, you’ll be rid of that pesky maskne in no time! 

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Writer and expert
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