As wearing a face mask is becoming the ‘new normal’, I’m frequently hearing about how they are affecting people’s skin and causing breakouts – a condition now dubbed ‘maskne’. This is not the same as acne which can be caused by a host of different things from hormones to diet and can be something people have had to struggle with for years.

Wearing a mask can cause irritation and friction, it can cause you to sweat more and traps this sweat plus dirt and oils on your face, causing your skin to breakout. Nice!

Here are some tips to help with this annoying common condition…

Choose the right mask 

If you can, wear a well-fitting mask made from a breathable material such as cotton or silk. Adjust the straps to make sure it’s not too tight. 

Keep it clean

Don’t be a grubster, keep your mask clean and wash it regularly. You should be washing your mask between wears using an antibacterial soap or non-bio washing powder. Using regular washing powder or liquid can aggravate the skin further. Not washing your mask regularly means you’re just adding more bacteria and dirt to your face. Gross.

Pare down the makeup

Avoid wearing heavy foundation or just stick to eye makeup. 

Step up your skincare routine

Keep your skin super-clean by double-cleansing in the evening using a cream or oil cleanser. Really work the product into the skin with your fingertips and remove with a damp flannel or cloth. Stay away from the face wipes! These horrible little things just move dirt and oil around your face – they are nowhere near effective enough for a thorough cleanse and are dreadful for the environment. Try a gentle cleanser such as this one from Neal’s Yard:


Calendula Cleanser
Neal’s Yard Organics, £17


Keep your skin well-moisturised and consider using a treatment specifically for breakouts such as The Ordinary’s Niacinamide & Zinc serum to target your blemishes:

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
The Ordinary, £5



Don’t touch! 

Try to avoid touching or adjusting your mask too much as this just adds to the rubbing of your skin. And if you do have ‘maskne’, do not touch, fiddle or pick at it! 

Try a spritz

I give my masks a spritz of this White Tea Facial Mist, especially if I’m working in the treatment room all day. It’s hydrating and soothing. I also use it as a skin pick-me-up during the day as it can be used over makeup.


White Tea Facial Mist 
Neal’s Yard Organics, £13


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