I’ve had pretty clear skin for most of my adult life, so you can imagine how jarring it was when pimples started cropping up on my face recently. At first I thought it must be hormonal, or related to something in my diet, and then I realized that the only thing that had really changed about my daily life was that I’d started frequently wearing a face mask. A short Google search told me I wasn’t alone in experiencing this phenomenon. In fact, it had a name: maskne.
Ugh. On top of everything else 2020 has thrown at us, now we have to deal with face mask acne? No, thank you! I refuse to bow to the pesky byproducts of greasy, clogged pores, and neither should you! Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks to combat and prevent the dreaded maskne outbreak.
Wash your masks regularly
Seriously, you should be washing them after every use. Even if you put them on a freshly cleaned face, think about all the particles your mask comes into contact with during a single wear (not to mention the possible COVID-19 germs!). Combine that with the air you’re constantly breathing into it, the oils your face produces throughout the day, and all of a sudden your mask is basically a petri dish. Gross.
So go out and stock up on some extra masks, especially if you only have one or two. Make sure they’re not too tight and are made from a breathable material, like cotton. Wash them after every use. Your skin will seriously thank you!
Take extra good care of your skin
Your skin is going through a lot right now — give it some more TLC than you might normally. Cleanse it with a gentle cleanser at least once a day, if not twice. Stay away from harsh chemicals, as your skin’s delicate ecosystem is already being disrupted. You might even consider switching to a cleanser formulated specifically to deal with acne — we love this one from Eminence!
When it comes to preventing and curing maskne, the general rule of thumb is that simpler is better. Be careful of overdoing the cleansing face masks and scrubs. Most importantly, moisturize regularly — this will keep your skin from drying out and producing excess oil under your mask, thus reducing maskne!
Try a 3D mask bracket insert
When we stumbled across this TikTok about a mask insert that keeps the fabric away from your face, we were hooked. Seriously, this will solve a lot of your maskne-related issues. You can find these inserts on Amazon and Etsy.
This insert is designed to keep your face mask further from your skin. This gives your skin a bit more room to breathe, keeps your skin from sitting in its own oil all day, and prevents the fabric from rubbing against your face. Try it out — you can thank us later.
Stay away from makeup for now
Nobody can see it under your mask anyway, and it’s just another layer of stuff your skin has to deal with. Concealer, foundation, contour, blush, and a face mask? Sounds like the perfect recipe for a breakout.
Instead of going for a full face of makeup right now, play up the eyes and give your skin a much needed break from all the other products you’d normally layer on. Go all out on the eyeshadow, liner, and mascara — now is the time for your eyes to shine! For some glam eye makeup look inspiration, check out Killer Eye Makeup Looks that Look Even Better With a Mask On and the Best Eyeshadow Palettes for Fall.
Use gentle products to treat your current maskne
If you have maskne already, use a gentle exfoliator to clear out your pores once or twice a week, and apply some gentle spot treatment to your pimples. Just remember to be careful of over-cleansing, and always moisturize after you wash your face!
If your skin seems particularly problematic, it’s not a bad idea to consult a dermatologist about what you can do to clear it up. You can also always switch to disposable paper masks instead of cloth ones — the disposable masks tend to be more breathable. Whatever you do, just take it easy on your skin for now. Gently pamper it, keep those masks clean, and let your skin breathe whenever you can, and that maskne will be gone in no time!
Have you been struggling with maskne breakouts? How do you deal with them? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for More Beauty and Wellness Tips? You Might Enjoy: