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How to prevent acne caused by face masks (aka ‘maskne’)

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Mercy Health Blog

Before we dive into acne, let us make it clear that WEARING A MASK IS IMPORTANT!


Hot summer months can be a challenge for skin even without a global pandemic. Our pores clog up easily with sweat and dirt that usually results in acne. Now we have to throw a mask on our face everyday, which unfortunately seals all those nasty juices in. Sorry for the visual.


How does a face mask cause acne?

  • Irritation from the fabric: The material of the mask can often absorb our faces natural oils. This leads skin feeling dry and irritated. If you are washing your face masks with detergent or fabric softeners, these products can get stuck in the fabric and aggravate your skin. Look out for redness and dryness – these are the most common indicators of your skin being inflamed.
  • Constant rubbing: Certain masks can cause chafing due to the uncomfortable “rubbing” against your skin. This is why it is important to get a mask that fits your face without being too tight.
  • Clogging of pores: When your pores get clogged, pimples and cysts’ rise to the skin’s surface. The mask can unfortunately seal in a lot of moisture from your breath and heat. Aside from “normal” acne, some people are now experiencing a breakout called folliculitis. This happens when bacteria infects hair follicles. #yuck

How do I prevent this evil “maskne”?

  • Clean your damn face!: Sorry to be so harsh, but it’s very important to wash your face people. Make sure the wash you are using has clean ingredients that don’t cause any skin aggravation.
  • Apply a moisturizer that works for your skin: Certain skin types get extremely dry behind the mask. Applying a moisturizer that doesn’t irritate your face could be a great way to keep your face hydrated.
  • Wear less makeup: I think we can all agree that no make-up is better then a face full of acne. Skip the extra 20 minutes applying layers of make-up and let your skin breathe. This is just another layer of products that can potentially clog your pores. Besides, nobody is seeing your face behind the mask. #JustSaying
  • Use clean laundry detergent: If you have sensitive skin, you may want to think about switching your detergent to fragrance free. When directly on your face, these harsh chemicals can lead to breakouts, redness, and burning.

Hopefully these tips will help you get a “maskne” skin regimen down for a healthy glowing face!

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