MASKNE: What causes it? How to prevent?

We get a ton of questions about maskne. Why is it happening? How can we stop it?

Truth is there can be many contributing factors to maskne. The main ones being irritation from friction, heat and humidity, and pores being physically blocked by dirt, oil and debris trapped within the mask. Not to mention, new everyday stresses can trigger new breakouts. 

So here are some useful tips!

Wear a clean mask DAILY. You should also be washing or sanitizing your hands before putting on your mask as well as when you take it off. When using a cloth mask try finding a 100% cotton (or close to) so your skin can breath. This will help control the humidity and heat. If you use a disposable mask be sure you're using a fresh one. Also try to replace your masks if they become too damp or dirty. A lot of people also use silk masks and this can help with the friction but it doesn’t help with the heat and humidity. Silk is not a very breathable material but it does seem to work for some!

Avoid wearing makeup underneath. This will help the amount of dirt and oils under the mask. I'm quite guilty of this one. But if you are wearing makeup frequently, like I am, be sure to be more diligent monitoring your mask and be sure to cleanse properly at the end of the day.

Try not to touch your spots! I KNOW this is a hard one. It's always so satisfying when you do but the more you mess with it the more likely you can cause hyperpigmentation and prolong the stay of that spot. You can also try a hydrocolloid patch to help draw fluid and protect those spots. I find they are also a helpful reminder to not touch my face.

Treat yourself to a good routine. You may want to add a spot treatment to help inflammation or mask to help cleanse. There are many great ingredients like salicylic acid and azelaic acid to help combat maskne as well. 

I also recommend a double cleanse. I really enjoy using a cleansing balm to remove that initial layer is dirt, makeup, and sunscreen. Then I’ll use a gentle foaming cleanser to remove all that’s left over. 

Here’s a basic routine to help combat your current acne issues:


I love the Cannabliss Cleansing Balm from Wolf + Pine. It’s great for sensitive types and melts away dirt and oil. I’ve also been religiously using the Blue Majik Face Foam with Azelaic Acid from Graydon. It also contains a natural salicylic acid which is great for acne. It’s also fragrance-free for more sensitive skin. 


The B3 + Zinc Serum from Consonant Skincare is a great beginners treatment. Vitamin B3 helps regulate sebum production, targets congestion, acne, and uneven skin tone. It also contains Vitamin B5, aka Phanthenol, which is very soothing and helps prevent water loss. Lastly, the zinc works as an anti-inflammatory and also helps regulate sebum production. This is a really light, non-greasy serum so you would use it before your moisturizers. 

Moisturize & Protect:

Moisturizers like the The Whirl Moisturizer from Blume are very light and formulated with an Aloe Vera base making it fast absorbing and non-greasy. It also contains salicylic acid and anti-inflammatories like skullcap root extract and prickly pear seed oil. Also, be sure to protect with an SPF to help minimize hyperpigmentation.

SPFs are an entire topic we will be covering soon! But please remember that SPF is an everyday routine staple. Not just for summer. 

Also remember acne is not the only byproduct of maskne. You can also develop rashes or sores so if you're having severe reactions be sure to chat with your doctor!

* This is a very basic and simple routine! If you want to chat more about your skin you can always chat with us more by booking a consultation online on our online booking system! 

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