Posted on 09 March 2021

How to treat and prevent mask acne

How to prevent and treat mask acne (Maskne)

Most likely, depending on where you live, you’ve been wearing masks regularly - stay safe everyone!. You may have noticed more blemishes in that area of your face and there may even be some long-lasting pimples aka Mask Acne (Maskne).

A lot of people don’t know the cause of their breakouts however if you notice breakouts are occurring around the contact points of your skin and the masks you wear, you’ve most likely been gifted with maskne

Preventing mask acne

Most K-beauty and effective skincare, in general, is about taking preventive measures rather than treatment. This way you won’t repeat the cycle of getting acne over and over and treating it every time. Here are the steps you should take to prevent the dreaded maskne.

1) Repair your skin barrier

Our skin goes through transepidermal water loss (TEWL), a process where our skin loses water naturally. This happens naturally through breaks in the skin. The water loss is accelerated when you have additional breaks in the skin ie; acne, irritation, or anything that damages the skins natural barrier.

You want to keep your skin’s natural barrier strong and sealed to prevent bacteria from getting trapped in your pores. To keep your skin’s barrier strong you need to moisturise. The best time to deeply moisturise the skin is at night.
Use products with occlusive ingredients. Occlusives stop TEWL by creating a waterproof coating on the barrier of your skin. Popular occlusives include oils, silicones and waxes (beeswax, carnauba).


Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask


This overnight mask has the amazing benefits of honey and the great occlusive ingredient beeswax ensuring your skin’s water retention and allantoin for healing and moisturising.


2) Exfoliate

While prevention is the best way to avoid maskne, if you already have a breakout or just wish to prevent it, exfoliation is key.

This step is not recommended for those of you who are suffering from very sensitised and irritated skin, if you are suffering from skin irritation look at refining your skincare routine to be more essential. Focussing more on calming and soothing ingredients rather than active ingredients.

When it comes to exfoliation, we recommend that you save this step for the evening since wearing it can be irritating to wear a mask along with these active exfoliating ingredients working on your skin. This goes for ingredients such as AHA’s and BHA’s.
For an in-depth breakdown about AHA and BHA’s and how to use them, check out our article here: All you need to know about AHA and BHA.

3) Avoid wearing makeup under your mask

The mixture of makeup, a moist environment and friction against your skin is the perfect place for bacteria to thrive and clog your pores creating a pimple party.

Wearing makeup alone can already easily clog your pores and cause breakouts for many reasons; not being properly removed or applied hygienically etc, Wearing a mask on top of your makeup will push the makeup deeper into your pores, constantly applying makeup and wearing masks just isn’t a good vibe if you want to have clear skin.


Make sure you use an effective cleanser to ensure you remove deep impurities and the remnants of makeup on your skin.


Low-PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser


A cleanser that is effective but not moisture stripping. This cleanser is formulated with a pH level similar to your skin’s, it’s gentle enough for all skin types yet highly effective for cleansing.


4) Use single-use face masks or wash your reusable masks every day

In terms of keeping safe of covid, and taking care of your skin single-use face masks are the best option. Bacteria will remain on the mask after you take it off, especially in situations where you wear makeup underneath or if you’ve been sweating. By using a single-use face mask, you don’t risk adding that bacteria back to your skin.

However disposable masks aren’t the most economic option, those of you who prefer to use reusable masks make sure that you are washing them every day or are alternating between clean reusable masks.


Disposable & Reusable


You can find on Sthsweet a wide range of face masks and accessories to keep your it clean. Take care of your mask the same way you take care of your skin!


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