What is Maskne? Tips for our new mask-wearing world

March 5, 2021

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

Due to COVID-19, wearing a mask may now be part of your daily attire. We all know how important it is to wear one when we can’t physically distance, but the frequent wearing of a face mask can sometimes have a detrimental impact on your skin’s health even with 50 plus women.


The frequent wearing of a face mask can sometimes have a detrimental impact on your skin's health even with 50 plus women.

‘Maskne’ is a term you have probably heard through the pandemic, but what is it exactly? ‘Maskne’ is skin irritation or acne from regularly wearing face masks. Maskne isn’t new; it is a common problem for medical professionals who are required to wear face coverings daily. It is only now during the pandemic that it is becoming a problem in the general population. The technical term for ‘maskne’ is acne mechanica. Acne mechanica is triggered by excess heat, pressure and friction on the skin and is often brought on by facial protective equipment such as surgical masks. This heat and friction combined with a moist environment created by breathing, talking or sweating create the perfect storm for breakouts and inflammation. Acne is not the only problem that can be exacerbated by mask wear; people prone to rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, and folliculitis can also see a worsening of these conditions with excessive mask use. As wearing a mask might be essential for a while, there are several things you can do to keep your skin healthy.


To combat and avoid maskne, it is important to be gentle with your skin and make sure you are using the right products. To start, try using a gentle cleanser twice a day, such as DMK’s Deep Pore cleanser, to wash away makeup, sweat and impurities gently. Pharmaceutical grade Salicylic acid used in DMK products penetrates deep into the pores to help clear the build-up of oil, dead cells and bacteria that can lead to acne. DMK’s Acu-Masque is also perfect for soothing irritation and mask related breakouts. Acu-masque utilises bentonite and eucalyptus, which has the incredible ability to absorb toxins and minimise impurities and congestion without drying or stripping the skin. For extra healing and sealing, finish your home routine with a dust over of Actrol Powder.


The frequent wearing of a face mask can sometimes have a detrimental impact on your skin's health even with 50 plus women.

The type of mask you wear matters. While healthcare workers need to wear medical-grade masks, if you are struggling with skin issues and are not in a high-risk environment, the best choice is a soft, washable cotton mask. Cotton allows the skin to breathe, and the smooth texture will minimise friction that can irritate. Synthetic fibres such as nylon, polyester and rayon can cause further irritation as they don’t allow the skin to breathe. Ensure that your mask is also the right fit, and don’t forget to keep it clean. Wash your mask between uses with detergent, hot water and a splash of white vinegar. White vinegar is known for its anti-bacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. If you do wear a surgical mask, make sure you never reuse it.


Wearing a heavy comedogenic foundation can clog pores and increase irritation. Consider skipping makeup when wearing a mask, and instead, stick to a soothing moisturiser. If you need help with ‘maskne’, you can get in touch via email to discuss the Home Prescriptive products that are right for your skin.

If you want to discuss this or any other skin care issues with Jade Shelden, Medical Facialist at Norfolk Skin Atelier Email: [email protected] Tel: 07947103355 For more skincare for 50 plus women articles by Jade Shelden, click HERE

You might like to consider buying a few designed by the team at Alder Hey, the children’s hospital. They are reusable and made in the UK. There are two styles to choose from and two sizes. Made from the finest 450 thread cotton for comfort and strength, these are premium quality, double-layered, fully washable face masks. 100% of the profit from the sale of these items will be used to fund face coverings for use at the hospital by all patients and visitors.  £7.50. MORE INFO

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