MASKNE-what you can do to prevent acne from wearing a mask

Fiona Clark

‘Maskne’ – acne from wearing a mask. How to prevent it and what to do if it flares up.

Mandatory mask wearing in shops and public transport is taking its toll on many people’s skin. A quick poll by Harley Street Emporium found 48% of people said they were experiencing outbreaks and flare ups of their acne as  a result of wearing a mask. the humidity and sweat can build up and block the pores, leading to outbreaks or what’s now commonly called ‘maskne’.

So, how can you prevent it?

According to Dr Unnati Desai, a GP with a diploma in dermatology, there are a few things that could help, and some that could make it worse.

Here are her top ten tips:

1. Change your mask regularly – Once it’s damp it’s a breading ground for bacteria and that may be the reason you’re breaking out. (If you’re wearing it for a prolonged period you may need to change it every hour, so carry a few with you when you go out.)

2. Wash your cloth masks – If it’s a cloth mask make sure you wash it on a hot wash to kill the bacteria every day.

Tip: Using a natural fabric like silk or a silk lining may help too, especially if you have sensitive skin. (It may help prevent chaffing too.)


3. Don’t wash your face too much – twice a day is enough. As tempting as it is to wash your face in a bid to get rid of pimples, washing your face repeatedly can disrupt the skin barrier. Morning and evening is enough.

Cleansers with Salicylic Acid can help reduce inflammation and kill the bacteria associated with acne – the acclenz Purify and Renew cleanser is a good choice.

DCL multi-action penta peel

DCL Multi-Action Penta Peel

4. Remove the sweat – Use a non-alcohol based face wipe or medicated wipe to remove the excess sweat if you’re out and about. Ones that contain pyruvic acid or salicylic acid are a good choice. Three times a day should be enough. A quick squirt with a sanitiser like Clinisept may also be useful according to Lorna McDonnell-Bowes – aesthetic nurse and the founder of one of the UK largest skin care distributors, Aesthetic Source.

The DCL Multi Action Penta Peel Pads are a good choice that you can carry with you.

Pop a couple in a plastic bag so they don’t dry out.


Acclenz Deep Action Blemish Serum

Another alternative is a ‘spot gel’ that you can dab on twice a day.

The acclenz Deep Action Blemish Serum is a a good example.


5. Moisturise – People often think break outs should be ‘dried out’ but you still need to moisturise.

Use a non-comedogenic moisturiser (one that wont block pores) to hydrate the skin and protect the skin barrier. Ones that contain salicylic acid to help kill bacteria.

Again the acclenz Oil Control Day Cream is a good choice. It has a slow release salicylic acid as well as zinc and niacinamide (B3) to help repair the skin barrier.


6. Use make up for acne – If you wear make up consider swapping to Oxygenetix Acne Control as it is breathable and has Salicylic acid too.

7. Around the house – Make sure you wash your bedding and towels regularly on a hot wash as they harbour bacteria and clean your make up brushes or sponges too.

8. Don’t forget your phone screen – Clean your mobile phone screen regularly too as it too plays host to bacteria.

9. Try not to pick -Try not to pick at any pimples as this can spread infection and make the outbreak worse, and it increases your risk of scarring and pigmentation.

10. See your doctor if you are concerned about your skin. Getting on top of outbreaks quickly is important to reduce the risk of pigmentation and scarring.


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