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'Mask Acne' - This Is Why Your Skin Is Breaking Out Right Now

Updated: Feb 10

Face masks have become an essential part of our leaving-the-house routines. Even though they are a crucial first defense against airborne bacteria, they’re not so great for our skin’s health causing many of us to break out with what has become known as ‘maskne’ – unexpected breakouts around the chin, mouth, and nose.

Acne is a common issue that almost everyone has experienced at some point in their lives. With the addition of face masks to our daily rituals, acne from wearing masks is not just a unique phenomenon; it also exacerbates many of the common causes of breakouts.

The three most common causes of breakouts


One of the most unifying aspects of Covid-19 has been the increased stress we are all experiencing. We’re looking out for our health and the health of our loved ones while watching the world change. Stress itself is an indirect cause of acne; when we’re under stress, our adrenal glands stimulate our glands to release more oil. That excess oil is what blocks pores, and those blocked pores cause acne.

Lack of sleep 

Sleep is one of our superpowers, regenerating, and restoring our bodies while we sleep. Similar to the physical reaction to stress, a lack of sleep can quickly lead to disrupted hormones, decreasing some that are a part of a good night’s sleep, and increasing some, such as cortisol – the very thing that overworks our adrenal glands.

Poor diet 

Research is still underway into how a poor diet can affect our skin, but the overriding theme is that our bodies need a healthy, balanced diet to function – including when it comes down to our skin health. It’s more important than ever to fuel our bodies with the right balance of foods to stay healthy.

So why exactly are masks causing acne?

Close-fitting masks rub up against our skin, which causes micro-tears that enable spot-causing bacteria and dirt to enter our skin, clogging up pores and leading to a breakout from wearing a mask. As anyone who is regularly wearing a mask will know, that environment is already pretty damp and hot. The combination of these factors creates a perfect setting for acne to develop.

Five ways to combat a maskne breakout:

1. Ensure you’ve got the right type of mask

Not all masks are created equal. Although paper ones might seem an easy option, not only are they terrible for the environment, they are awful for creating the damp environment you need to avoid. The best masks for preventing acne are those made from natural, breathable fabrics such as cotton and silk.

2. Keep your mask clean

Regularly wash your reusable masks at a high temperature. Otherwise, you’ve created the perfect breeding ground for spot-causing bacteria to keep building up, leading to breakouts from wearing a mask. An effortless way to keep your mask even cleaner is to avoid make-up, especially foundation, on the areas of your face that will be covered up.

3. Give your skin some TLC 

Making sure your skin is already in top condition is key to combating any acne breakout. Our IPL Photofacial is a gentle facial treatment that diffuses redness and kills bacteria, improving the overall appearance of your skin. Our custom-made HydraFacial is another excellent choice for prepping skin for ongoing stresses, removing dead skin cells before adding in hydrating and moisturizing serums which will nourish your skin.

4. Level up your daily skincare routine 

It’s also essential to make sure you are taking care of your skin day to day. Cleansing with a gentle facial cleanser like Papaya Enzyme Cleanser will lift away the dead skin cells and impurities on your face. Following that up with the intensive but lightweight Renewal Retinol will improve your skin tone while also acting as an anti-inflammatory. Exactly the thing you’ll need before stepping outside to avoid a mask causing acne.

5. Take care of yourself 

While prepping your skin to cope with the new demands of wearing a face mask, it’s just as important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself; eat well, practice self-care to help combat stress - and enjoy a good night's sleep.


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