Can wearing a mask cause acne? Everything you need to know about maskne

Darcey Sergison September 12, 2020
Can wearing a mask cause acne? Everything you need to know about maskne

Can wearing a mask cause acne? Most people suffer from acne at some point in their life but now a new form of face mask-related acne is spreading – maskne. But what’s causing it and what can you do to avoid it?

Now that wearing face masks has been made compulsory in many situations around the UK, people have been claiming there’s a correlation been wearing masks and acne.

Photo by Julian Wan on Unsplash

With doctors wearing face masks all day, many of them posted pictures of dry, sore skin, where their masks had chafed. Now the issue of acne has spread to the general public as so many of us wear masks for long periods. 

Maskne: Can wearing a mask cause acne?

“Acne mechanica comes from friction,” says New York City dermatologist Dendy Engleman. As masks rub our skin it creates a break in the barrier of our skin and allows bacteria to enter from the humid area under the mask, which causes the breakout. 

Make-up under masks

As most people wear masks in public areas, many don make-up underneath. But as heavy make-up is a likely cause of acne anyway, wearing a mask on top is likely to make it worse.

I, for one, have definitely made the mistake of wearing make-up and having half of it end up on my mask. With masks causing humid pockets around your mouth, this will cause your pores to open and let your make-up sink deeper into your skin.

Many make-up artists have suggested that if you’re going to wear make-up under your face mask, aim to use lighter foundation and BB cream to avoid clogged pores. 

Silk masks 

Silk masks are a must to avoid humid pockets and the rubbing that causes maskne. The tight-woven smooth fibres of silk, compared with cotton, help to keep moisture close to the skin, says Jennifer Peterson, a dermatologist at the Dermatology & Laser Surgery Centre in Houston.

Still life of a face protective masks hanging at clothesline against clear sky and sun, DIY sewing project

For those with dry skin, using silk pillows is a great beauty trick so now it’s time to use silk masks too. Slip, famous for its silk pillow cases, has ventured into making stunning soft face masks perfect for avoiding maskne.

Made from the highest grade (6A) of long fibre mulberry silk, Slip says these masks won’t cause irritation and will ensure your skin stays hydrated and doesn’t dry out.  

With face masks here for the long run, now’s the time to invest in a mask that won’t only protect you but also your skin. 

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