maskne: preventing breakouts in a pandemic

Illustration is by Livia Kirasic

The must-have accessory this season isn’t a stylish ankle boot or a leather purse — it’s a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mandated and approved face mask. Since everyone is [hopefully] wearing their masks, you might have noticed annoying red spots pop up around the areas of your face that your mask covers. “Maskne,” or mask acne, has become increasingly common over the past few months and we have some tips to help beat the blemishes and prevent them from returning.

While wearing a mask, the cloth presses against your face and traps heat inside of it when you breathe and speak. This warm, moist environment is perfect for forming breakouts. If you’re working or spending a prolonged amount of time in a mask, sweat can also build up and upset your skin even more. 

Healthcare workers have dealt with this issue for a long time, but now the public is experiencing it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So how do you combat irritated skin?

Wash your face [and your hands!]

Always wash your face before and after wearing your mask. This will help wash off any sweat, dirt or oil and prevent it from settling in your pores and creating acne or irritation. Try using a gentle cleanser that will cleanse your skin, yet won’t strip it of its moisture. 

Here are some gentle facial cleansers for sensitive skin to help guard your skin from breakouts:

Ditch your concealer

Another way to avoid breakouts is to avoid wearing makeup underneath your mask. This can clog your pores and make maskne worse since makeup will mix with the oil and sweat from the mask. 

We all want to feel glamorous from time to time, but try to limit the amount of time you spend wearing makeup underneath your mask. Your skin will thank you. 

Pimple patches

This one is for the multitaskers. Pop on a pimple patch underneath your mask while you go to class or grab groceries. Instead of letting the mask make maskne worse, you can treat your pimples while going about your day. These patches can hide underneath your mask so no one will be able to see and you’ll be saving your skin from further irritation.

Here are some pimple patch products to try:

Moisturize

It’s important to keep your skin hydrated, especially since masks can rub against your skin and upset it. To maintain healthy skin, you should protect your moisture barrier with fragrance-free moisturizers. Since fall is here, the colder weather will dry out your skin so it is essential to use moisturizer every day.  

Try some fragrance-free moisturizers:

Clean your mask often

A dirty mask will not only hurt your skin, but it also will not be as effective against COVID-19. By keeping your mask clean, you can remove any germs, sweat or oil buildup hiding within it. Putting a clean mask over clean skin will help to avoid breakouts and using a gentle detergent when cleaning your mask will ensure that your skin is taken care of.

Although we may have to wear masks for the foreseeable future, our skin doesn’t have to suffer because of it. Maskne is largely unavoidable, but with these tips and tricks, you can combat maskne as quickly as possible and your skin can retain its healthy glow all season long.

Support Student Media Hi, I’m Maria McGinnis, a senior journalism student from Stow, Ohio. I’m also the editor in chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.

You May Also Like