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Maskne Is Real. Here’s What to Do About It.

Diagnosing the real causes & delivering solutions to prevent it.

The global pandemic has changed everything, from how we make sweatpants fashion and function to how we work and shop. It’s also changed our skin: As we do our part to slow the spread by wearing a face mask or face covering, our skin is literally breaking out as a result: pimples, redness, and irritation now plague our faces, whether we’ve experienced acne before or not. The condition is so common, it’s known as maskne.


So, what is maskne? And, is there anything you can do about it? Dr. Howard Murad, dermatologist, pharmacist, and founder of Murad Skincare says yes: “There are simple skincare and lifestyle steps we can take every day to prevent maskne and help keep skin clear.” Read on for his tips for how to prevent mask acne (maskne).


What is maskne?
Maskne is the nomenclature given to the side effect of wearing face masks and face coverings. However, what’s not commonly understood is that maskne comes in two forms. Maskne can be an effect of friction, heat, moisture, and trapped oils and bacteria that cause breakouts on skin types that don’t normally have acne issues. For others, maskne aggravates already existing breakouts and acne.

Why identify the type of maskne you have? “Because it influences which products you should use to treat it,” says Dr. Murad.


Preventing maskne tip 1: Cleanse before and after wearing a mask
If your breakouts are mask-induced, select a gentle cleanser—not necessarily a cleanser specific for treating acne. Why? Because using an acne cleanser could dry out your skin and make your breakouts and irritation worse. Cleansers like Prebiotic 4-in-1 MultiCleanser will effectively sweep away built up oils and bacteria while hydrating and balancing skin.


If maskne is exacerbating your breakouts, it’s more important than ever to stick to a consistent routine that begins with a salicylic acid cleanser like Clarifying Cleanser. This foaming gel cleanser treats and prevents blemishes for up to 8 hours after rinse-off. And, green tea extract helps soothe.


Preventing maskne tip 2: Don’t skip the moisturiser, do go oil-free
Dr. Murad says, “Don’t skip moisturiser altogether, even if it seems counter-intuitive to moisturise already oily skin.” Why? Moisturisers help keep fortify a healthy skin barrier, regardless of your skin type. And, a healthy skin barrier has a better chance at keeping breakouts and irritation at bay. Look for moisturisers labeled ‘oil-free’ or ‘non-comedogenic’ to help minimise pore-clogging that can lead to breakouts.


We recommend Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel, our water-light, non-greasy moisturiser that wears comfortably under your mask. Hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates while salicylic acid exfoliates and refines for a balanced, non-greasy finish. And, Korean red pine extract helps stop quorum sensing—a process known to cause microbiome imbalance and irritation.


Preventing maskne tip 3: Treat post-acne scars and marks
If maskne breakouts have turned into post-acne scars and dark marks, reach for InvisiScar(tm) Resurfacing Treatment. This spot-treatment helps minimise the look of dark marks & scars in just 8 weeks, and can be worn comfortably under your mask.


Preventing maskne tip 4: Practice mask manners
There’s a lot you can do beyond protecting your skin from maskne, and it starts with your mask. Never re-wear a mask without washing it first. Always select breathable fabrics, like cotton, and steer clear of polyester & rayon that can cause irritation. And, limit the amount of makeup under your mask, but don’t skimp on SPF! SPF can help shield against another mask issue: sun damage-induced hyperpigmentation on non-mask covered areas like the forehead, nose, and cheeks.


Now that you can answer the question, “What is maskne?” it’s time to shop solutions that can help keep skin free and clear of its impact.

Complete Your Regimen

  • Clarifying Cleanser
    Clarifying Cleanser

    Cleanses, clears pores and treats blemishes—even after rinsing. Leaving your skin feeling fresh and clean.

    $58.00 | 200ML
  • InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment
    InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment

    Minimises the look of post-blemish scars in 8 weeks.

    $47.25 | 15ML
  • Clarifying Water Gel
    Clarifying Water Gel

    Hydrate your way to clearer skin. Non-comedogenic, water-light hydrator purifies, refines and interrupts bacteria signals that can lead to irritated skin.

    $79.00 | 60ML