Maskne is definitely a thing.

Whether you’re getting new breakouts on top of old, or it’s triggering spots where they didn’t exist, it’s the newest skincare challenge, and it’s getting people down. Factor in the additional challenge of skin barrier disturbance and sore red, chafed areas and it’s cause for a major skincare meltdown.

And it’s the occlusion, chafing and increased humidity behind the mask that’s causing all the bother.

But with some careful product selection and judicious use of Actives, it can be prevented and managed.

How Do I Prevent Maskne?

The first thing to ensure is that your skincare isn’t clogging you up. It’s become a lot easier to source non-comedogenic skincare products and as an added bonus - it’s often the more affordable brands who are committed to this.

What Skincare is Best to Help with Maskne?

Stick to gentle cleansing and lose any exfoliating or foaming cleansers. Avoid the use of anything physical in terms of exfoliation - this will only add insult to injury. La Roche Posay Toleriane Dermo-cleanser and Flawless Cleanser are both good options.

Hydration is Key

A compromised barrier can lead to both irritation, dry patches and maskne. You might be tempted to skip moisturiser. Don’t. Seek out a lightweight barrier-boosting formula with either ceramides or niacinamide - it doesn’t have to be heavy to be helpful. Cerave Moisturising Lotion or Cream and Flawless Moisturiser or the Light version are all ideal.

Do I need Sunscreen Under My Mask?

Yes you do. Masks are not reliable as UV blockers so maintain your daily habit. And simplify the layers needed by using a tinted SPF that doubles as your make-up base. This was my personal savious during lockdown and it’s a habit that persists because it makes everything so darn easy.

What About Treating Maskne?

This is often best done at night. Try Flawless Nightly Serum, which tackles both the active blemishes and prevents new ones forming. Or focus on unclogging those pores with a straightforward retinoid like Medik8 R-retinoate. If it’s just the odd blemish, use a localised spot cream containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

Can I Wear Make-Up with Maskne?

Yes you can - provided you make the right choices for breakout-prone skin. I’d recommend non-comedogenic coverage that’s light. Steer clear of longwear foundation, powder and setting sprays.

Which Mask is Best?

If you find disposable masks are chafing, try a softer fabric one - 100% cotton is ideal. Just be sure to clean it meticulously.

Masks are the new norm - but I hope that you’ll agree that with a stellar strategy, they can become compatible with staying on top of our skincare game.