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Maskne getting you down? Heres how to treat and prevent clogged pores


Look, we know we need to wear our masks. We’re protecting not only ourselves but all those around us and it’s become a new essential – even a new fashion accessory – in our daily lives. But one thing we don’t love about them?

The fact that we end up with so much maskne after using them for a long period of time!

Woman in White Tank Top

Maskne is a phenomenon which has emerged as a result of the pandemic when people realized that the skin around their mouth, chin and cheeks were breaking out as a result of wearing a mask for prolonged periods. Breathing into the mask creates this wet, bacteria-filled environment that allows this bacterium to get into our pores and create spots. This mask-induced acne is the result of these clogged pores.

The humid environment can cause sweat, oil and bacteria to build up, while the friction and chaffing of masks on our skin can also cause the skin to break down and hair follicles to break open. This all combines in the perfect storm to create the dreaded mascne.

But never fear! There are things you can do to prevent, treat and cure mascne!

Mask sprays

Woman in Black Dress Sitting on Window

I’ve seen a lot of talk online of people starting to use sensitive skin sprays on the inside of their masks that contain soothing and purifying ingredients to try counteract that bacteria-ridden environment created within the mask itself. Many are recommending Tower 28 Beauty’s SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray as a fix for angry, stressed out skin. Specifically designed for sensitive skin, it’s approved by the National Eczema Association and contains hypochlorous acid, an ingredient naturally found in your white blood cells, which helps to fight and defend your body from harmful bacteria and inflammation. Could regular use of an anti-microbial be the way forward to help mascen?

Silk masks

white and black striped textile

The material that your masks are made of as they affect the environment within the mask. You’re looking for protection with breathability and as little friction as possible. The perfect material? Silk.

The best soft material for no chafing and with a breathability that allows you to still experience the protection that you and others need, it’s a great solution to the cotton or even polyester masks that are in regular circulation.

Always be prepared

brown green and white textile

What really helps is to have multiple, clean masks available to you at all times. Wearing a mask for 3 or 4 hours can cause buildup of bacteria around your mask. The heat and moisture become a breeding ground for bacteria that will harm your skin. Carrying around lots of clean and fresh masks means you will be able to switch out dirty ones more easily and more regularly so you can keep your skin fresh and as bacteria-free as possible.

Treat pre-existing problems

assorted fragrance bottles

If acne-prone skin is already a problem for you and the masks seem to simply be provoking it, you’re not alone. The key here is to investigate the ingredients in your skincare. Try to stay away from oily, heavy ingredients and instead investigate active ingredients that that can actively make a difference to your skin rather than just quick-fixing the problem like makeup. Try out products that contain small amounts of salicylic acid to help clear oily pores well so that they won’t be as easily clogged next time you’re using a mask. I find gel moisturisers a great help also, as the creamy ones simple bead upon my skin five minutes after I put on a mask.

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.



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