• Joanna Sterkowicz

What to do about maskne



A skin condition known as maskne, defined as acne-related issues arising from wearing masks, is proliferating during the coronavirus era.


An article on the Cleveland Clinic website (https://health.clevelandclinic.org/) points out that maskne is not a new skin condition. Dermatologist, Amy Kassouf, MD, is quoted as saying: “It has always been an issue in professions where you have to wear a mask regularly. But now that the general public has to wear masks, the incidence of it has certainly increased.”


She goes on to explain that stress from the pandemic, as well as the local irritation from your mask, can make maskne more likely. The condition arises because when you talk or breathe, your mask traps in a lot of hot air, which creates a humid environment and an ideal setting for yeast, bacteria and other flora to grow.


Candice Gardner, education manager (digital & content) at Dermalogica provides tips on how to deal with maskne. “Firstly, advise your clients to wear a clean mask or face covering each day. Taking the mask off for a period, if it is appropriate to do so, will also give the client’s skin some respite.


“Advise your clients to avoid wearing make-up underneath a mask if at all possible and get them to introduce products into their regime that can help keep the skin clear. A face wash with salicylic acid is an excellent choice, as it reduces clogging and has an anti-inflammatory action.


“Gentle and regular exfoliation with either a mild AHA or BHA is an important addition to the regimen, provided the skin is not experiencing dermatitis or chaffing. Keeping skin hydrated with a light or mattifying moisturiser, which will improve the skin’s barrier, helps regulate sebum production and reduce irritation. When choosing a pimple treatment, opt for a less drying formula.”

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