Masked threat: ‘Maskne’ the latest nasty side-effect of pandemic protection


As if lockdown wasn’t tough enough when it comes to skincare, maskne, or mask acne; which is another thing to worry about in 2020

Peradventure you’ve been noticing your skin breaking out on your chin, nose or around your mouth, because of the constant use of a mask, then you may be suffering from “maskne”.

Maskne is one of the new norms, unfortunately. Although, it is not a scientific word, but the colloquial name for a type of acne that frequent wearing of a mask can cause.

It is natural to get acne at any stage of your life, just as you can get mask-related acne.


Whenever you put on a mask, two things is prominent, which can result to breakouts on skin exposed to the fabric or material of the mask.

These are:

  1. Friction: When there is a movement of your mask around your face, it could cause micro-tears in your skin. What this means is that your skin is now susceptible to bacteria. These micro-tears allow dirt to penetrate your pores as well, leading to clogged pores.
  2. Temperature: It is evident that whenever you put on your mask, you will definitely breathe into it because of you have to respire while making use of it. This could cause hot and moist air to be trapped within the mask. This becomes the perfect environment for the breeding of bacteria and other harmful things that you want to avoid on your skin. The hot air allows sweat and oil to build up, which are part of the factors that result to clogging of your pores.


One sure option to adopt to treat “maskne” is a gentle foaming cleanser that helps to calms and clean up your skin. However, if your skin is prone to acne, then you should try using a cleanser that contains salicylic acid.

Other factors that cause skin breakouts could be stress from the pandemic, bad eating habits and changed lifestyle due to the lockdown. So if you can improve on your diet and de-stress, then the acne may improve.

Another factor that could result to acne is men’s facial hair and women’s makeup. Facial hair is likely to get trapped in the skin, which could lead to acne.

Actually, makeup can clog pores only if you do not wash it off at the end of the day. Furthermore, wearing a mask after application of a makeup on your face can boost clogging of your skin pores.


According to BBC, maskne has caused a huge rise in skincare products needed. This is mostly related to an increase in cases of oily skin and acne. Although, other factors are involved, but most of the factors could be related to wearing a mask.

However, although there is a boom in sales if skincare products, BBC said that the makeup industry has suffered and still suffering. Sales have been on a low for makeup industries.

This is likely to be due to lockdown regulations all around the world. People don’t go out more often, and also don’t put on makeup like they used to.

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