How to Treat Maskne

Masks have become mandatory to wear outside and they are vital in helping us stop the spread of COVID-19.  However, they are not always kind to the skin.

Maskne is a thing and it’s no joke.  Maskne is acne caused by trapped dirt, oil and sweat while wearing a mask.  If you are already living with skin issues like rosacea, eczema, or acne-prone skin, like myself, you are more likely to experience maskne.

I took a poll on Instagram last week and 74% of you voted YES to having experienced either maskne or a breakout due to wearing a mask.  We are going to be wearing masks for the foreseeable future, so its important that we take care of our skin.

The areas around the nose, mouth, chin and even around/under the eyes – the areas covered by a face mask – are delicate and need a lot of love during this time.

I’m not an expert but I am passionate about skincare so I spend a lot time of reading and researching online.  I always share my findings with you, as well as products I try that work for me that I feel comfortable recommending to you.

There is no exact cure or treatment for maskne, since everyone’s skin is different and it could be a combination of the mask and already existing skin issues.  Based on what I’ve read and have been doing at home, I’ve rounded up three ways to help and treat maskne:




I know we’re all doing this already but it just has to be said again.  Wash your masks after each use and keep a rotation of masks on hand.  Changing your mask frequently can help reduce breakouts or irritation, especially after long wear, sweating or exercising.  I don’t leave my apt frequently these days but on the days I do, I put on a new mask every time I take one off before heading back outside.

Don’t throw your masks in the washing machine along with your clothes and do not use laundry detergent.  Laundry detergent can be too harsh on skin and lead to a breakout.  Instead, hand wash your masks with warm water and soap.  I have been using Dawn Liquid Detergent and it has been working fine for me.  I haven’t had any breakouts from using it.  Dawn is super effective with getting rid of oil and grease on kitchen and cooking tools, so I trust it to thoroughly clean my masks!  I have also seen friends use the Dr. Bronner’s soap to wash their face masks with and think that is another great option.



Your face should always be cleansed and moisturized before wearing a mask, as much as it should after you take off your mask.

Whether you’re out for two hours running errands or you’re back at work for 8 hours or more, sweat, oil, and dirt are being trapped in your mask.  If you wear make-up daily, keep in mind that make-up can also contribute to build up and break outs.  If you can go make-up free, that is definitely recommended!  Additionally, constant rubbing and friction while wear wearing masks can also compromise your skin’s barrier resulting in dryness and/or irritation.

When you take off your mask, you should wash your face to wash off the sweat and dirt you’ve accumulated while wearing.  Use a gentle, hydrating cleanser that is fragrance and oil free.  Rinse with lukewarm water, as hot water can further compromise your skin’s barrier.

I don’t recommend use a foaming cleanser (ever).  If you’ve been following me for some time, you’ll know I’m anti foaming cleansers.  While your skin may feel so clean after using a foaming cleanser, they tend to strip the skin of their moisture and your skin needs all the moisture it can get right now.



Don’t skip moisturizing!  Now more than ever, our skin needs as much hydration as possible.  Moisturizing also acts like a barrier to protect and prevent any friction from your mask.  Again, stay away from anything too heavily fragranced and avoid heavy products that can clog your skin.

Some protective ingredients to look for are some of my favorite ingredients: Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide.

  • Ceramides are a natural component of our skin and will replenish the skin’s barrier.
  • Hyaluronic Acid pulls moisture from the environment to increase skin’s hydration.
  • Niacinamide (B3) soothes skin and helps to reduce redness.

Below are some of my favorite products that I recommend that have helped me treat my maskne and keep my skin protected.  (Click the products to shop!) They are hydrating and include the three key ingredients I listed above:

  • Fourth Ray Beauty: The Soak It Up Mask can be used as an everyday moisturizer and/or an overnight mask because of its lightweight texture.  It is formulated with hyaluronic acid and is honestly the best thing you can put on your skin.  I always order like three of this mask because my skin loves it so much!  The Remedy Niacinamide Serum is a great way to add niacinamide to your routine, if you’re not currently using it.  It is lightweight and quickly absorbs into skin.  This can be applied after toning and before moisturizing.  You also can’t beat the prices on these products!
  • TULA: If you follow me on Instagram, you know I swear by TULA products, especially their cleansers and moisturizer.  The Replenishing Cleansing Oil is great for double cleansing at night.  The Purifying Face Cleanser is great for both daytime and nighttime use.  It does a great job of cleansing without stripping the skin.  The Hydrating Day & Night Cream is great for use at both times of day.  This moisturizer is super hydrating and leaves your skin with a natural glow.  Use my code ‘HUMIDITY15‘ at TULA checkout to save 15% on your order.
  • CeraVe:  Their product line was developed with dermatologists and they all contain essential ceramides to help restore the skin’s protective barrier.  I just started using CeraVe’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion and I love it because its super lightweight but very hydrating.  An esthetician I follow on Twitter swears by CeraVe’s Healing Ointment, so I decided to try it as well, for a heat rash I got under my left eye from wearing a mask on a hot day last week.   I’ve been applying it after the CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion and it has helped so much!  I’m also going to start wearing it when I wear a mask to reduce abrasion.  If you own Petroleum Jelly, you can also apply that before putting on your mask.
  • Dr. Dennis Gross: I just recently received this Hyaluronic Marine Cleanser from Dr. Dennis Gross and will be sharing my full review on Instagram soon!  However, I have been using it for a little over week and I’m already obsessed.  Hyaluronic Acid is one of its key ingredients and it leaves my skin feeling so clean, smooth and hydrated.  This cleanser is exactly what my skin has been needing and I definitely recommend.  The Stress Repair Face Cream is a great nighttime moisturizer and also has niacinamide.  Similar to the TULA moisturizer, this product gives your skin a nice, natural glow.

Like I said before, there is no true cure for maskne but as long as you are washing your masks, cleansing and moisturizing you should start to see an improvement like I have.  Please let me know if you try any of these products and if any of them work for you.  I hope this post is helpful and as always, leave any questions/comments below!



1 Comment

  1. August 25, 2020 / 9:14 PM

    This is such a great article! Thanks for sharing these tips!

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