a woman wearing a white face mask and pointing at her face

Why Do Masks Cause Acne and Skin Irritation?

Our skin benefits from fresh air and oxygen to stay dry and balanced. Masks block fresh air and oxygen from reaching your face, creating a warm, moist environment, which in some cases could be a recipe for disaster. Moisture builds up under the mask, creating a perfect environment for bacteria to grow and spread, and acne to start or worsen. Further spread and more breakouts may continue with prolonged mask use. Masks also trap heat, which may cause inflammation, redness, increased sebum production, and reactivity.

If you have sensitive or reactive skin, the material of the mask may cause a reaction, resulting in a rash or infection. For those with dry skin, wearing a mask may enhance the feeling of thick, dry heavy skin, which may be due to a buildup of dead skin cells. Now that we are finally enjoying warmer weather and spending more time outdoors, your skin may naturally feel dryer. Regular exfoliation will help in both of these instances! As we navigate through our COVID journey, it is normal to experience stress from changes in our daily routines including dietary changes and sleep patterns. These may affect our skin too!

Skincare Tips to Keep Your Skin Healthy and Happy Under Your Mask

  • Cleanse, exfoliate, tone, and apply a light moisturizer before you put your mask on. Excess oil, dead skin, or debris on the skin will increase the chance of your mask irritating your skin or causing problems.
  • Avoid wearing makeup under your mask. Makeup will contribute to congestion and irritation, and no one will see it anyways – It will end up covering the inside of your mask!
  • Adjust your daytime skincare regime to include products with lighter, less active, and more calming ingredients. Use more active ingredients for enhancing exfoliation, hydration or treating pimples with your evening skincare regime.
  • Wash your hands before touching your mask to avoid introducing more opportunities for bacteria to spread. Avoid frequent touching or picking at the skin around your mask, such as rubbing the mask over an itch.
  • Once you’re done with your mask for the day, cleanse your skin right away, and apply your active ingredients for soothing, hydrating or targeting breakouts. Use either a reusable mask that’s cleaned daily or a new disposable one each day.

Skincare Suggestions for Breakouts or “Mask-ne”

Skincare Suggestions For Dry or Sensitized Skin

Book an Acne Management Appointment With Dr. Connick

Don’t let mask-ne bring unwanted strife to your life. We’re here to help! Book a complimentary skincare consultation with the Skincare Specialists at Vive® to develop your personalized skin care plan.