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Unmasking “Maskne” and how to avoid this
Skin Institute
August 18, 2020

Why should I wear a mask?

Good question, face masks are face coverings as recommended by the Ministry of Health during lockdown to protect not only ourselves but others around us too.

Unfortunately, after our first lockdown, we discovered an unpopular side effect of wearing a mask was the rise in acne caused by mask use, known as ‘Maskne’. Lockdown 2.0 brings not only a strong recommendation to wear a mask, but an unwelcome resurgence in those pesky breakouts.


Why am I breaking out?

Wearing a mask can cause breakouts as sweat and oil build up underneath the mask and clog pores pores.  This combined with the increased humidity can cause an overgrowth in P.Acnes Bacteria – one of the common cause of Acne.  This environment hosts the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and germs.


What should I wear under my mask?

  • We suggest avoiding wearing makeup under your mask – especially full coverage foundations and concealers.
  • Consider skipping makeup entirely where the mask sits.
  • Ensure your skin is clean.


How do I look after my skin while wearing a mask?

  • Cleansing your skin before you go to sleep is one of the most important components of your skins day. Our skin being the largest organ of our body, it cleverly manufactures new skin cells and sweat – not to mention the grime of the day!  Environmental stressors that have accumulated on the skin throughout the day can clog up your pores causing rough, congested skin.
  • If you have to wear makeup it is important to wash all your make up off at the end of each day in order for your skin to be able to function and accept the topical vitamins and additional hydration of effective cosmeceutical skin care.
  • Using an exfoliant 1-2 times weekly will assist in resetting the skin’s PH balance.
  • A Vitamin B serum in the morning helps hydrate, reduce inflammation and regulate oil flow while stimulating new ceramides (good oils) keeping the skin hydrated.
  • Adding a Vitamin A serum in the evenings can aid in the reduction of breakouts by reducing the size of the sebaceous gland ie: regulated oil flow, with the added bonus of anti-aging.

The most important consideration with acne in more mature patients is maintaining appropriate hydration in the skin. The loss of surface lipids and the skin’s natural moisturising factor often leads to dehydration. In addition, many anti-acne ingredients are potentially drying. The use of hydrating peels and daily skin care product are essential.


Treatments to avoid 

As with many cases of acne, inflammation is typical with breakouts. Overly aggressive procedures will often increase this inflammation, worsening the condition. Anti-inflammatory ingredients such as salicylic acid will help reduce irritation potential in more inflamed cases.

For best results, acne should be treated in clinic, every 2 weeks until clearing is achieved. By exfoliating every couple of weeks the follicles remain clear, and oil and bacteria are unable to proliferate beneath the surface.  Once the congestion has subsided, treatments can be moved to every 3-4 weekly for maintenance.


Hands off!

Any germs you send to your facial area will enhance the warm breeding ground for bacteria. Try to avoid touching the area and remember to regularly wash your hands! Practising good hygiene along with changing your mask as recommended or washing after use if resuable can all help the spread of bacteria.

We know how much your skin can affect your self-confidence, health, and enjoyment of life. If you have a skin concern, and are not sure what condition it is, or what treatment is right for you, then you’re in the right place. We offer a range of skin health treatments, administered by our expert team.

For skincare, shop online, anytime at our Skin Store. Enter the code FREESHIP to enjoy complimentary shipping on your order.