Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the globe have been instructed to wear masks. Much like the medical variety, they need to cover the nose and mouth area to stop germs from leaving or entering the body.  While this might be helping to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, for many wearers it has lead to the sudden spread of something else: acne. Recently having been dubbed maskne, breakouts around the mouth and chin area have become increasingly common over the last few months. And while masks are effective at hiding zits and blemishes, they are also the primary reason that they are developing in the first place. Here’s how to prevent and treat one of 2020’s most common skincare concerns.


Maskne: what is it?

If you are experiencing breakouts around your mouth and chin area, you are not alone. Maskne — known in dermatology circles as acne mechanica — is one of the leading skincare concerns this year. Excess moisture and sweat from wearing a mask can increase the bacteria on the skin. This, in turn, can result in zits, cysts and clogged pores on the lower half of your face. Friction and chafing can also lead to dryness and irritation. Ouch!

Masks are likely to be a staple accessory for the foreseeable future. But is there a way to keep maskne at bay? We’re glad you asked!


Prevention and treatment

Wearing a mask all day will have an impact on your skin. But there are ways to make this impact less severe (and less inflamed!) by following a few steps:

  1. Consider your mask The type of material that your mask is made from can make a difference when it comes to developing maskne. Opting for one made from 100% cotton will allow your skin to breathe more. It’s also crucial that they are washed after every use to prevent a build-up of acne-causing bacteria.
  2. Less is more Try to streamline your beauty routine and use fewer, targeted products rather than piling on layer after layer. It might also be a good idea to break-up with makeup until the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a threat.
  3. Change your routine If you are struggling with maskne, make sure you cleanse your skin twice a day. Also consider investing in skincare products that contain acne-busting ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide, sulphur and salicylic acid.


Derm-approved maskne-busting recommendations:



SkinMedica Purifying Foaming Wash

FoamWash maskne


ZO Skin Health Acne Control

AcneControl maskne