Maskne – The new acne! Is it a real thing?

July 24, 2020

Maskne is a relatively new phenomenon observed during mandated mask wearing. We have seen an exponential growth in maskne due to the coronavirus pandemic. The condition was initially noted in healthcare workers, however since the general public are now wearing masks for extended periods of time, there is a rise in the number of cases. This is because masks can worsen and cause skin issues. Mask wearing is the new normal and therefore it is important to learn how to mitigate these skin reactions.

In the time of working-from-home, there is a noticed shift in consumers’ interest. Makeup sales decreases as consumers focus more on skin care than makeup. It is also expected that the trend of “less is more” and the “no makeup” look will accelerate. As you purchase more skin care, are you choosing the right products that will help you with your maskne? Read more on what to take note of when purchasing products.

What is Maskne?

Maskne is the word derived from “Mask” and “Acne”. Breakouts that occur after wearing a mask have become so common that mask acne’s been dubbed “maskne” on social media. It occurs due to prolonged period of mask wearing. The clinical term is “acne mechanica”, where acne is resulted from friction, rubbing and occlusion of the skin by outside forces.

What Causes Maskne?


The mask’s occlusive environment and lack of oxygen does not allow your skin to function normally. High humidity and heat encourage bacterial growth, trapping sebum and causing pores to become blocked. Friction and irritation further create micro-tears, easing entry of bacteria into the skin, leading to inflammation and eventually acne.

What Should You Do?

You can’t simply eliminate the outside force of mask on your skin. However, you can make a few adjustments in your skincare routine to combat maskne. Here are some tips:

1. Use a gentle cleanser

Tips: Amino acid-based surfactants such as glutamate/alaninate are mild surfactants which impart skin with fresh, smooth and hydrating after feel. Recommended ingredients are Eversoft UCS50SG, Eversoft ULS30S, Eversoft YCK30K, Eversoft YCS30, Eversoft ACS30.

2. Replenish skin’s moisture but avoid the use of heavy creams

Tips: Recommended ingredients are Marine Collagen, Mucogen, Phytomoist, Hyaluronate AZ50, Super Moisturising Max  

3. Treat maskne with anti-acne cream or pimple patch

Tips: ACZero can reduce sebum production, soothe inflammation and suppress P.Acne activity.

4. Sooth your skin

Tips: Recommended ingredients are Calnomix, Centella Asiatica Extract HD, CICA Complex, KOKO ML-40

5. Protect chapped skin with occlusive cream

Tips: Ceramide PC104 and Ceramide LS20 can strengthen and reinforce skin barrier.

6. Skip the makeup

Wearing a mask on top of makeup will cause ingredients to come into contact with the deeper layers of the skin and trigger inflammation.

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