Maskne Explained: Why Safety Masks Cause Acne Breakouts?

The term “maskne” has been coined quite recently. Acne caused by wearing a safety mask is a real problem. How does the pandemic affect our skin? Can a mask really trigger skin conditions like acne?

Causes of acne

Acne may have a variety of causes and we can’t blame just one thing. It’s often connected with the hormonal imbalance, e.g. during the adolescence, as well as food allergies or high-fat, unhealthy diet. Moreover, we are often the wrongdoers not cleansing the skin properly and using unsuitable products. Smoking cigarettes has a bad effect on the skin as well. However, usually, acne is caused by a few factors attacking our skin at same time. And wearing a safety mask during the pandemic may be one of them.

Maskne, that is acne caused by a face mask

The word “maskne” has come naturally as a consequence of the problem we’ve been facing for a few months now – acne breakouts caused by wearing a safety mask. The term combines two words: mask and acne.

This is a new type of acne which is caused by wearing a face mask. This condition is typical of the pandemic when the skin is overburdened by additional factors.

How do you know you suffer from maskne?

Maskne mostly affects the area that you put a mask on: cheeks, jawline, chin and the area above the lips. It usually appears through white or blackheads but more acute forms of acne occur as well.

What is the difference between maskne and regular acne that has been known for a long time? If you suffered from acne before the pandemic, it might be hard to say if a safety mask makes your skin worse. If you didn’t use to have zits and now they’ve appeared on the cheeks, chin and jawline, you shouldn’t have doubts about what ruins your skin.

Effect of safety masks on skin

The skin must breathe to look well. If we cover it with a piece of material that clings to the face, this might be harder: the mask may act like a steam room because moisture and warmth appear under the cloth. This kind of environment triggers clogging of skin pores, oiliness and proliferation of bacteria. This, in turn, increases the risk of irritation because the skin is unable to get rid of toxins and its balance is upset.

What makes the face mask cause acne breakouts?

There are lots of factors sparking acne. Even though maskne is caused by wearing a safety mask, it doesn’t mean that every mask sparks it. There are lots of things that make the masks worsen the condition of skin.

Safety masks may cause acne if:

  • they are made from synthetic material that is impervious to air. A skin-friendly safety mask is made from all-natural material e.g. cotton, linen or bamboo.
  • they are not washed regularly, becoming a perfect place for bacteria and pollutants to thrive, and we keep carrying them close to the skin.
  • they are made from low-quality material, have rough texture or seams that stick out, irritating and causing damage to delicate skin. The damage leads to inflammation and acne breakouts.
  • we use them many times even though it’s clearly stated they are disposable.
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