If you’re experiencing “maskne”—which refers to breakouts around your mouth, nose, cheeks and chin directly caused by wearing a face mask—you’re not alone, especially since it’s something that can happen to anyone, not just to those with oily or acne-prone skin. But what exactly causes mask-ne? And what can you do about it? Here’s what you need to know as well as how to prevent it.
What Causes Maskne?
Your skin naturally produces oil (called sebum), which is secreted from sebaceous glands in the skin. Depending on your skin type, some people may produce more or less sebum. As you’ve probably guessed, people with dry skin don’t produce as much sebum, but people with oily skin can produce too much.
Sebum’s role is to protect and nourish the skin, but when subject to less-than-ideal conditions—such as when wearing a face mask repeatedly or for long periods of time—this oil can clog pores.
With maskne, what happens is that sweat and oil on the skin can clog pores and concentrate in the area your mask covers. Combine clogged pores with friction from the mask and increased heat and humidity under the mask, and you’ve got an ideal environment for acne bacteria. On top of that, certain materials combined with constant chafing can cause invisible microtears on the skin’s surface, which makes it more prone to irritation and infection.
How to Prevent Your Face Mask From Causing Acne
So what can you do? Here are some tips to prevent your face mask from causing acne:
If you have a cloth mask, wash your mask regularly, ideally after every use. The best way to accomplish this is to have two or more masks on rotation, so you can wear one while the other is in the wash. Washing your mask regularly will help remove the oil, sweat and bacteria from your cloth mask that can cause acne.
Choose natural fabrics that are softer and less likely to cause friction and irritation for your mask. Which materials are best? Choose fabric that’s more breathable, such as 100% cotton or organic cotton. Hemp is also a natural and soft material that’s breathable and comfortable.
Make sure to clean your skin. Double cleanse your skin thoroughly to remove bacteria that can lead to blemishes from your mask. How do you double-cleanse? Simply pre-cleanse the skin with an oil-based cleanser, then use your regular cleanser for a deep-cleaning, non-drying routine for clear skin!
How to Treat Maskne (Naturally)
If your face mask is causing acne, commit to applying a topical treatment that not only boasts antibacterial properties but also is natural, calming and fortifying (you don’t want to irritate skin further with something too harsh)—like our Kigelia botanical formulas. Kigelia’s antibacterial and antimicrobial properties have been compared to ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections of the skin.  However, despite all that power, Kigelia is incredibly soothing, while other acne treatments can be too aggressive and irritating. Refreshing and comforting cucumber and passionfruit extracts further deliver beneficial nutrients to your skin to support healing and reduce future breakouts. 
Our Rainforest Revival Discovery Kit is the perfect way to tackle maskne. The kit contains mini versions of our pre-cleanser, cleanser, mist and our Kigelia corrective serum and moisturizer to help clear up your mask-ne as soon as possible for a truly nourishing, brightening and healing experience with sustainably sourced and organic ingredients. With this kit, you can continue protecting yourself with a mask during these unprecedented times—while ensuring your skin stays strong, clarified and radiant. You don’t have to choose one or the other!
The LUXE Botanics Team