If finding the perfect skincare regimen isn’t hard enough, we have a new challenge on our hands — maskne

That’s right, maskne, acne caused by wearing a face mask, is a real thing. Unfortunately, wearing a face mask will be part of our new normal as we all try to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

In many parts of the country wearing a face mask that covers your nose and mouth is mandatory, especially as lockdown restrictions start to ease up. 

As we head out to enjoy summer while social distancing, it could be a challenge to avoid getting maskne.

Why do face masks cause acne?

Since our noses and mouths are covered, breathing while wearing a face mask causes bacteria to be trapped between the mask and our skin. This bacterial growth causes red pimples, known as acne. 

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If you have sensitive skin, the friction of your mask rubbing on your face increases your chances of breaking out. 

The longer you’re wearing your mask, the higher your chances of getting maskne and clogged pores. 

The good news is, you can take preventative measures to keep your maskne at bay.

Wash Your Face Before Wearing A Mask

To prevent maskne, you should always cleanse your face with a gentle, oil-free face wash. Avoid using hot water when washing your face and instead use lukewarm water.

Moisturize Your Face

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Properly hydrating your skin aids in preventing too much friction between your mask and your face. It is best to choose a moisturizer that is oil-free and fragrance-free. Try to find moisturizers that are non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog your pores. 

Wear Disposable Masks

If you don’t want the hassle of washing your mask every day, it’s best to use disposable ones. This means each time you venture outside, you use a brand new mask and dispose of it afterward. This way, you limit the amount of exposure your skin gets from the bacteria on your mask. 

Wear Cotton Cloth Masks

For those wanting to be more sustainable, make sure to purchase a cloth mask that is made out of cotton. Cotton is great for breathability and has less bacterial buildup. 

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When wearing a cloth mask, it’s important to hand wash it every day. If you wash it between each use, you will decrease your chances of getting maskne.

The CDC also recommends the general public to wear cloth face masks. 

Keep It Bare

Wearing foundation and makeup adds to clogging your pores. Wearing a face mask while having makeup on increases your chances of breaking out.