woman putting her face mask on

Can face masks cause acne? Tips for Maskne Treatment

Understand what causes spots from face masks and learn how to prevent maskne, whilst staying safe.

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Since the rise of COVID-19, the world has been a crazy place. Due to the pandemic, our lives have changed dramatically - and to combat the virus, the wearing of face masks has become mandatory. Queue the rise of ‘Maskne’.

What is maskne?

Maskne is short for ‘mask-acne’ and occurs when an area of the face comes into regular contact with a face mask, causing an outbreak of spots. It can also affect other skin conditions such as rosacea, contact dermatitis and folliculitis. 

Before 2020, most of us would never have needed to wear a face mask, or even had a clue what maskne was. However, as face masks become ever more prevalent in our daily lives, so has the emergence of spots from face masks. But don’t worry, you’re not alone, as maskne has become more and more common. Here at Florena, we’ve outlined a clear and detailed guide on maskne treatment, prevention and causes. Following our steps, your skin can feel refreshed, hydrated and glowing again in no time!

woman cleansing her face

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Can face masks cause acne?

Face masks can, unfortunately, cause an outbreak of spots, or make acne worse. To understand maskne treatment, it is also important to know what causes it. We’ve created a list of the 3 main causes of maskne:

  1. Wearing A Mask For Long Periods Of Time 
    Wearing a mask is crucial in fighting the pandemic, and some of you may have to wear masks for long periods of time. Despite masks keeping you safe, long periods of use can cause an outbreak of spots. 

    Wearing a mask for long periods of time causes occlusion, which is when your pores become blocked. When your pores are blocked, oil, bacteria and dead skin starts to build up, causing those unwanted - and often painful, spots to form. The longer and more often your face is covered by a mask, the worse this process becomes. This is also made worse by the humidity that is trapped by wearing a mask. When you talk and breath, you release hot air that gets trapped within your mask. As a result, a humid environment is created, perfect for bacteria to grow. 
  2. Face Mask Friction
    No matter how often you wear a mask, we all know how uncomfortable they can be. They seem to always find a way to rub against your skin. The friction between your skin and your face mask can lead to chafing and irritation - which often make acne and other skin conditions worse.
  3. Allergies To Face Masks
    Being allergic to face masks seems like an easy excuse not to wear one. However, some people may be sensitive or allergic to the materials and chemicals used to produce them. Wearing a mask that’s been washed in a scented detergent can also cause skin irritation. As a result, irritated skin can often lead to face spots and other skin conditions becoming worse.

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Maskne Prevention

We understand how frustrating maskne can be and the value of preventing it. Wearing a face mask is vital at the moment and avoiding them isn’t an option, so our guide below provides suggestions in ways to prevent maskne, whilst remaining safe:

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Wash & Change Your Masks 

Keeping your face masks clean is essential in preventing maskne. Face masks collect dirt and bacteria, which if used again without washing, will worsen the appearance of spots from face masks. To further limit skin irritation, avoid using scented detergents. We recommend washing your face masks after every use, to prevent dirt from blocking your pores and causing acne. 

If you have to wear a mask for a long period of time, we also suggest alternating between masks. For example, take two masks to work and change them halfway through your shift. This way, you are reducing the amount of time your skin comes into contact with a dirty mask. 

woman cleaning her skin

Keep Your Face Clean 

Keeping your face clean is equally as important as keeping your masks clean. For the same reason, washing your face will prevent oil, bacteria and dead skin build up, which can cause spots. Washing your face with a gentle cleanser will protect from skin irritation whilst fighting maskne.

Take a look at our range of natural cleansers which will thoroughly remove any unwanted oil, dirt or makeup from your face, leaving your skin looking and feeling clean, smooth and revitalised. Choosing a minimal makeup look will also combat spots from face masks, as makeup can further block pores. 

We recommend washing your face straight after wearing a mask, to cleanse the pores from unwanted build up. We understand you may not always have time, but washing your face as often as possible will help in preventing maskne.

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Skin Hydration Is Key 

After washing your face, moisturising your skin will protect it from irritation, which can otherwise lead to spots and other skin conditions. Keeping your skin hydrated will also ensure its natural barrier is best equipped to deal with friction caused by face masks. Your skin will benefit from less chafing and be healthier as a result. 

To prevent maskne, hydrate your skin as often as possible, especially after cleansing. Florena’s Hydrating Day Cream contains 99.47% ingredients of natural origin, including fermented camellia and fermented olive oil, to offer 24 hour hydration and protection against skin irritation, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth to touch.

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Choose The Right Mask

Choosing the right face mask can prevent acne from getting worse, or reduce spots caused by friction and allergies. To protect against friction, your mask should fit well. This should fit comfortably over your face, without being too tight that it's inconvenient. Choosing a mask that doesn't affect allergies or cause irritation is also important.This is often the case with disposable masks which are made from synthetic materials. 

To avoid spots from face masks, we suggest using a sustainable, natural face mask, made from cotton or linen that can be reused. These soft materials will protect your skin from maskne, whilst also offering sustainable protection from COVID-19. Disposable masks are made from different variants of plastic, which are often incorrectly disposed of - and so add to global plastic pollution.

Being able to reuse fabric masks will decrease the amount of waste and plastic pollution, whilst keeping you safe from the virus. Discover more on Florena’s sustainability commitments to the environment and on sustainable skincare.

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Maskne Treatment: 5 Ways to Treat Maskne

Maskne treatment is similar to treating spots and it also shares similarities with maskne prevention, so understanding both will hold you in good stead for dealing with it. We know that dealing with spots can affect not just the way you look, but sometimes your confidence too. That's why we've provided our maskne treatment guide, to set you on your way to feeling confident and loving yourself once again!

What's important to note is that all of our maskne treatments maintain the use of face masks, as they are vital in keeping you safe and fighting the spread of COVID-19. 

1. Wash Your Face Regularly

As well as preventing maskne, keeping your face clean will also help to treat it. This is crucial in ensuring your pores are not blocked and remain fresh. As a result, your skin will look and feel healthier.

Having a natural daily skincare routine can help. We recommend washing your face in the morning and evening, as well as after long periods of wearing a face mask. Make sure that you are washing with lukewarm water and gently drying with a soft towel, to prevent irritation. 

2. Let Your Skin Breath

Wearing a mask for long periods of time restricts the amount of air the skin on your face receives. Letting your skin breath will enable it to better deal with blocked pores and fight bacteria.

Whilst being safe and keeping a social distance, we recommend occasionally removing your face mask to allow for your skin to breath. We advise that this is done outside and away from other people. Similarly, wearing little, to no makeup can also help your skin to breath and aid in maskne treatment.


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3. Moisturiser

Moisturiser is key for any form of skin treatment, especially maskne. Keeping your skin moisturised will stop the friction caused by face masks and reduce irritation as a consequence. This will allow your skin to heal and improve its ability to fight acne.

For effective maskne treatment, ensure you moisturise after you wash your face, to keep your skin hydrated. We would advise using natural skincare products as they tend to reduce the amount of synthetic ingredients which can sometimes irritate the skin. All of our skincare products at Florena have at least 99.46% of ingredients of natural origin.


4. Diet 

Having a healthy diet can also help to treat maskne. What you eat can affect how oily your skin is and the likelihood of spots developing. A great place to start is to fill your diet with fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants - which can keep your skin looking young, fresh and smooth.

5. Contact Your Doctor

If the problem persists and you feel medical attention is needed, contact your doctor for their advice. They will be able to discuss with you your options and be able to prescribe medication to help your skin if they believe it’s necessary. 

We understand that maskne can be uncomfortable and affect your confidence, however, it is crucial that we continue to wear our face masks to battle COVID-19. Our guide has been designed so that whilst still wearing a mask, all of our tips for maskne treatment and prevention can help your skin to look and feel clear, soft and maskne free!