6 Skin Care Habits To Know for Maskne Prevention

As COVID-19 continues to rage on, the importance of wearing a mask to protect yourself and those around you is a necessity. The demand for face mask types such as surgical masks, n95 masks, dust masks, and cloth masks increased at the start of the outbreak. As effective as they are in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus and disease prevention, masks can also cause acne breakouts in this area. Wearing a mask, whether it is an ordinary face mask or n95 mask, creates a hot and humid environment from talking, sweating, and breathing. This combination can clog pores, lead to an oil buildup, and cause “maskne” (acne caused by wearing a mask) to develop. Here are a few tips to remember for maskne prevention from the skincare experts.


If you find yourself struggling with these breakouts, there are steps you can take to prevent maskne from developing further. Your skincare routine when wearing a mask should include:


  1. 1. Wash your face and moisturize before wearing your mask
    • First, wash your face with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. This will clear out the dirt and oil in your pores that can buildup and cause breakouts.
    • Second, apply a moisturizer after washing your face to keep your skin hydrated. The moisturizer will also block your skin from the mask and will reduce heat and friction. It will serve as a skin barrier.
  2. 2. Do not wear makeup
    • In general, wearing makeup can cause skin problems, but it can be especially irritating underneath a mask. Wearing makeup will clog your pores and sometimes lead to infection, and this combined with a mask will only encourage acne growth. Practice infection control and minimize skin issues by refraining from putting makeup on your face as much as possible.
  3. 3. Wash your mask
    • If you are using a reusable, cloth mask try to wash it at least once a week. Washing the mask will remove any oil/sweat buildup from use. Be sure to use a fragrance-free laundry detergent to avoid any skin irritation. If you’re using a disposable face mask or medical mask, replace it immediately when it gets moist.
  4. 4. Wear a proper mask
    • The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing a mask that offers:
      • A snug, but comfortable fit. If a mask is too loose or too tight it can irritate the skin.
      • At least two layers of fabric. For preventative purposes, two layers will protect you and those around you from spreading the virus.
      • Soft, natural, and breathable fabric, such as cotton, on the inside layer that rests against your skin. A cloth mask that’s made with synthetic fabric is more likely to irritate the skin and cause it to breakout.
  5. 5. Take a break
    • If you are wearing your face mask for more than 4 hours at a time, try to take a 15-minute break from wearing the mask. Allowing your skin to breathe for a few minutes will help save your skin from breakouts. Make sure to wash your hands after touching your n95 face mask or medical face mask as a disease control measure.
    • Only take a break when it is safe to do so. When you are outdoors, six feet away from people, or inside your home/car alone are the best places to take a mask break.
  6. 6. Avoid trying new/harsh skincare products
    • Skincare products that typically are used to prevent breakouts can be too harsh on the skin and might cause infection when applied underneath the mask. Know the do’s and don’ts of infection prevention. Products that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids are very drying. If applied liberally, your skin will react by creating more oil, leading to further breakouts.
    • Also, avoid trying new products when wearing a mask. The mask can cause your skin to be more sensitive and susceptible to irritation from new products that your skin is not yet used to. Consult a dermatologist first before applying new skin products to the face.


Covid 19 infection prevention should still be your primary concern. Maskne should not be a reason not to wear a face mask, but if you find that these suggestions are not working, you should reach out to your dermatologist for treatment and prevention. Doctors offer both in-person and telehealth visits and will work with you to come up with a solution for your acne.


At Apotheco Pharmacy we will act as your acne pharmacy and will work with you and your dermatologist to provide you with the best acne treatment at the best cost. Contact us today!


  • Suffering from breakouts under your mask? How to fight maskne - LLU
  • 9 Ways to Prevent Face Mask Skin Problems - AAD
  • Breakouts from Face Masks - NM

This blog is based on research and/or other scientific articles and is written by our experienced Chief Strategy Officer and Pharmacist, Ronak Desai. This blog is fact checked by our educated Pharmacist in Charge, Darshan Patel, who additionally runs our Apotheco Manhattan location.

Here at Apotheco Pharmacy Group, our goal is to provide the most up to date and accurate information on health and dermatology related topics. We do this to ensure our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All blogs undergo an extensive review process before posted.

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