Combatting 'maskne'

(Image courtesy of Unsplash)

Whilst we are sure breakouts are the least of our worries right now, they are something which can make us feel self-conscious and knock confidence. Now we are in this new age where wearing masks in public spaces is compulsory, a handy guide to dealing with ‘maskne’ could be a useful read right? Here is an article to help you feel confident in your skin, whilst staying safe!

Why am I experiencing maskne?

There has not been a great deal of research into the causes of why masks can irritate our skin, dermatologist Joshua Zeichner states that ‘maskne’ can be caused by a build-up of sweat, bacteria and facial oil that is trapped under the mask. The types of skin problems that people seem to experience include redness, whiteheads and irritation in the areas of the face covered by the mask.

Tips and tricks for combatting these breakouts:

Wear thinner makeup:

If you naturally experience redness, breakouts or discolouration, it can be tempting to smother your skin in layers of high coverage foundation and concealer. But, when wearing a mask, you will want to allow your skin to breath as much as possible in order to combat the breakouts. We recommend keeping your base makeup thin or if you feel brave enough, going foundation free. Find comfort in knowing that other people can not see those areas of your skin under your mask anyway and this offers you the perfect opportunity to spice up your eye looks!

The type of mask you wear:

Wearing a mask that fits looser in the front will allow your skin to breath. And why not try a natural cotton mask as this fabric tends to be more breathable which is kinder to your skin compared to synthetic fibre masks.

Wash your mask:

Wash your mask after every wear to ensure that oil and makeup buildup from the day before is not sitting on your skin. You could also ensure that you are using washing detergents that are suitable for sensitive skin.


Ensure you are moisturising your face in the morning. This will create a barrier between your skin and the mask.


Make sure you wash your hands before putting on/removing your mask to prevent bacteria from your hands being transferred to your face.

Male skincare:

Now of course, these issues are not limited to being experienced solely by women. Men can develop ‘maskne’ too. Especially if they have facial hair as it can retain the sweat and oil that is trapped by the mask. Washing your face day and night, moisturising and using an oil free aftershave balm can really help in keeping whiteheads and clogged pores at bay.

You can also address the breakouts with a few of our favourite products. The ‘Glow Tonic’ by Pixi is great for oily skin as it ensures any makeup residue or oil build-up is gone and your skin is left feeling squeaky clean. Though this is more of an investment product for a student budget, a little goes a long way and you can always buy a travel sized bottle from Cult Beauty (here: if you want to try before making the plunge and buying the full size. For those of you looking to be a bit more frugal, products by The Ordinary are a great alternative. You can find a ‘regimen guide’ on their website (here: which helps you to curate a collection of products that will address your particular skincare concerns.

If you have any tips of your own or find that the tips in this article worked well for you then get in touch @inquirekent on Instagram.

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