Tips for managing maskne

It's been a hot topic for acne sufferers over the past 12 months. Literally! So what is maskne and what methods can be used to manage it. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter...


It’s thought that the heat, moisture, close covering of the skin (also known as occlusion by Dermatologists) and friction or rubbing increase inflammation of the skin and can lead to breakouts or maskne. It can be difficult to distinguish maskne from ordinary acne in some people because acne often affects the lower part of the face and jawline anyway, particularly in adult females.

I would recommend a really simple skincare regimen that reduces irritation and helps to boost skin barrier function. I would use a gentle cream or gel cleanser twice per day and wipe off with a soft wet flannel or microfibre pads. I like Garnier Pure Active Sensitive Anti-Blemish Soap-Free Gel Wash or Cetaphil cleanser. Avoid using scrubs on inflamed skin. Don’t pick or squeeze spots as this can introduce infection and cause scars.

Moisturise the skin with a lightweight non pore blocking cream or lotion in the morning and evening. A nice example is the Garnier Pure Active Sensitive Anti-Blemish Soap-Free Soothing Moisturiser or Cerave moisturising cream. The words non comedogenic on the package let you know that the product is less likely to break you out. Make sure you look for this on sunscreen products too.

In the evenings, a targeted treatment with salicylic acid, zinc or niacinamide can be applied to red, inflamed spots after cleansing and before moisturising. It can also be used in the morning after cleansing if needed.

Cotton or silk masks may be more gentle on the skin (but check the PPE requirements in your workplace/ school before using these). Do not wear the same mask a few days on the trot. They should be changed daily at a minimum. I suggest one to wear, one to wash and one as a spare.

If things aren’t improving or if you are getting scars or marks, speak to your GP or Dermatologist about prescription therapy which may be necessary. We're here if you need us. Call us on 02037333225 if you need some advice.

© 2021 Dr Justine Kluk. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents of this post in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with our express written permission, copy, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.

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