Maskne is when you’re face breaks out in pimples from your protective mask. The new phrase — which combines the words “mask” and “acne” — has recently sprung up all over social media as people suffering from the new kind of blemish are venting their woes about the skin care snafu.
Maskne — which is referred to as acne mechanica by derms — is caused by the combination of rubbing from the mask, which irritates the skin barrier, as well as the hot moisture trapped inside, which dilates the pores and allows bacteria and oil to clog them up. Once the follicles are trapped with gunk, they become inflamed, leading to nasty breakouts.
To prevent it, if you're wearing a cloth mask, wash it daily if possible. A disposable one, replace it as often as possible or at least air it out. If you're wearing a tight fitting N95 mask, apply a silicone gel strip to sit under the pressure points.
If it still develops, dermatologists say to watch out for face scrubs or anything that could irritate your face even more. Instead, using a gentle face cleanser is recommended.