Maskne Symptoms & How to Avoid the Latest Skin Concern

14th Jul 2020

Maskne Symptoms & How to Avoid the Latest Skin Concern

Mask acne, or ‘maskne,’ is by now a well-known side effect of wearing a face mask. It can present itself as pimples, redness, or irritation around your mouth, cheeks, and jawline. Here is more information about this latest skin concern and how to prevent it and handle it.

What is causing maskne?

“Maskne” is acne and other skin irritation caused by wearing a face mask.

It appears on the skin due to the friction and rubbing of the mask against the skin. You might have experienced such abrasion during the summer-time while wearing sunglasses.

When skin is irritated by a face mask, it becomes compromised. Micro-tears are created and bacteria and dirt can get inside the skin. The breakouts will appear in the line of a face mask, on nose, chin, and cheeks. They can be in the form of whiteheads, blackheads, or even cystic acne. However, maskne can trigger other skin conditions such as rosacea or dermatitis, especially on dry skin.

Maskne will be worse during the summer months. Increased oil production in our pores creates the ideal environment for it.

Maskne essentials blog
Maskne essentials

How can you prevent and treat maskne?

Your skin routine may require adjustments. It will have to focus on soothing, balancing and healing. They will also combat breakouts.

Step 1 Wash your face before and after wearing a face mask.

Make sure to wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Check COSRX Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser.

Especially after wearing a face mask, your skin will appreciate a gentle double cleansing routine. Check Lagom Double Cleansing Set for hydration or if you love natural ingredients and vegan-friendly formulas Urang Double Set.


Step 2 Tackle breakouts

If you have acne-prone skin, you want to tackle breakouts with a spot treatment. It is worth adding sulfur (eg. By Wishtrend Sulfur 3% Clean Gel).or irreplaceable Centella Asiatica (e.g. Benton Goodbye Redness Centella Spot Cream)

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch strip
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch strip

Pimple patches can become your best friend as well. Acne patches, like COSRX, are a dual-functioning solution. They will help you create a physical barrier and will ensure the bacteria do not spread.

Clogged pores

Step 3 Address issue of clogged pores

Spot treatments will target individual breakouts. Exfoliators will dissolve dead cells on the skin’s surface.

Once or twice a week use a gentle exfoliator. This is under the assumption your skin is not compromised and does not have any open wounds. For sensitive skin, we recommend By Wishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water. Check also COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner or Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner. They will help to unclog pores, without irritating sensitive skin. For a longer session, you can use Urang Clarifying Mask. Simply apply the mask and wash it off after a few minutes. Do not rub or massage the face while washing the face.

Soothing and moisture is important as well

Real Barrier Intense Moisture Cream
Real Barrier Intense Moisture Cream

Step 4 Apply a skin-soothing serum and a moisturizer

After cleansing, you need to calm your skin. and moisturize it. Look after Centella Asiatica, Beta Glucan, Aloe Vera, or panthenol.

Lagom Cellus Mild Moisture Cream, which is formulated with Aqualicia formula to help hydrate, soothe, and restore the skin protective barrier. It will be perfect for normal to combination skin types.

Dry skin will enjoy Real Barrier Intense Moisture Cream. Deep hydration and extra MLE to repair the skin barrier will make all the difference.

Sensitive skin will enjoy JKosmmune Luminous Defense Cream

Combination to oily skin types COSRX Hydrium Green Tea Aqua Soothing Gel Cream or Real Barrier Aqua Soothing Gel Cream

We recommend moisturizers with ingredients like ceramides and beta-glucan, panthenol or aloe vera to help strengthen your natural skin barrier.

Urang Sos Multibalm multiple texture
Urang Sos Multibalm multiple texture

Step 5 Add a soothing balm

If you’re already dealing with maskne and your skin is peeling, layer on a hydrating and repairing URANG SOS Multi Balm. Apply in the area where the mask touches your skin. You will be able to soothe the skin. What we love about this balm is that it will be a great lip balm, eye cream in the mask goes too high on your face. It will protect the skin and if necessary it can be used as a hand cream.

Step 6 Don’t forget the SPF

You still need to apply sunscreen. Look for non-clogging pores options as they work to decrease excess oil that can clog pores and lead to acne. We like mineral options as they are suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin types. Check Purito Comfy Water Sun Block SPF50. If your skin is dark, you may consider COSRX Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun SPF50+

COSRX Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun SPF50+ PA+++ texture

Set to die for

If your skin is acne-prone and reactive or simply you are experiencing working from home burnout and have skin imperfections, check our limited edition COSRX & SKINSIDER Clear Pore Set. It is perfect for sensitive skin and provides minimalistic and effective skin ritual. The set consists of the best know and best-tested COSRX products.

COSRX x Skisnider Clear Pore Set x Skisnider Clear Pore Set

What else to consider…

Dry skin

If you have sensitive, dry skin, wearing a face mask may accelerate dryness and redness. The skin can become itchy or you may develop a rash. Wash your face and apply a soothing serum, sheet mask and moisturizer. The great soothing products will contain aloe vera or beta-glucan, centella asiatica.


People who have chronic skin conditions, such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, may experience flare-ups. Check Real Barrier line which was specifically designed to tackle the deal with these skin conditions.

Extra tip: Wash your face mask every time you wear it.

Masks can trap in humidity, dirt, oil, and sweat. Get a few masks which are made of soft fabric so you can easily switch them out and wash them in between uses.

For more inspirations check our section Maskne essentials