Yes, maskne is a real thing. If you’ve been wearing your mask regularly, you might have noticed random breakouts in the area where your mask sits—and if so, you’re not alone.
What is maskne?
Maskne is a 2020 term coined to describe the type of acne that can occur after wearing a face mask for long periods of time. It tends to show up on areas of your face that your mask covers—especially your chin and jawline.
The good news is there are a few things you can do to prevent maskne breakouts and knock them out if they pop up. Aside from wearing cotton masks and making sure you’re not washing them in harsh soaps or detergents (as advised by Johns Hopkins Medicine), having a maskne-busting regimen in your skincare arsenal is key.
But this can get tricky when you have sensitive or reactive skin (which I do), because you have to be very careful what you use; one wrong move can lead to a breakout quickly. After spot-testing and then fully treating my maskne with a variety of products, a few rose to the top. Here are five maskne-fighting products (and a few extras) that are great for all skin types, but particularly for those with sensitive or reactive skin.
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
This mask has earned a cult following for its acne-busting and skin-boosting powers, and it’s no façade—it’s truly a budget-friendly miracle in a jar. After just one use, it made me a believer. Mix the clay mask with apple cider vinegar, and leave it on until it dries (10 to 20 minutes) for the best results. Start with once a week, and increase to twice a week or every other day depending on the severity of your maskne and what your skin can handle. This mask dried out my pesky maskne and became a part of my regular skincare regimen. Bonus: if you can splurge and need a quick fix, also try 111Skin’s Anti Blemish Bio Cellulose Facial Mask. It calms inflammation, refreshes the skin, and banishes breakouts.
Skinceuticals Custom D.O.S.E. Serum
This serum is a game-changer, mainly because each bottle is customized for your skin’s specific issues. After your consultation with an aesthetician, your serum is created with a personalized formulation of exfoliating, brightening, enhancing, and clarifying ingredients. I noticed a difference in one day.
Heraux Molecular Anti-Inflammaging Serum
This anti-inflammaging serum made my skin glow, helped clear it, and reduced my inflammation. The science-forward product also softens fine lines and wrinkles, improves tone, increases elasticity and radiance, and is packed with good-for-you ingredients like hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, peptides, and Vitamin E.
Look Good Live Well The Exfoliating Mask
Certain exfoliators can be too rough for reactive or sensitive skin, and that’s why this exfoliating treatment is worth your time. It gently heals, hydrates, and eliminates hyperpigmentation—all key when you want to treat maskne (and the dark spots that it can leave behind). It soothes inflammation and hydrates with its infusion of reishi mushrooms, dissolves dead skin with its pumpkin and papaya extracts, and improves tone with rosehip oil. When Look Good Live Well launched with this product, it quickly sold out. And for good reason.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
Use these small, budget-friendly, circular patches on pesky bumps. Leave them on overnight and they will help flatten your unwanted visitors or bring them to a head by morning. If you want to wear patches during the day under your mask, try Rael’s Miracle Patches, which cover larger areas of the face.
Maskne is now part of the skincare lexicon, but that doesn’t mean it has to stick around.