Seeing more breakouts than usual lately? You’re not alone. The friction caused by face masks, as well as the sweat, heat, humidity, and makeup that gets trapped underneath, are all causes of the newly coined term for mask acne, “maskne.”

What is Maskne?

As the name suggests, maskne typically occurs on areas of the face that would be covered by a mask. Most people who deal with this form of acne tend to see breakouts near the mouth, chin, and nose. All of the dirt, sweat, and makeup that gets trapped under a mask is a recipe for clogged pores. Don’t worry, though; you can continue to do your part by diligently wearing your mask in public without having to struggle with maskne. Let’s get into some ways to combat it!

How to Prevent Maskne

Use a Cotton Mask

We love cotton masks for the same reason we love cotton linens – the breathability! Cotton gives the skin the ability to breathe, allowing for less heat and humidity to become trapped underneath the mask. Plus, cotton masks just feel better on the skin, and you can find them in pretty much any color or pattern you can think of! Just make sure they fit snugly and have two or more layers of fabric, as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Wash Your Hands Before and After Mask Removal

Certainly we’ve all heard the importance of washing your hands during this time. In fact, the Center for Disease Control recommends that you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after touching your mask. Think about it; you’ve been wearing it all day, so it’s got to be laden with bacteria. Touching your mask with clean hands and washing your hands immediately after lowers the chances of that bacteria making it back onto your skin. Hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60% does the trick, as well!

Wash the Cotton Mask After Each Use

Our favorite thing about cotton masks besides their breathability? Their sustainability! Like other cotton clothing you have, they are washable, and should be washed after every use to ensure you’re putting on a clean mask every time you step outside. Cleaveland Clinic suggests washing your mask with fragrance-free detergent and rinsing them twice before putting them in the dryer.

Throw Out Disposable Masks After Each Use

Maybe disposable masks are more your speed. Since they are not washable, it’s important to throw away a disposable mask after one use. Wearing it a second time would mean that you’re reintroducing all of the dirt and bacteria from the previous wear back onto your face. Toss the disposable mask in the trash, and keep several fresh ones around to replace it.

Keep a Simple Skin Care Routine

Masks can make your skin more sensitive, even when worn for a short period of time. When your skin already has the potential for irritation, now’s not the time to be trying a ton of new products. The American Academy of Dermatology also suggests that a simple, gentle skin care routine is exactly what you need.

Wearing a mask also intensifies product absorption into your skin. By not allowing the skin to breathe, the mask traps skin care and cosmetic products against your skinThis process, coupled with strong ingredients, can irritate your skin further. Less is ultimately more in this case.

Here’s the gentle skin care routine we stick to when our skin needs some TLC:

3 in 1 Cleanser

A good cleanser is always the first step! Our triple-action cleansers work to cleanse, tone, and hydrate the skin, all while helping to maintain moisture. They work to effectively remove dirt and oil, which is just what you need to help soothe your maskne. 3 in 1 Cleanser is available in four formulas to help you create the perfect routine for your skin type: Normal to Dry, Dry, Normal to Oily, and Oily to Acne.

DayTime Moisturizer

Yes, according to Healthline, you should still moisturize despite your maskne. When the skin becomes dehydrated, it can begin overproducing oil to compensate, which can then clog the pores, thus leading to even more breakouts. Enter our DayTime Moisturizer! This skin care staple boasts a lightweight formula that works to deliver anti-aging benefits that help to balance moisture and naturally hydrate the skin. This product is also available in four formulas to meet the needs of your skin type, so there’s something for everyone!

Evening Moisturizer

There’s a reason why they call it “beauty sleep!” Your skin goes through a restorative process as you’re catching z’s, so it’s important to nourish your skin in the evening. Our Evening Moisturizer is highly concentrated with our proprietary complex, SenePlex+®, for extra protection and rejuvenation while you sleep. The luxurious blend of ingredients hydrate and protect, while promoting vibrant, healthy-looking skin. Much like the 3 in 1 Cleanser and the DayTime Moisturizer, you can choose from four formulas to give your skin exactly what it needs.

We cleanse twice daily, and follow up with our desired moisturizer afterwards. Moisturizing is especially important right before you put your mask on, because the friction caused by masks can easily irritate dry skin.

Put the Pause on Physical Exfoliation

Just as now’s not the time to try a lot of new products, now’s also not the time to use your usual physical exfoliants, especially scrubs. The excessive scrubbing action can cause inflammation and can even push papules and pustules into the deeper layers of your skin. Shelve your physical exfoliants until your maskne clears up; your skin will thank you.

If you prefer to continue to exfoliate, you’ll want to select a chemical exfoliant for the time being. With no irritating scrubbing action involved, chemical exfoliants are formulated with enzymes or acids, such as AHAs or BHAs, that dissolve the substances that hold dead skin cells together. You’ll still be on your way to smoother-looking skin, without the potential for irritation.

Other Sneaky Acne Causes to Know

While your mask is definitely the main culprit behind your maskne, you may want to keep in mind some other causes of acne. Lesser-known factors can make your maskne worse and can reverse all the good you’ve done trying to combat it. Here are some sneaky acne triggers to watch as you let your skin clear up. 


Think of all the time you spend in bed. Now, think about how often you change your sheets! Make sure to wash your bedsheets and pillowcases regularly – ideally, once a week. When you sleep on dirty sheets, it exposes your skin to the dust, dirt, and microorganisms that have been accumulating since you put the sheets on your bed. You’ll enjoy both a cleaner bedroom and happier skin!

Makeup Brushes

This one’s for all the beauty lovers. When you apply makeup to your face without washing your brushes beforehand, you’re reintroducing all the oil, bacteria, and dirt that were on the brushes during the previous uses. Clean your makeup brushes, beauty sponges, and artistry tools with Brush Cleaner every time after you use them to help prevent acne. Ours is formulated to be gentle on both synthetic and natural hair bristles. And let’s be real – makeup just looks better when applied with clean brushes!


Between all the FaceTime calls, virtual game nights, and social media scrolling we do, our smartphones go through a lot. As much as we love them, they can also trap dirt, oil, and bacteria on their surface, which then gets pressed against your face when you take a call. All of those contaminants can also find their way onto your skin if you touch your face after a long double-tapping session. Invest in some screen wipes and use them regularly to help keep your hands and face clean.


Believe it or not, your computer could be causing breakouts. When you touch your keyboard and mouse and then touch your face, you’re spreading dirt and bacteria. Plus, with all of the time you’re spending working from home, there are a lot of chances for all of that dirt and bacteria to get onto your skin. Wipe down the surface of your keyboard and mouse with disinfectant wipes regularly to combat buildup. 

Yoga Mats

We all know the benefits of exercising, and there’s no other activity quite like yoga. Yoga can be great for building strength and enhancing your flexibility. However, a dirty yoga mat can sabotage your efforts to keep your face acne-free, by harboring sweat, oil, and bacteria, as referenced by Glamour Magazine. Use those trusty disinfectant wipes to clean your mat after each use; this will remove any dirt, sweat, and bacteria that accumulate during your session. Leave the mat to dry after you wipe it down to start your next exercise session fresh.

Maskne Solutions to Know

So, we’ve covered what maskne is, how to avoid maskne, and unexpected things that could make your maskne worse. Now, let’s talk about some maskne solutions. You’ll want to incorporate the right products into your routine to clear it up! Embrace these two faves in addition to a gentle skin care routine, and you’re well on your way to preventing future breakouts and having clearer-looking skin.

Spot-On Blemish & Acne Treatment

No acne skin care routine is complete without a spot treatment. Our Spot-On Blemish & Acne Treatment targets pimples right at their source. It contains benzoyl peroxide to fight acne-causing bacteria, as well as aloe vera and ginger root extract to soothe inflammation. With each use, it works directly on unsightly blemishes to clear them up quick! Apply it both morning and night before you moisturize and let it banish breakouts throughout the day.

MakeSense® Silk Primer & Pore Minimizer

We love products that do double duty! Not only does MakeSense Silk Primer & Pore Minimizer help you achieve the flawless cosmetic finish you deserve, but it also minimizes the appearance of breakouts and shine. It’s non-comedogenic and contains Miniporyl™, an advanced pore-minimizing complex, as well as ChroNOline™, a peptide-rich complex that helps firm the skin. It even absorbs excess oil from the surface of the skin. We love that it can be worn both alone and under makeup, so you can enjoy the benefits both on full-glam days and no-makeup days.

Struggling with maskne? Fear not! Take these steps to clear your breakouts, prevent future acne, and keep yourself safe all at the same time. Get your hands on our maskne solutions through the Kiss & Tell Preferred Customer Program!

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