Remember Bacne, (acne on one's back)? Now we have Maskne!

Remember Bacne, (acne on one's back)? Now we have Maskne!

Maskne is a blend of the words mask and acne, referring to a skin condition most often seen in the form of pimples that results from wearing a face mask


Because maskne can involve various skin conditions, the exact cause of symptoms vary. It is usually the result of clogged pores. You have oil, bacteria and dead skin cells on your skin. Breathing for hours with the mask on creates humidity which is a breeding ground for bacteria, and for these substances to build and block pores – HELLO ACNE! Also, the friction and occlusion on the skin, can trigger rashes and allergic reactions.

Skin Conditions

If you already have one of these, you may be more prone to developing maskne or skin flareups.

  • Acne: happens when your glands and pores become clogged and infected leading to swollen, red lesions filled with pus.
  • Rosacea: facial redness with swollen red bumps and small visible blood vessels
  • Eczema/ Dermatitis: Itchy inflammation resulting in irritation, rashes or blisters of the skin caused by an allergic reaction
  • Folliculitis: Also known as infected ingrown hairs and looks similar to a pimple.

Treatment and Prevention

If you start developing maskne, #1 tip is to be gentle. Resist the urge to scrub your face or go crazy with face masks, toners etc. Your skin's protective barrier is very vulnerable right now.

Use a gentle cleanser to help remove excess oil, sweat and bacteria. Avoid cleansers that contain alcohol, perfume or harsh ingredients as these ingredients can cause irritation and make it harder for your symptoms to heal (how to choose a good cleanser).

To help repair and encourage a healthy skin barrier, apply a moisturiser after cleansing. Hydration is key to skin health. Choose a light, noncomedogenic moisturiser which is unlikely to clog pores, and that contains hyaluronic acid like our Vegan Moisturiser. HA isn't only one of the best hydrators, it has antioxidant properties that will protect your skin.

Both NEEK Vegan Cleanser and Vegan Moisturiser contain some of nature's greatest healing ingredients including Chamomile, Calendula and Horsetail.

Skin routine

A regular skin routine is a must in preventing maskne and keeping skin healthy.

Using a gentle cleanser wash your face

  • Once in the morning
  • Once at night, before going to bed
  • After sweating or wearing a mask

When washing your face, use lukewarm water. Pat with clean towel leaving skin damp. Avoid rubbing your skin as this may cause irritation. (more tips on washing your face). Follow with an application of moisturiser on damp skin.

Mask Life Tips

  • Apply moisturiser before wearing a mask. A light moisturiser can help hydrate your skin and can serve as a barrier between your skin and the mask.
  • Take a break from makeup while you're treating maskne. Foundation, concealers and cream products can clog your pores and prolong healing.
  • Wash it daily. The planet appreciates you wearing a cloth mask.
  • Replace it daily allow it to air out in between uses, if you are wearing a disposable mask for long periods
  • Take a breather. Take the mask off and give your face a break when you can ie at home or while driving your car alone/with family.
  • Keep a stash of fresh face masks on hand in case you need one.
  • Switch up your mask. If you're using a disposable mask, and have a rash or dermatitis, – switch it for a cotton cloth mask.

Some masks are pre-treated with chemicals or feel rough on the skin. Similarly, wearing a fabric mask that's been washed in a scented detergent may cause irritation.

Choosing The Right Mask

Try to wear a face mask that:

  • Is recyclable.
  • Is made of natural soft material. Avoid synthetic fabrics, such as nylon or rayon as they can irritate the skin.
  • Has two or more layers of fabric.
  • Fits snugly, but not too tight.

If your maskne is more severe, and you haven't seen improvements in a few days or have any concerns please contact your doctor for further treatment advice.

For further advice on wearing face masks in your state or country, visit your local government's website.

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