Got “Maskne”?

Is your face mask causing acne? Here’s how you can put an end to breakouts.

Model sitting in front of mirror applying skincare to faceIs your face mask causing breakouts?

We love face masks because we know that they help keep our plastic surgery staff, patients, and our Waterloo and London, Ontario-area communities safe and healthy as we adjust to life in a pandemic. But we also know that wearing a mask can take some getting used to—especially for patients with skin concerns!

Can face masks cause acne? Is maskne real? 

If you’re concerned about cystic acne, acne scarring, blackheads, or uneven skin texture, you may have noticed that wearing a mask on the lower half of your face can exacerbate symptoms. The friction or contact of fabric on the skin can cause clogged pores and make acne symptoms worse. We’ve compiled our knowledge to share some great tips to help you enjoy clear, healthy skin–and to fend off dreaded maskne, once and for all!

How do you stop maskne? First, wash your mask.

This one may seem obvious, but you may be surprised at how quickly your mask can accumulate dead skin or bacteria that cause acne breakouts. Wash your cloth mask after every use to avoid acne symptoms. This may seem excessive at first, but it’s important for your skin’s health and helps ward off any contaminants as well. The Government of Canada has great recommendations for washing and sterilizing masks. Don’t forget that most cloth masks can go right in the washing machine!

Skip makeup under your mask whenever possible.

If you typically wear a heavy foundation, it may be worth considering a new makeup routine when wearing a mask. When your pores are blocked by makeup and a mask, you’ll likely be more prone to breakouts. Why not take this chance to let your skin breathe?

Book a skincare consultation.

This is the ultimate maskne response. Book a skincare consultation with a specialist on our Beauty Nurse® team and get set up with a routine that considers your specific concerns, needs, and goals for your skin.

Acne is nuanced; you may think greasy skin is causing your acne, when overwashing or using the wrong product are the real culprits. We offer a range of treatments, solutions, and products to help you achieve the skin you’ve been dreaming of. Browse through our acne patients’ before-and-after photos to see the type of results we can achieve.

If you’ve struggled with acne for a long period and have the acne scars to show for it, we also offer various treatments to diminish those frustrating scars. You can read more about our acne scar treatments, including microneedling, in a related blog post.

Avoid touching your face, and wash your hands regularly.

While many of us are working at home or spending more time indoors, it’s easy to subconsciously touch your face while you’re on a Zoom call or as you read an article or talk to a friend. Make it a conscious effort to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

Buying a mask? Choose a pack of three.

If you’re purchasing a mask, opt for masks sold in packs of three or more. This is a good way to save money on masks, but it also gives you a chance to wash your masks more often. Keeping a steady rotation of masks allows you to make sure you’re not putting on a mask that’s already sweaty or contaminated. This will help minimize breakouts and keep your skin clean.

Reconsider your skincare regimen.

Autumn is already a great time to rethink your skincare routine. Dry air from indoor heating can steal moisture from your skin or throw off a healthy oil balance as the weather gets colder. Make sure you’re using a cleanser that doesn’t aggravate your skin and incorporate a toner, serum and exfoliant into your routine. Consider introducing a gentle cleanser or wipe that you can use right after taking off your mask to get rid of any oil or sweat that could build up underneath. 

Looking for a great place to start?

During October 2020, we’re offering 20% off the ZO® Skin Health Acne Treatment System.

This innovative regimen is maskne’s worst nightmare! It minimizes excess surface oil, unclogs and purifies pores, and reduces the appearance of acne scarring or irritated skin. Try introducing this regimen to correct active acne, rejuvenate skin tone and texture, prevent future breakouts, and promote optimal skin health. 

Contact us today to discuss acne treatments at our London-area practice in Waterloo. We offer laser treatments, medical-grade peels, and more for a specialized acne response. You can use our online contact form to request a consultation or call us at (519) 746-1132 to schedule an appointment.

Let’s wave goodbye to maskne for good.


Meet Our Surgeons

The talented, experienced plastic surgeons at our Kitchener-Waterloo clinic have the advanced training to create exceptional, natural-looking results that meet the individual needs of our patients. The collaborative nature of our practice benefits patients in many ways.

Dr. Robert Shenker Dr. Stephanie Ma
The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic