How to Treat Breakouts from Facemasks

October 2020

*Sponsored Partnership with Meaghers

Written by Oonagh O’Hagan of Meaghers

By wearing a face covering we are doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, but have you been experiencing more problems with your skin because of wearing a mask? If so, you are not alone!

‘Maskne as it is now known is actually
a form of acne called acne mechanica’

Wearing masks can cause real issues with our skin. Especially those of us who have pre-existing skin conditions, or, if you are wearing PPE continuously in the course of your work… Thank you to those on the front line!

Why is your mask causing you trouble?

Maskne, as it is now known, is actually a form of acne called acne mechanica. This form of acne is commonly seen in people who play sport, from the wearing of sports gear such as helmets, straps and tight-fitting gear.

Acne mechanica comes about from pressure and direct friction, in this case from your mask, that leads to irritation and inflammation of the skin. The mask is also creating a steam effect on the skin… a warm, moist environment, where moisture is trapped between the mask and your skin, clogging the pores and encouraging the build-up of bacteria from your breath on your skin’s surface. 

The friction element of the acne mechanica can cause damage to the skin’s protective layer, leaving it vulnerable to the bacteria that is more prevalent because of the heat and moisture created by the mask.

The inflammation of the skin can also, in some cases, stimulate the pigment cells in the skin and leave behind marks on the skin even after the redness subsides.



Tone and treat:

If you can, wash your face when you take your mask off, using a cleanser with a beta hydroxy acid will clear the pore walls and prevent the build-up of bacteria on the skin. Effaclar Micro Peeling Purifying Gel intensely removes impurities, excess sebum and unclogs the pores so is an effective way of targeting persistent imperfections.


After cleansing the skin, follow with Effaclar Clarifying Lotion to help eliminate any remaining excess oil and refine the look of the pores.


Finally, apply a thin layer of Effaclar Duo+ – an anti-blemish treatment moisturiser that corrects and hydrates the skin, leaving it clearer in just four weeks.


Antimicrobial mask

The build-up of bacteria on the skin can cause congestion under the skin resulting in uneven bumps and red pimples. Using a mask to help draw out impurities is an excellent way to prevent these bumps.

Effaclar Unclogging Purifying Mask helps to unblock the pores and remove excess oil build up throughout the day. It is a creamy clay texture with ‘anti-drying effects.’ Leave on for 5 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Ideal for a deep cleanse after a long day wearing a protective mask.


Moisturise before Masking

The friction caused by the mask can leave the skin feeling sore, dry and irritated, especially if you have sensitive and eczema-prone skin that reacts easily. But, by adding skincare that reduces sensitivity to your routine, you can help to restore comfort and hydration.


Treat as you Sleep

When tackling isolated blemishes use the night time to your advantage, our skin repairs itself as we sleep so it is the perfect time to use a treatment product for blemishes. The Vichy Normaderm SOS Sulphur Paste will help reduce the appearance of blemishes overnight with a formula containing 10% sulphur, niacinamide and glycolic acid, apply directly to the spot after cleansing and reduce the appearance of pores and dry out the spot.


Keep Makeup Simple


If you are concerned with excess shine on the skin try the hydrating and oil blotting micro mist Serozinc is specifically designed or those with oily, acne-prone skin. Spritz throughout the day to refresh the skin and provide a soothing action all whilst helping with enlarged pores and oil control.


Treat your Mask like Underwear!

Remember that your mask is also an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. It’s really important that you wash your mask often to prevent the spread of bacteria. Treat your mask like underwear and wash it every night or use a disposable option.



Oonagh O’Hagan

Meaghers Pharmacy

Paid Partnership with Meaghers. 


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-Lisa McGowan

How to Treat Breakouts from Facemasks

by Lisa McGowan time to read: 22 min