IYAC sub-05

How to care for your mask (and what’s underneath)

to prevent maskne


How to care for your mask


Mask wearing has become part and parcel of our daily lives, and practicing good mask hygiene is not only vital to keeping our skin "maskne-free", but also helps to better protect us from the virus. Tips from the IYAC doctors: choose the type of mask that works best for your skin type and lifestyle, and keep whatever's underneath your mask clean and hydrated.


1. Choosing your mask 

There are 2 main types of fabrics for masks – synthetic and natural. Synthetic fabrics are made of polypropylene (found in surgical and N95 masks), are single use only, and are more irritating to the skin. Natural fabrics are made of cotton, are reusable and more skin-friendly.
  • Ensure that your mask fits your face well, to avoid any abrasion.

  • Line your mask with a piece of facial tissue. This acts as a protective barrier to prevent friction rubs against your skin, and keeps your mask dry and fresh for a longer time.

  • Cotton masks are the preferred option for acne-prone and sensitive skin, as the fabric is more absorbent. They absorb sweat and moisture leading to less breakouts, and has a softer texture that is less irritating on the skin.

  • Be sure to wash your cotton mask after each use - wash it with hot water and soap, or use a non-toxic laundry detergent (e.g. Bio-Home’s laundry detergent for delicates). Dry washed masks under the sun and store them in a clean place. Avoid detergents and fabric conditioners with fragrance and additives that could irritate the skin. Rotate between 2 - 3 cotton masks so that you always have a clean, fresh one on standby.



2. Keeping what's underneath the mask clean and hydrated


  • Wash your face twice a day, morning and night. It is not recommended to wash your face more than twice a day (unless you are very active and sweat a lot), as that strips away the skin’s natural protective oils.
    - For dry and sensitive skin, choose a mild cleanser (e.g. Pure & Gentle Cleansing Foam) that leaves your skin comfortable and soft.
    - For acne-prone skin, use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid (e.g. Deep Pore Cleansing Foam) to deep cleanse the pores and reduce excessive oil.
  • If your skin is dry, red or tight after washing, you are probably overwashing your face, or your cleanser may not be suitable for you. Click here to explore the difference cleansers that IYAC offers. 
  • Keep up with hydration to protect your skin barrier. Reapply your moisturizer throughout the day if needed.  Click here for more skincare tips from IYAC: “4 ways to tweak your skincare for preventing and treating maskne”
  • Avoid heavy makeup like foundation and concealer to prevent further occlusion. If you must wear makeup, choose mineral makeup that is non-comedogenic which is safer for acne and sensitive skin.


If you find that your skin does not improve despite good mask hygiene and changes to your skincare routine, it is best to schedule a consultation with your skin doctor. Call us at 6738 9989, we are here for you.