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Maskne SOS: 3 things you can do NOW if you're experiencing maskne


Maskne SOS 



Ever since mask wearing has become the norm, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of concerns regarding acne, rashes, irritation bumps and pimples taking a long time to heal. While we are all busy keeping the coronavirus at bay, many of us have become the unfortunate victims of maskne.


Maskne, medically known as acne mechanica (acne related to friction, pressure or occlusion of the skin), is defined as the increased acne breakouts caused by wearing a face mask. Knowing the science behind maskne is the first step of taking control.


  • The commonly used surgical and N95 masks contain a synthetic material known as polypropylene that acts as a skin irritant and creates the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish.
  • The humid climate in Singapore, coupled with the constriction caused by mask wearing, leads to a build-up of oil, sweat, dirt, makeup and exhaled air trapped under the mask. This warm, moist microclimate is very conducive for bacteria and yeast to thrive, making the skin more prone to acne and eczema breakouts.
  • The frequent rubbing of the mask and pressure against the skin causes the skin barrier to break down easily, leading to friction and irritation. This damage in skin barrier then results in inflammation (redness, sensitivities, irritations, abrasions and acne).
  • Pre-existing inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, dermatitis, and folliculitis can also be aggravated by the above conditions.
  • Dry and sensitive skin types are more likely to develop redness, irritation and abrasions from mask wearing. Long hours of mask wearing which dries out the skin, would exacerbate all these conditions.


If you are starting to experience symptoms of maskne, here are 3 things that you can immediately start practicing to prevent the maskne from getting worse before seeking professional help.

  • Identify and remove any existing source of irritation in your skincare (e.g. exfoliants, retinoic acid).
  • If possible, switch to cotton masks (instead of surgical or N95 masks) and wash them with a non-toxic detergent (e.g. Bio-Home’s laundry detergent for delicates).
  • Line your mask with a piece of facial tissue. This acts as a protective barrier to prevent friction rubs against your skin, and it keeps your mask dry and fresh for a longer time.
Call us at 6738 9989 to schedule a consultation to explore your treatment options. IYAC is here for you through your coronavirus and maskne woes.