Maskne Madness and How to Calm It

Is wearing a mask every day – ALL day – causing you to break out?

For many in the medical field wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), is part of the job. With the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a face mask became commonplace for the rest of us. As a result, many of us are now suffering from the acne condition known as “maskne.”

While maskne might sound like another slang term straight off Urban Dictionary, the condition is actually a form of acne mechanica, the same ailment that is common among athletes. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, patients get this type of acne when protective equipment or clothing traps heat and sweat on your skin. The friction created in this environment can further irritate your skin, causing acne breakouts where the friction occurs. In the case of maskne, the lower face. 

What you can do:


  1. Cleanse – remove all the dirt and oil that has accumulated on your skin throughout the day. No matter how tired you might be, don’t skip the nightly face washing. A couple of gentle, yet effective cleansers we like are Elta MD® Foaming Facial Cleanser and SkinCeuticals® Gentle Cleanser.
  2. Moisturize – wearing a mask can cause your skin to dry out, and moisturized skin is better prepared to maintain a strong barrier against contaminants. You might try Revision® Skincare DEJ Face Cream®, SkinCeuticals® Emollience, or for a super-light moisturizer, EltaMD® AM Therapy.
  3. Apply Retinol – apply a low strength retinol, like PCA Skin® Intensive Clarity Treatment® or a retinoid like Skinbetter Science® AlphaRet® Overnight Cream if your skin is not too sensitive. 

NOTE: If you have oily skin and you are really breaking out a lot, we would recommend that you also use a deeper cleansing wash to help cut down on bacteria, but only 2-3 times a week, because daily use could cause some irritation. We recommend SkinCeuticals® LHA Cleanser.


Use an antioxidant to help protect your skin beneath your moisturizer and SPF. Some we like are SkinCeuticals® CE Ferulic or Phloretin CF.

When you need more:

Vitalogy Skincare’s specialized Maskne Treatment consists of a Sciton® BroadBand Light™ (BBL™) treatment on the lower face plus a medical-grade chemical peel. The benefits of this powerful treatment include:

  • Removes acne-causing bacteria
  • Reduces redness from inflammation
  • Stimulates collagen production to promote skin cell regeneration
  • Clarifies skin and controls excess oil production
  • Removes dead skin cells

Schedule a Maskne Treatment online or call 512.967.6083.