Wow…think about the fact that you and I have been through a full year of mask-wearing at this point. No doubt many of you have skin that was definitely throwing some tantrums about it, as you most likely experienced some form of breakouts, dry patches, skin irritation, and even bruising with medical-grade masks.  This condition known dubbed as mask-ne!

Although wearing a mask has been a precaution to protect others from disease, your skin has been subject to issues many of you have never had to face (HELLO breathing your own bacteria and mouth germs back into your face like a boomerang over and over again!!!). 

This might be a little late in the game, but in the final stretch of wearing these suckers, I’d like to share some tips I’ve discovered and products I’ve used to combat the mask-ne and help ensure that when they’re finally off, you’re in the clear!

As a licensed esthetician I have first-hand knowledge and experience with products that work and why. First and foremost it is essential that you have a daily skincare regime in place.  If you have any questions please read my article on Basic at Home Skin Care.

Mask-ne Combating Tips


1. Carefully consider what type of fabric you are putting on your face.

Silk or satin materials are the best types of materials to have on your face for prolonged periods because they are less harsh on your skin, don’t cause as much perspiration as thicker materials like cotton, and pick up less dust and dirt particles than cotton. 

The thicker materials tend to pull out moisture, leaving your skin with dry patches. Using a silk or satin mask helps to keep your skin glowing, and free of irritation because the fabric doesn’t pull out moisture from your skin.

When cotton masks are worn for hours, the fabric soaks up any perspiration and rubs against the skin causing your pores to be clogged and leading to those unruly breakouts. With silk or satin, your skin has more circulation which leads to less perspiration and less chance for breakouts to occur. 

Lastly, even though we are supposed to be keeping our masks as decontaminated as possible, I am guilty of leaving mine lying around or stuffed in my purse. I know I’m not the only one who is guilty of this. But cotton masks attract more dust, dirt, and animal hairs(if you have pets) than silk or satin masks do. Actually, silk or satin masks hardly hold onto any of those particles, making them a lot more sanitary for the mask-wearer who pulls their mask out of a cluttered purse. 


2. Try to stick with black or white face mask colors.

With clothing like shirts and pants, colored fabrics are usually harmless, but with a piece of fabric that is to be worn on your face, you should definitely consider what chemicals it might be dosed in. 

Just as some people are allergic to certain food coloring, our sensitive facial skin can have reactions to artificial coloring as well. Although the vibrant colored face masks are more fun than boring black or white face masks, the colored fabric just might be the culprit of your breakouts or irritation.

Try to stick with naturally colored face masks to avoid the potentially harmful chemicals in artificially colored face masks. The best way to do this is by choosing black or white masks or searching for organically made face masks. 


3. Wash your mask often.

This tip is simple but impactful. Ideally, washing your face mask after every use would be the best way to combat mask-ne, but that’s a bit unrealistic for most people. 

An efficient way to keep a clean face mask available throughout a busy week is to have a set of 4-6 face masks, depending on how often you need to wear one. Wash the masks altogether at the beginning of your week, either in your sink or in your washing machine. 

This way you will have a clean mask to wear every day, without having to constantly wash your face mask. And the cleanliness of a fresh face mask will help your skin combat acne by avoiding dust and dirt build-up. 


4. Don’t wear make-up while wearing a mask.

Wearing make-up and a face mask is just asking for mask-ne to join the party. If you’re going out and you know you’re going to wear a mask for a while, skip the face make-up. 

Don’t apply your foundation, bronzer, blush, or highlighter, and then put a mask on. All those products will be smushed deep into your pores and can cause massive problems. Instead, jazz up your eye and brow game (you probably already are, you sexy thang!)


Mask-ne Combating Products

Although the above tips can reduce the negative effects brought on by mask-wearing, your skin still needs more care than usual to keep it clear and bright. Here are a few products I use and recommend using to combat acne, irritation, and dry skin brought on by mask-wearing…


1. For Acne:

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 

Why I Love It:

This is a personal favorite of mine for fighting acne caused by mask-wearing. This product is known to unclog pores, smooth wrinkles, brighten, and even out skin tone. It’s a lightweight formula, so it absorbs quickly into the skin. I prefer this exfoliant over other exfoliants because salicylic acid makes it more gentle on the skin. 

How To Use It:

This exfoliant also works easily into any skincare routine. All you do is cleanse your face, apply your toner, soak a cotton pad in the product and apply over the entire face. Do this twice a day for fighting acne breakouts and once a day for acne prevention. 


2. For Skin Irritation:

Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster

Why I Love It:

This product has multiple benefits for breakouts, anti-aging, brown spots, and rosacea-prone skin. The formula is plant-based, which makes it an effective alternative for those who are sensitive to benzoyl peroxide. I use this product to keep my skin smooth and clear while avoiding irritation caused by harsh chemicals. 

How To Use It:

After cleansing, toning, and exfoliating, apply 2-3 drops of this product to your face by gently massaging it into your skin. For daytime use, follow this product with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.


3. For Moisturizing:

Skin better Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatment

Why I Love It:

This product is designed to bring balance back to dry, aged skin with a lightweight hydration formula. As skin ages, the barriers that once locked in moisture start to falter, but this product helps to smooth out that barrier and keep the skin’s natural moisture balance. 

How To Use It: 

You can use this product in the morning or at night by applying a thin layer to both your face and neck. For daytime use, follow this product with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Biba Vernon

Biba Vernon

Biba is a New Jersey based esthetician, business owner and 15-year veteran of the skincare industry. After working as the lead skincare therapist at top spas in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia, she founded her own private studio in 2015. Beauty by Biba, located in Southern New Jersey, is a unique wellness getaway where clients receive decadent, customized facials, the highest quality waxing services, as well as in-depth education and insider knowledge of how to achieve their best skin.