What is Maskne or Macne and how to prevent it.

Posted by Judy Cheung-Wood on


The frustrating side-effect that has arisen from the regular necessity to wear face masks.

Here in Melbourne, wearing face-masks as a preventative measure against Covid-19, is now compulsory. At skinB5™ we’ve been hearing from customers worldwide that their face coverings haven’t been so skin friendly and as a result they are experiencing breakouts. Maskne is now a real concern for many people. So much so that the Covid-19 task force of the American Academy of Dermatology (A.A.D.), felt compelled to release advice on the subject!

Maskne or Macne

What is Maskne or ''Macne'' and how can you prevent it?

Maskne can happen to anyone, even those who are not usually acne prone. According to research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, at least 83 percent of health care workers in Hubei, China, reported skin problems on the face as a result of extensive mask wearing. Maskne is primarily caused by the mixing of sweat and oil under the face mask. This is exacerbated by the reduced ventilation, leading to a rapid increase of bacteria, unbalancing what is otherwise a normal part of our skin flora. Heat and humidity increases the occurrence and severity of Maskne. For people struggling through the summer months or in a tropical climate, the resulting Maskne can be much more severe than regular acne.

A Word of Warning

Many people are now making their own face coverings with cloth fabrics. It’s imperative to wash any fabric before you wear it as you may end up with red, raised rashes that are often confused with acne. Fabrics are treated with a chemical cocktail to prevent a number of common manufacturing issues. These can include dyes in synthetic fabrics; formaldehyde resins used to prevent wrinkling and mildew in cotton and natural fabrics as well as fungus and mold retardants. None of these chemically treated fabrics should be worn directly touching the skin without washing first. 

Maskne or Macne

How to Prevent Maskne 

Wash your brand-new cloth fabric face mask before wearing.

Never wear any new clothing, including fabric face mask without first washing them to remove any chemical residue commonly used to preserve new fabrics. Speaking from first-hand experience, I once suffered a severe break out after wearing a brand-new shirt on a hot summer day without washing it first. The sweat, mixed with the heat and chemicals on the fabric, caused my entire upper back and back of neck to break out angrily with hundreds of tiny red bumps that remained for two weeks.

Replace or wash your reusable face mask after each use.

Frequently replacing or washing face masks in an anti-bacterial solution (not bleach) will help minimise the build-up of sweat, oil and bacteria. Opt for fragrance-free detergents where possible.

Avoid wearing makeup when wearing a mask

Makeup is more prone to clog your pores and lead to breakouts when worn beneath a mask where ventilation is more restricted. If you chose to wear makeup, mix a small drop of the skinB5™ Skin Purifying Mask with your liquid foundation to help control bacterial growth. The velvety skinB5™ clay mask contains over a dozen naturally antibacterial natural extracts that will help keep breakouts at bay while the clay particles also aid to absorb sweat and excess oil.

Rinse your face with water throughout the day

If you have to wear a face mask for hours at a time, rinse your face with some water when you take a break or swap over to a clean face mask. Cleansing with water rather than a facial cleaner or soap will help avoid over stripping your skin which upsets the natural balance and flora of the skin barrier. Cleanse with enough water to wash off sweat and excess oil, then pat dry your skin, air dry naturally, before putting on a fresh face mask. At the end of the day, cleanse your skin with a non-drying, non-stripping face cleanser that will effectively lift off excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells without upsetting the ph balance. If you have oily skin, the skinB5™ 5-min French Green Clay Purifying Mask is incredibly effective in extracting bacteria feeding impurities from your pores. Use this after thoroughly first cleansing with the skinB5™ cleanser.

Avoid creamy or heavy moisturiser

Switching to a light facial moisturiser will hydrate your skin without clogging up your pores. As skin is more prone to becoming oilier under face masks, starting with a lighter, more nourishing hydration essence is key. The skinB5™ Australian Botanicals Hydration Essence, is a serum-like hydrator that is packed with high performance, naturally anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory plant extracts. The texture is featherlight and will allow your skin to breathe, not clogging up your pores.

Take a skin health + immunity booster supplement

Focus on strengthening your overall health and immunity. Maximise your defense not only against coronavirus, but also the bacteria that cause skin breakouts. As modern food farming and process methods have led to lower nutrient density in our foods, the stress and anxieties of our current situation is draining our bodies of essential nutrients faster than we can replenish them. Eating fresh foods and finding these essential nutrients from other sources is vital. A daily dose of high-quality skin health-boosting vitamins and/or superfood complex that has potent immunity-boosting ingredients is a simple way to protect your health and your skin. Remember to start building up your immunity defenses early as your body needs time to assimilate the nutrients and strengthen its natural protection mechanisms from within. Last-minute mega-dosing of nutrients will not help but rather be wasted as they pass through your system without the ability to be absorbed. The feedback from our customers world-wide is that skinB5™ is helping them to tackle the newly challenging environment their skin is suffering. With the right habits and immunity support, the relief and results are evident.



Case study

SkinB5™ fan @ohlonelyboy has generously shared his experience with maskne before and after using skinB5™ photos (April 29 vs June 7). We are so thrilled to know that skinB5™ products are helping to relieve some of your pandemic related pains! Products used: SkinB5 Vitamins + all skincare products.


Category_SKIN CONDITIONS>Acne Treatment

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