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How to Prevent Maskne

Cutout comp with blue face masks

As the last weeks of summer quickly fade into fall, many places in the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing a series of heatwaves. When you pair those high temps with daily mask wearing, you might find yourself experiencing maskne. Regardless of where you live, many people are experiencing maskne. But what is it? And what can you do to help minimize it?

Maksne is not a new discovery, but it has become a popular topic during the pandemic. The official term is acne mechanica, which results from the friction of fabrics against skin. Because moisture tends to collect underneath a mask, factors like heat, humidity, and exercise can contribute to bacterial imbalances, which may lead to breakouts, particularly around the mouth.

While these breakouts are conveniently hidden underneath a mask, we have a few tips to (hopefully!) help keep maskne to a minimum:

  • Seek out mask fabrics that are skin friendly, breathable, and moisture-wicking. Cotton and bamboo are popular choices, but athletic companies are creating masks made of spandex and polyester blends that are highly breathable and ideal for working out. Try out different options to find what works best for you, just make sure the masks are thick enough to truly be effective.
  • Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Mad Hippie’s Cream Cleanser & Cleansing Oil are both lovely options! They are formulated to help support a healthy acid mantle by cleansing without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Avoid foaming cleansers with harsh surfactants as they can lead to dryness and irritation.
  • Keep your skin care routine simple. An abundance of products might overwhelm your skin. Cleanse + Serum + Moisturize. Along with gentle cleansing twice a day, using a serum with ingredients for easily congested skin, and a lightweight moisturizer if needed (acts as a protective barrier between your face and your mask) may help reduce maskne. We love our Vitamin C Serum in the morning and either our Vitamin A Serum or Exfoliating Serum at night.
  • Wash your masks frequently and be sure you have more than one so you can swap a dirty one for a clean one. We recommend fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergents as they tend to be less irritating. Having a few extra masks on hand will ensure you always have a clean one when you need it. 
  • Wear less makeup or choose non-comedogenic makeup. Not only will makeup dirty a mask quickly, but when combined with the moisture and impurities collecting on the surface of your skin, makeup can contribute to maskne. On days when you know you’ll be wearing a mask for longer stretches of time, skip your face makeup or focus on highlighting your eyes instead, especially since our smiles are hidden under our masks nowadays! Our Mascara, Eye Pencil, and Concealers are all formulated with clean ingredients + good-for-your skin actives. The Cheek & Lip Tints have been popular for use on the eyes as well!

We hope these tips help keep your skin happy and healthy!


The Mad Hippie Team

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