How to prevent ‘maskne’ and face mask related skin irritation

For many of us around the world, wearing a face mask and personal protective equipment (PPE) is now a way of life.

Let’s face it, no one enjoys wearing a face mask and PPE 24/7, but it is one of the most effective methods we have for preventing the spread of COVID 19. Wearing a face mask prevents an individual from spreading the virus, and are therefore most effective when others in the community are also wearing one[i].

In this blog post we give you tips on how treat and prevent ‘maskne’ and irritation caused by facemasks, as well how to improve the skin that’s on show, so you can wear your bare skin and face mask confidently.


What is ‘maskne’?

‘Maskne’ refers to acne and skin irritation caused by regularly wearing a face mask.  Face mask related irritation and acne has become such a common concern that the term ‘maskne’ has become an increasingly popular google search trend since March 3rd [ii], and now holds its own definition in the Urban Dictionary.

A study conducted at a hospital in china found that front-line healthcare workers who wear facemasks suffer from skin conditions such as dryness, peeling and irritation around the nose and cheeks[iii]. Other common facemask related skin concerns include acne, bruising and facial redness


Edible Beauty’s top 6 tips to preventing and treating face mask related skin irritation


  1. Cleansing is your skin’s best ally, now more than ever!

When you’re wearing a face mask for hours at a time, your skin isn’t able to ‘breathe’. While removing your mask for a breath of fresh air isn’t an option, preventing the buildup that can ensue, is.

Properly cleansing the skin is the key to unclogging pores and removing buildup that occurs when your skin doesn’t have a chance to breathe.

Cleanse your skin twice a day with a milky, non-foaming cleanser such as our No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk. This cleanser contains salicylic acid, which surges deep into the pores to remove impurities and prevent excess sebum. Coconut oil contained in the cleanser provides non-greasy hydration and balances the skin’s oil production to prevent those pesky acne spots.


  1. Provide oil-free hydration

While facemasks can cause a build-up of sebum, many people also experience dryness of the skin around the lining of the mask. When this kind of irritation occurs, it is important to provide the skin with hydration, without leaving an oily residue.

Our No.3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum contains Hyaluronic Acid to surge water deep into the skin to help maintain healthy hydration levels without that greasy feeling. A bonus of this serum is that it contains the world’s highest natural form of Vitamin C, Kakadu Plum. Vitamin C helps to strengthen, protect and support the skin cells, encouraging skin repair and turnover. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory botanical, so perfect for protecting and repairing skin under a mask.


  1. Soothe and protect skin against irritation and redness

Face masks can rub on the skin causing friction irritation and redness around the nose, cheeks and chin. 

Soothe irritation and redness with a calming “gel cream” such as our & Soothing Nectar Hydrating Lotion. The product contains Calendula extract, to soothe and skin and encourage skin repair. Calendula also contains flavonoids with antiseptic properties that inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria. & Soothing Nectar also contains Aloe Vera, known for its anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties as well as its ability to create a protective barrier and lock in moisture without contributing to skin oiliness. Chamomile and Cucumber also provide an immediate cooling effect to red and irritated skin.

Serums can be applied to the skin to provide a film of protection from irritants. Our Glowing Skin Smoothie contains a synergistic blend of vitamins, antioxidants and omegas specifically selected for their skin protective and smoothing benefits. St Mary’s Thistle and Broccoli extract strengthens the skins barrier and protects the skin against cellular damage, while Apple and Banana hydrates and softens.


  1. Spot-treat ‘maskne’ breakouts.

Tackle those pesky ‘maskne’ breakout spots head on by applying a gentle yet effective spot treatment. Directly treating spots can prevent you from touching or picking at them which can cause further infection and scarring.

Our Turmeric Beauty Latte serum harnesses the power of Turmeric root to balance oil production and fight blemishes with just one application. Turmeric root provides antibacterial  properties to zap painful cystic breakouts and calm redness. It is also rich in Curcumin which inhibits acne causing bacteria on the skin.

Turmeric Beauty Latte also contains Snow Mushroom, a powerful anti-oxidant with an ability to hold nearly five times more water than hyaluronic acid, providing your skin with deep, oil-free hydration.


  1. Refresh and combat oiliness

 The skin under your mask can become hot and sweaty, causing discomfort and oil buildup. Applying a cooling mist across the face and under your mask when you have the chance may offer some instant relief. Bonus points if the mist also works to combat oiliness at the same time.

Our No.2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist removes traces of residual oil and surface impurities whilst hydrating and nourishing the skin. The mist contains May Chang to remove excess oil, whilst Calendula and Fig soothe surface irritations and calm the skin. Keep the No.2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist in the fridge to provide an instant cooling effect when applying it to the skin. 


  1. Let your eyes do the talking 

When the bottom half of your face is covered, it’s time to let your eyes shine. Avoid wearing makeup under your mask as this will clog the pores and cause extra irritation. Instead, nourish and brighten the skin around the delicate eye area with a natural eye cream. 

Our & Gold Rush Eye Cream contains flecks of luxurious 24K Gold Leaf to de-puff and smooth the delicate eye area. Coffee Extract, Horsetail and Cucumber Oil work to reduce under-eye puffiness, while Blueberry, Linden Flower and Passion Flower work to illuminate the skin, fight dark circles and provide hydration.



[ii] Google Trends, ‘maskne’



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Daisy Thompson

BComm&Media (MktgComm)

Daisy has a Bachelor in Communications and Media (Marketing) and brings a love for all things make-up and beauty to the Edible Beauty team. With qualifications in both Marketing along with Makeup Artistry, Daisy has a strong passion for natural beauty products and has spent many years experimenting with makeup and skincare. She believes that good, healthy skin is the ideal canvas for makeup, and to achieve this you must look after your skin from the inside – and out. Daisy has experimented with natural skin remedies throughout her teen years to improve skin conditions such as eczema and hormonal skin issues and has developed a strong belief in the power of botanical actives. 

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