Mask Good. Maskne Bad.

While “maskne” is a much catchier name, the technical term for that unwanted rash on your face is acne mechanica, the result of mechanical friction (rubbing) of a fabric against the skin. In the past I’ve seen this from chin guards, jog bra straps and helmets. We have tiny little hair follicles on our face, chest and back, and wearing any kind of a mask or protective equipment can create friction that irritates the hair follicles which then becomes an acne break out. 

Sweat, heat and trapped dirt and oil are going to wreak havoc on our tender faces. Finding the right mask for you is really important. Try different types of masks to see what is most comfortable on your skin. Wash and dry them completely after every use. Change them like underwear; every day, wear a new one. Throw them in the wash, and if you exercise with one on get a fresh mask when you change out of your workout clothes. You don’t want to sit in a sweaty mask, as it will just create more acne. Also always put your mask on dry skin. Wait 15 minutes after applying sunscreen or moisturizer before applying your mask. I strongly recommend wearing mineral (vs chemical) SPF when you are using a mask. Tizo is my favorite.

“Maskne” can also be caused by perioral dermatitis, which means a rash around the mouth/nose area. This can be from fungus, bacteria or even viruses. Acne mechanica and perioral dermatitis  will look similar but respond to different treatments and ingredients.

Our best suggestion short of getting a facial is starting with our Facial to Go for barrier repair and calming facial. It’s all about calming down your skin and helping your body heal itself. This is not the time for serious anti aging treatments. Barrier repair is key to surviving the irritation from your mask.


These 6 products are some of our favorites for helping you manage inflamed skin from your mask:

SBM: Instant Calm Serum 
Use this morning and night on clean skin under moisturizer.

SBM: Activating Liposome Complex 
Layer this alone or with Instant Calm am/pm.

SBM: Ultra Gentle Cleansing Lotion 
Wash gently am/pm--removes makeup as well.

SBM: Calming Bio Repair Fluid
For combo/oily skin or Creme for dry/mature skin.

SBM: Barrier Repair Sleep Mask 
This is wonderful to sleep in, as it works while you sleep.

SBM: Pollution Solution Spray Tone 
I love to use this when I take my mask off before washing. I carry a small bottle in my bag.

Stay safe and healthy! (And don’t forget to baby your skin.)

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