Maskne and How to Combat it 

Tips from Kean Student Health Services on combating maskne

Essentials > Maskne and How to Combat it 
Maskne and How to Combat it 
The following article was provided by Student Health Services.
Student Health Services, Contributor

Maskne, also known as acne mechanica, is caused by friction from the mask or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) rubbing against your skin.  You may notice that maksne is worse in the warmer months because of increased sweat, humidity, and bacteria.  The tighter or more PPE you wear, the worse your maskne can become. This is not to say you should skimp on PPE, just ramp up your face cleansing routine after a long day in your mask.

For more information on maintaing one's own personal health, maskne and more, feel free to contact Student Health Services at (908) 737-4880.

Helpful hints to keep your face looking fresh:

  1. Keep your mask clean!  Change masks daily and wash it regularly using hot water and mild detergent 
  2. Minimize makeup and facial products.  Multiple products rubbing on your mask can lead to irritation and an increase in clogged pores 
    • Focus on eye makeup and leave your cheeks and areas covered by a mask makeup free
    • Swap out your heavy foundation for a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen
  3. Wash your face twice daily using a mild, soap free cleanser and gentle face lotion.  If you notice clogged pores, add a gentle exfoliant (either mechanical or chemical) several times a week at night only 
  4. To treat maskne, dermatologists recommend using a mild benzoyl peroxide solution applied directly to the affected areas.  Use 2.5 or 5% benzoyl peroxide only.  Higher concentrations can further anger already irritated skin. 
  5. Try Cerave Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser or Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask - under $10 each and available at major drugstores
  6. Go easy on the sweets and dairy products.  Recent studies have shown a possible link between adult acne and increased sugary snacks and dairy intake 
  7. If you develop an itchy rash, it could be dermatitis from the mask.  Please call Kean Student Health Services at (908)737- 4880 to be evaluated by a provider 

This article was written by Marci Blaszka, adult nurse practitioner of Student Health Services.

For more information on Student Health Services, check out their Kean web page. For questions, contact them at or (908) 737- 4880.