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What is ‘Maskne’ and how to treat it with skincare

05 August 2020

What is ‘Maskne’ and how to treat it with skincare

A cosmetic scientist’s tips for avoiding blemishes and congestion caused by masks

2020, a year of learnings- about how unnecessary commuting five days a week is, just how many bowls of cereal your younger brother eats a day, or how you’ve never valued having a small patch of grass you can BBQ on at home enough (long live griddled halloumi). Just when we had got our lockdown skincare routine sorted, we were released into the world fresh-faced and glowing, our eyes peeping above the now mandatory mask. Upon the return home, from a wild day of going into a real-life bookshop and a picnic in the park with friends, you take your mask off and see the start of a spot lurking, a red bump growing in size by the minute. Soon, a few more pop up, and your chin feels sore and angry. Welcome to the world of “maskne”.

What is ‘Maskne’?

What on earth is “maskne”? Well, it is the formation of spots and blemishes on the lower half of the face caused by wearing a mask for extended periods of time. The technical term for it is acne mechanica. This is because it is the result of mechanical friction of the fabric of a mask across the skin. This friction causes inflammation, irritation, and can even create microtears in the skin, leaving the skin barrier damaged and therefore more susceptible to infection. Couple this irritation with the warm, moist environment that is created behind the mask and you have the perfect breeding ground for creating congestion and blemishes.

How can I prevent ‘Maskne’?

• Look for masks made of a softer fabric (but preferably with at least three layers of fabric), that fit well over the nose and chin, but are not so tight over the face that they rub. One with adjustable string ties and a way to tighten the fit over the nose (usually wire sewn into the nose area) are best for getting a comfortable yet secure fit.

• Make sure you wash your mask after every use. Keeping it clean will not only be important for protecting you from Covid-19, but will also prevent old makeup, dirt and SPF being transferred onto your skin.

• If you feel comfortable doing so, try to avoid heavy makeup on the lower half of your face, as it will help to prevent congestion.

• Ensure you do a thorough double cleanse at the end of the day, to help remove the build-up of sweat, dirt and sebum that has been trapped under the mask.

• Whilst you may feel like you want to cleanse every time you take your mask off, over-cleansing may cause further irritation or dryness. Instead opt for a refreshing spritz or quick wipe of toner.

• Ensure that the skin is well hydrated and kept soft to reduce any irritation and prevent damage to the skin barrier. Using humectants such as Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate the skin, and emollients such as Squalane or vegetable oils will help to soften the skin, prevent dryness and minimise irritation from friction.

What’s the best skincare routine to treat ‘Maskne’?


• Cleanse the skin with our gentle Hydration Boost Cleanser- this will ensure the skin is clean but not tight or dry, before putting your mask on.

• Help to prevent congestion in the pores with our 1% Salicylic Acid Serum with Marshmallow Extract or Willow Bark Extract Serum.Both are gentle enough for daily use and will help to keep skin clear as well as hydrated.


• Make sure the eyes peeping over the mask are looking bright and shiny. Try one of Eye Creams- the Colour Correcting Eye Cream will help with neutralising dark circles or the Cooling Cucumber Eye Gel will help to freshen the eye area.

• If you manage to get a brief mask break walking between shops in an uncrowded area, a quick spritz with our Tea Tree Essence Spray will help to soothe and refresh the skin, preventing dryness and irritation.


• After taking off your makeup in a first cleanse, second cleanse with Purifying Cleansing Paste. This soft, sherbet smelling paste contains Kaolin which will help to absorb excess oil and dirt, whilst Vitamin E and Biotin will help to maintain soft and supple skin.

• Now that we have a clean and fresh complexion, it’s time to treat. This innovative lower sheet face mask is enriched with Willow Bark Extract (which contains a natural Salicylic Acid to help exfoliate and prevent congestion), Betaine to soothe and protect, and Hyaluronic Acid to rehydrate.


• Following cleansing (or as a refresher after your shift/day of mask-wearing), swipe over the skin with the 2% Salicylic Acid Toner to help exfoliate dirt and sebum from within the pores. Glycerin and Marshmallow Extract will help to keep the skin moisturised and calm any redness.

• Follow up with 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc Serum to help keep skin balanced and hydrated, and any redness or irritation calmed.

• After the skin is cleansed and hydrated with serum, use our Hydration Boost Night with Hyaluronic Acid and Glycogen to further hydrate, whilst Illipe Butter and Peach Kernel Oil will soften and smooth skin, reducing flakiness or dryness and lock in moisture.

Don't forget to share your finished results with us @REVOLUTIONSKINCARE

Hope this helps,
Liberty from Team Revolution x

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  • Revolution Skincare Soft Cream Hydration Boost Cleanser

    Revolution Skincare

    €6.99 €9.99

  • Revolution Skincare 1% Salicylic Acid Serum with Marshmallow Extract

    Revolution Skincare


  • Revolution Skincare Cucumber Cooling Eye Gel

    Revolution Skincare

    €7.99 €9.99

  • Revolution Skincare Tea Tree Essence Spray

    Revolution Skincare

    €3.50 €6.99

  • Revolution Skincare Purifying Cleansing Paste

    Discover Revolution Skincare

    €4.00 €9.99

  • Revolution Skincare 2% Salicylic Acid BHA Anti Blemish Liquid Exfoliant Toner

    Revolution Skincare


  • Revolution Skincare 10% Niacinamide and 1% Zinc Blemish & Pore Serum SUPER SIZED

    Revolution Skincare

    €8.39 €11.99

  • Revolution Skincare Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Night Cream

    Revolution Skincare


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