Dr. Hoe YM: ‘MASKNE’ - How to avoid acne from wearing masks


Wearing face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community may cause another outbreak – an acne outbreak, also now termed ‘maskne’.

When face masks are worn for prolonged hours, there is constant friction and pressure between the masks and the skin. This causes abrasions and irritation of the skin. The skin barrier is weakened and skin is more sensitive and easily inflamed. 

The increase in temperature and humid conditions also provide an ideal environment for bacteria growth. This is compounded by sweat, sebum and makeup that clog the pores. 

Signs That Mask Wearing Is Affecting Your Skin:

  • Areas of the skin that come in contact with face masks such as jawline, cheeks are affected. 
  • Acne can come in the form of whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules. 
  • On top of acne, some people can develop a red itchy rash at areas that come in direct contact with the mask. This is known as contact dermatitis.
  • The skin microbiome alteration can also trigger and worsen rosacea and perioral dermatitis.

The Artisan Way Of Preventing MASKNE

Ensure your surgical masks are changed daily. 

  • Change them 2-3 times a day, especially when they become soiled. If you are using cloth masks, wash them daily with a gentle detergent.

Step up on your skincare routine

  • Cleanse with a gentle cleanser. Avoid harsh scrubs
  • Exfoliate with a chemical exfoliator. Consider the Skinbetter Peel Pad that comes with a triple-acid formulation of salicylic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid
  • Moisturize your skin with a light day moisturizer. Consider the 
  • Skip the make up or wear minimal make up



Clinic treatments that help with acne from mask wearing:

Topical acne treatments

Keep a lookout for antibiotics, vitamin A, benzoyl peroxide


Chemical peel 

Chemical peel removes dead skin cells. Salicylic acid penetrates deep into pores, preventing acne, removing blackheads and whiteheads. Glycolic acid to lighten hyperpigmentation, rejuvenate skin and lactic acid to hydrate the skin and strengthen the skin barrier.


Picosure laser treatment

Picosure with the focus lens is able to focus laser energy 20x in the deeper layer of the skin, stimulating the skin to produce new collagen without damaging the skin surface, effectively treating acne as well as stubborn acne scars. 



Potenza utilizes microneedling and radiofrequency to effectively target acne and reduce acne scarring. With the patented tip for drug delivery, serums that treat acne and strengthen the skin barrier can be infused.


Skinboosters, Profhilo and Sunekos

These are hyaluronic acid bio-remodelling injectables to stimulate collagen and elastin in our skin. By delivering deep skin hydration, our skin barrier is strengthened. By stimulating collagen production, they are also effective at treating acne scarring. 


Artisan Miracle Dew Booster

Contains polynucleotides that help repair damaged skin cells and stimulate collagen. Boosts skin healing and effectively treats acne scarring.

Have a question?

If you have any other questions, please leave us a message anytime and we will be happy to answer them!

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