The Regimen

Maskne Is a Thing— Here’s How to Cope

Fit African American woman running with a face mask.


Maskne is not just a clever blend of words; it’s a real condition. So much so that the American Academy of Dermatologists has issued advice on the topic. The term refers to the acne caused by the protective masks we’ve all been wearing for the last nine months.


The technical term for the type of skin disruption caused by masks is acne mechanica. It’s triggered by excess heat, friction, or rubbing of the skin. You may have experienced it on the forehead from sweatbands or hats or on the back from snug-fitting workout clothing. And now, you may be experiencing it on the chin, nose, and cheeks, anywhere that your mask is covering.


Masks create and trap heat, causing excess sweat and sebum and trapping them against your skin. Additionally, the mask may rub against the skin, creating irritation and disrupting the skin barrier, which can make existing skin conditions worse and create new ones. You may experience breakouts, rashiness, irritation, or inflammation.


Masks are not optional but, with the right skincare, the issues that go along with them can be. 



What can you do to protect your skin and avoid maskne?


Keep Your Skin Clean

A mask traps dirt, oil, and sweat, so starting with clean skin will help to reduce pore-clogging elements. A cleanser with antimicrobial properties like Vivant’s Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Wash or Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Exfoliating Cleanser will do double-duty right now, killing acne bacteria and virus germs.


Go Makeup-Free

Dirt, sweat, sebum, friction. Do you really want to add makeup to that already pore-aggravating mix? No one is seeing those areas anyway. Give your skin a break by going without makeup.


Wash Your Mask Frequently

Dirt, oil, and sweat accumulate quickly on your mask and then get transferred to your skin. Wash your masks frequently and keep multiple masks on hand so you will always have a fresh one.


Keep Up Your Skincare Regimen

With dirt and oil getting trapped under a sweaty mask, cellular debris will build up more quickly. Acids will help loosen and lift dead skin cells, dirt, and oil. Vivant’s Daily Repair Pads are an acid cocktail in a textured pad that makes it ultra-simple to keep skin debris-free.


Keep up your entire four-step regimen, including SPF. You may not need it under the mask, but your eyes, where the skin is thinnest and most vulnerable to photodamage, are still exposed.


The mask can intensify the delivery of skincare products, so it’s best to avoid using anything with potent ingredients—vitamin A, benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid—just before putting on a mask. Instead, use your targeted products a couple of hours before it’s time to put on your mask. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin.


Give Your Skin A Boost

Give skin a boost by using a mask a couple of times a week. For oily skin, use Vivant’s Sulfur Clay Mask to draw out impurities and deep clean pores. For an acne-fighting boost, apply a layer of BP 10% Gel Medication underneath the Sulfur Clay Mask.


Algae Soft Mask is a hydrating and healing mask for all skin types. You can turn it into a rejuvenating mini-facial by adding a layer of Derm-A-Renew or your favorite serum underneath.


Soothe irritated skin

If friction from the mask is causing redness, rashiness, or irritation, look for gentle, anti-inflammatory ingredients to promote a resilient skin barrier.


Wash with a gentle cleanser. Vivant’s Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser has potent anti-inflammatory properties and is a sebum reducer. For skin that’s generally dry and irritated, Cleansing Milk Gentle Non-Drying Cleanser soothes and nourishes the skin barrier.


For hydrating oily skin, Totaloe Calming & Hydrating Gel is a fast-absorbing, oil-free formula that helps regulate sebum production, reduce inflammation, and speed healing. Drier skin will get quick relief from anti-inflammatory Allantoin Sedating & Hydrating Lotion


To reduce redness and help repair the skin barrier, try Rejuv Rx Peptide Concentrate.


Get professional advice

If you have questions about what’s going on with your skin or the best products to use, get in touch with Vivant’s in-house skin coach Flavia. She’s here to help with answers to your questions, advice, and encouragement. Email Flavia at


Additionally, many skin care professionals are doing online consultations to help you during lockdown. They can take a virtual look at your skin to assess your current needs and provide appropriate products. Find a Vivant Skin Care professional.


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