Wearing a mask and “maskne”: tips for skincare survival during COVID-19

Wearing a mask and “maskne”: tips for skincare survival during COVID-19

The CDC has now asked the public to wear masks (even homemade ones!) to help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 when outside or in public spaces. While we acknowledge wearing a mask is not always convenient, we agree it’s in everyone’s best interest; it’s the kind thing to do.

The entire team here at Ellis Day Skin Science has started to wear masks on a daily basis when out of the house. However, some of us have started to experience negative changes to our skin, including irritation and unexpected blemishes, now called “maskne” or “mascne,” after having worn a mask consistently. This is all to say that if you’re experiencing negative side-effects to your skin, you’re not alone.

Masks can wreak havoc on our skin because it creates an environment where bacteria easily grow due to increased temperature, mechanical irritation from mask fabrics, and internal stressors that lead to greater production of oil on your skin. 

It’s natural for your skin to react to any foreign object on your face, let alone a piece of constricting material. So your skin might feel oilier than normal, or it might be drier and more irritated. Either reaction is completely expected.

If you are experiencing oilier skin because you are wearing a mask, don’t switch to cleansers and toners that are more drying. Drying products will only make your skin more upset and possibly lead to even oilier skin - creating a vicious cycle.  Instead, be extra kind to your skin: use gentle liquid cleansers, omit any alcohol-based toners, and try a lighter moisturizer. If you are comfortable going without makeup, try not wearing makeup for a few days, so your skin can more easily, and more deeply, breathe when you’re not wearing a mask.

If your skin feels dry, red, and/or irritated since you’ve been wearing a mask, you’ll want to minimize any mechanical irritation and focus on soothing skincare.  You’ll likely want to put the regular exfoliation on hold, as well as any facial scrubs or alcohol-based products. You’ll also want to use lukewarm to warm water, instead of hot water. Also, try cleansers and moisturizers with calming ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe, chamomile, or cucumber.  You might also want to minimize your use of retinol-based products during this time, switching instead to a plant-based alternative such as almond oil, coconut oil, or argan oil.

If you’re starting to breakout or experience blemishes after wearing a mask, it means that your skin microbiome is now imbalanced and must be reset. In this case, you can use Wild Resilience Active Phage Serum to reset your skin’s ecosystem and kill the bad bacteria that have started to grow, so that good bacteria can flourish. If you’re experiencing a particularly bad breakout, we recommend using the product in the morning and evening so that the phages can work their magic more continuously and consistently. For healthy skin maintenance, we think an application in the morning or evening will suffice.

A final note: make sure to wash your hands before and after putting on and taking off your mask. Being extra diligent with handwashing will ensure that you will never transmit germs from your hands to your face and, in general, will help keep the space/items around you sanitized.

At Ellis Day Skin Science, we’re here for you. If you have questions about how your skin is reacting to this stressful time, just email us at hello@ellisdayskinscience.com. We look forward to hearing from you. 


About Ellis Day Skin Science

We believe that modern skincare must be revolutionized to elevate skin health. And we believe the answer is in the wild, natural world, which includes the surface of your skin. 

At Ellis Day Skin Science, we pioneer natural phage-based products that target and kill bad bacteria associated with inflammation, damage, and aging, and enable good bacteria to flourish. By doing so, we aim to reset your microbiome for optimal skin health.

We use cutting-edge science to leverage nature, creating products that are just as kind and conscientious as they are effective, so that all can feel empowered with balanced, clear, radiant, and resilient skin.

Search our site

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.