Masks are required, breakouts are not


Safe, stylish, and causing skin breakouts

Image courtesy of Scott Webb/Unsplash (

Although the word hasn’t been officially added to the dictionary, the latest portmanteau is ‘maskne’ – facial acne or irritation caused by masks or face coverings. 

When COVID first hit many people were seen wearing blue and white surgical masks. As the pandemic drones on and masks are required for the foreseeable future, many people have elected to make statements with their face coverings. From funky designs to social justice messages, masks have become the latest accessory, and receiving compliments on your mask is no longer as weird as it once seemed.

But there’s something dirty going on under our masks and it’s causing breakouts.

“I have seen more people coming in to treat maskne”, said Katie Herrera, an aesthetician at the luxurious White Oaks Resort & Spa

What can you do to minimize the breakouts?

There are some steps you can take to combat a breakout. The first step is simple – wash your face. “People should be washing their faces morning, and night. It’s also a good idea to exfoliate one to two times a week,” Herrera said via email.  She also recommends to look for products with the right ingredients, specific to acne and breakouts. “You should be looking for salicylic acid, but retinol can help even out skin tone and breakouts. The list really goes on.”

Herrera also advises to wash your face masks daily, and don’t forget about your bedding! “People really should be changing their pillow cases weekly,” adds Herrera. 

Not sure where to start when it comes to skincare?

If you’re a newbie to skincare or you need to address a specific issue, and you’re not sure where to begin, check out this online quiz from Sephora to help you get started.

And don’t forget to wash your masks!

Do you have an opinion on masks on campus? Join the conversation!

The SSU is hosting a virtual event on Oct. 23 where you can share your experience as a student this academic year. For more information, click here.

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