Maskne elbow up
Blog Post,  Skincare

Maskne: The Price of Safety

Maskne! Ugh, raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by, maskne? Acne around and under my face mask has hit me HARD. Even for someone that is disciplined about her routine – sometimes you cannot control a breakout.

There are so many potential factors that cause acne: hormones, stress, diet, and or lack of exercise. Also being inconsistent about your skincare routine or if your mask is overdue for a cleaning… For me, I had cystic acne two years ago and it has returned amid COVID.

I have not worn makeup in a few years, let alone own any clean ingredient makeup. It’s been really hard for me to feel self-conscious about my skin again. It makes me want to hide and not even socially distant meet friends at a park or beach.

I am seeing a holistic dermatologist tomorrow for the first time and will report back what I learn. I do think that my love for pizza 1x/ week and stress have played a role in the return of my cystic acne. I only have a glass or two of biodynamic wine a week so I’m ruling this out as probable cause. Biodynamic wine is different than organic wine, happy to talk more about this some time soon!

If you are also feeling less comfortable in your own skin just know you’re not alone and it’s not permanent. Great time to look inwards and strengthen your relationship with yourself.

Tips for clearing Maskne

  1. Change or clean your mask! It may seem obvious but our skin is use to breathing fresh air and sweating with no barrier against it! It is a big adjustment so try to change or clean your mask after ever single use.

2. Change your pillowcase! I usually change my pillow case 1-2 times a week but with heavy mask usage in the city I am finding myself wanting to change it every couple of days. My boyfriend is reaping all the benefits too as his pillow is also getting changed! If you have one set of sheets, try to at least flip your pillow case over to avoid sleeping in dead skin and developing acne.

3. Wash your face after every trip outside to avoid maskne. It may seem over the top, though if you are really serious about limiting social interactions it may only be 1 extra or zero extra times a day. Make sure you leave your house everyday, I definitely am guilty of not leaving for many days on end especially when I lived in a high rise building with 500 other people. Fresh air is good for your soul and Vitamin D has been proven to really help.

4. Take Vitamin D! I have been pretty inconsistent about taking supplements though when I saw the research that said Vitamin D is hugely helpful for fighting Covid I started taking this every day.

5. Use a good detoxifying face mask to clear your acne. This term is so confusing now but I mean the goop not the cloth on your face!

Detox Face Mask

My favorite detoxifying face mask that is helping clear my maskne is May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver. Cacao, activated bamboo charcoal and cayenne pepper are three of the most notable ingredients in this hero product.

Cacao is loaded with antioxidants that help protect and repair the skin and reduce visible signs of aging. Cayenne pepper and cacao help stimulate blood circulation and reduce inflammation, such as, acne and redness for a more even complexion. Activated bamboo charcoal is the key detoxifying ingredient, it removes impurities – even ‘impossible’ blackheads will magically be removed.

I also love that The Problem Solver comes in a 8.45 oz or 250 ml glass jar in powder form. Mix 1/2 T of powder with equal parts water and apply to your face and neck generously. 45-60 minutes later jump in the shower to rinse off the mask – BAM blackheads gone and glowing skin. I also really, really love not paying for the water and it makes the product that much more potent, too!

The glass jar is large and I expect mine to last me close to a year. I use it once a week so I think it’s well worth the $100. Comparatively other effective clean beauty face masks usually cost $50-80 dollars and are a fraction of the ounce size.

We’ll close on a funny note, wear a face mask to reduce acne caused by your face mask.


  • Laura S

    Yess love this take on new skin issues caused around the pandemic! Would love to hear more about what you are doing with your beauty routine that is different from your usual routine because of Covid stress.

    • moiracronin

      Thank you so much, Laura! With all my extra time inside I have been trying to mist my face midday to increase hydration, as well, as do a hydrating or detoxifying face mask every day. While it does not happen every single day, the days I prioritize my self care are better days. I also have begun exfoliating my body with a coffee sugar scrub. I just purchased Organic Bath Co.’s Sublime scrub as it’s described as smelling like summer and is a Black-owned business in Boston! I’m going to post on the benefits of exfoliating later this month!