With lockdown restrictions across Australia, wearing a face mask has become part of our everyday lives. Whether it’s from working in a face mask all day, or from wearing one out and about, skin breakouts are becoming more commonplace. At QED, we want to address your Maskne concerns and offer up some tips on how to deal with it. Can face masks cause acne? The short answer is yes. 

Maskne is Real

There are two main types of Maskne and recognising which category you fall into is mostly based on the length of time wearing your facemask: 

Type A -Recurring pimple breakouts around your chin and mouth. This mostly affects people wearing face masks for 4 hours or more a day.  

Type B -Small pimple breakouts and irritation, particularly located at the rim of the masks where the straps touch the skin. 

Both of these types of breakouts can be managed proactively with the right skin care routine. 


Breathing whilst wearing a mask for a long time creates an extremely humid zone around your nose, mouth and chin, which is the main cause of Type A (causing regular pimples around your mouth, nose and chin).

Type B, is caused by the constant rubbing of the rim of the mask and straps. It tends to be sore, sometimes itchy and may leave small pimple-like blemishes.  It is definitely more common in people who already have eczema, dermatitis or rosacea. 

Unfortunately, both are made worse the longer you wear a mask...


Type A pimples are treated the same way you would treat adolescent pimples: 

  1. Use a spot treatment regularly on the pimples. We at QED recommend using the 5-Minute Facial Clay Mask Detox + Clarify formulated with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic ingredients to heal pimples fast and make them less painful and prominent.
  2. Throughout the day use a toning spray on the lower part of your face to reduce oil flow.  We recommend The Balancing Mist, it smells gorgeous and refreshing, but most importantly, it slows down oil production.
  3. Once you’re done with masks for the day, cleanse the affected area well.  If your skin is breaking out badly, we recommend using an anti-acne cleanser in that area like the Clarify Shake to Activate Cleanser, which is formulated to speed up pimple healing and reduce oil production.

Type B is caused by friction, which needs a little more TLC than Type A.  You need to use a soft healing barrier product, around the areas of irritation. Make sure to dab The Ultra Sensitive Face Balm into your skin before you mask up and repeatedly throughout the day as it is formulated for exactly these situations.


  • Change your mask frequently.
  • Don't reuse disposable masks. 
  • If you're wearing a mask regularly, invest in a comfortable quality, breathable fabric mask - buy a few and wash them often. Mimco have a great cotton mask which is easy to wash, very comfy to wear and also supports a Women's charity! 
  • Don't stop moisturising under your mask. If you have very sensitive skin, you are more at risk of Type B, so increase your moisturiser.
  • If it gets really bad, make an appointment with your GP.
  • Definitely wear a mask, so you are safe but with a few steps, you can proactively prevent Maskne.