WHEN MASKS ATTACK: The Truth About What’s Causing Your Mask-ne

The Truth About What’s Causing Your Mask-ne & How To Beat It, MELT Style.

As beauty providers, we’re taught to view the face as a whole, rather than as a sum of its parts. Each feature works synergistically with the others and while it pains us to see our gorgeous clients partially hidden behind masks, we’re doing our best to stay positive. After all, with the lower halves of our faces fully covered, attention is pretty much guaranteed to be diverted towards those freshly microbladed brows. Right…?


Silver linings aside, there are certainly a few downsides to this new (but necessary) norm — and sadly, our skin is taking the brunt of it in the form of mask-ne. 


First things first: Humans were NOT designed to inhale their own exhales. When we wear a mask for multiple hours a day for weeks on end, humidity becomes trapped between the material and our skin, altering its pH and increasing susceptibility to bacterial growth. Talk about nasty. 


What’s more, the constant friction of mask-on-skin prevents skin cells from shedding as they normally would. The subsequent build-up clogs our pores, irritates the skin, and leads to unsightly, exasperating breakouts. Simply put… it sucks. We hear you, babe, loud and (soon to be) clear!


Please know that we aren’t equating COVID-19 with a few pestilential pimples. That would be silly in the extreme. But we all have our own battles to fight and the maskne struggle is real, which is why we’ve put together this handy survival guide, complete with practical tips and product recommendations. So, without further ado… 


  • Wash your fabric face mask at least every other day, preferably in fragrance-free, SLS-free laundry detergent. While you’re at it, ditch dryer sheets and fabric softeners, both of which contain pore-clogging ingredients that will compound the very problem you’re trying to solve. 
  • Apply a thin layer of Aquaphor to areas of the face that come in contact with your mask – think chin, cheeks, lips, and nose. This drugstore gem creates a non-occlusive barrier that prevents bacteria from exacerbating any pre-existing blemishes. 
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash two to three times per day to kill the germs and bacteria responsible for bad breath, plaque, and gingivitis. We recommend swishing before (or completely away from) brushing, as it can wash away the fluoride in your toothpaste. 


Your Go-Bag wouldn’t be complete without a stash of our favorite go-to goodies. These products, all available in our online shop, are seriously lifesaving.



— Let’s Be Clear Here Cleanser —

A powerful gel cleanser packed with natural astringents that:

Suppress acne-causing bacteria

Speed up blemish healing

Prevent future breakouts

Control excess oil


— Mineral Mist —

An anytime anti-inflammatory face mist that:

Calms irritation

Aids in penetration

Gives a major hydration boost.


— Clear Skin Cocktail —

An overnight mini peel that: 

Gently exfoliates dead skin to free built up congestion

Fights acne-causing bacteria

Soothes aggravated skin

… ALL while you sleep! 


— Clear It Blemish Control — 

A healthy spot treatment that:

Targets acne bacteria

Regulates oil production without drying out or damaging healthy skin

Calms irritation and promotes healing

Prevents new breakouts



When used in combination, these four products aid the skin in fighting bacteria from multiple vantage points, obliterating existing breakouts, keeping said breakouts from creeping back, AND preventing them from starting in the first place. You’ll be wearing that mask like a crown in no time. 


Incorporate these tips & tricks into your daily routine and remember to give yourself a little grace. Rather than beating yourself up over something you can’t control, indulge in a little extra TLC — even the act of self-care can work wonders.


Until next time,

Mel & Em XO