Beauty Broadcast Video Series

WATCH – Masking the problem: Rise of ‘maskne’ highlights the gaps in acne care solutions

This content item was originally published on, a William Reed online publication.

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags maskne Acne Skin care beauty broadcast

On this episode of the Beauty Broadcast, we dive into ‘maskne’ with two experts to discuss how the rise in cases over the past year has turned the spotlight on the gaps in acne care.

In the past year, we have seen an uptick in acne from both people who suffer from regular breakouts, and those who do not. The cause of most of these cases is the regular use of protective masks that are used to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mask-induced acne, now more commonly known as maskne, is caused by the warm humid environment underneath the mask that creates an ideal setting for bacteria to grow.

Furthermore, the friction caused by the mask rubbing on the skin can further aggravate existing acne and cause rosacea.

This rise of maskne has further complicated the already difficult task of managing acne.

Jasmine Kang, the founder of acne care brand Skinlycious told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that what she considers essential acne care products have changed as a result of maskne.

“In the past, I used to tell my customers not to exfoliate daily because I believe that if you over-exfoliate, it will lead to sensitive skin. But now the advice is if you mask up, you must exfoliate it. It will help to dissolve the gunk inside your pores, which has built up the whole day when you're masking up.”

Cosmetics physician and founder of DRSQ Skincare Dr Saba Qutub also advocates exfoliation and highlighted the effectiveness of exfoliating serums for sensitive acne-prone skin.

“Exfoliating serums work fantastic. They are gentler, and they usually would have either AHAs and BHAs so like lactic acid or salicylic acid to gently exfoliate your skin every day. So, you wake up with renewed skin and it stops that acne and breakout formation as well.”

Their experiences helping people who suffer from acne has magnified the gaps in acne care.

For instance, Kang believes that there is a huge opportunity for oral solutions that can combat acne internally and with principles from traditional medical systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which rely on natural ingredients.

Qutub also believes there is more that can be done by incorporating natural ingredients into topical skin care solutions.

“We need advancements cosmeceuticals which are more towards the natural side… I think that's what people feel comfortable using long term because I think the trend these days is going towards more natural… If we can sort of incorporate natural and pharmaceutical, combine them together so that people feel comfortable using them every day in their normal skin care.”

To find out more about maskne solutions, check out the video above.

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