Juvenate Skincare Founder’s Tips on Overcoming Maskne

If you aren’t suffering from maskne yourself, chances are you know someone that is.

The new normal requires us to wear masks regularly and for longer periods of time in some cases. While we’re covering up our mouths and noses to stop the spread of COVID-19, some of us are uncovering a new problem — maskne, or mask-related acne.

We spoke with Marie August, the founder of Juvenate, a clinic-only skincare brand formulated and manufactured in Aotearoa, for her tips to overcome this common problem most of us are experiencing.

What Exactly is Maskne?

Generally, “maskne” is an umbrella term for several skin conditions that can be aggravated by the wearing of a face mask. The physical covering creates a hot, humid environment that easily promotes bacterial imbalance.

Add in the effects of stress hormones and you have the perfect storm for the onset/flare of acne, rosacea, peri oral dermatitis and/or folliculitis.

Skin’s natural semi-permeable (designed to let some things in and keep others out) barrier struggles to maintain balance when it is obscured by a mask. The resulting heat, inflammation, and microbiome dysfunction are troubling but can be managed.

Tips for Treating maskne at Home

Preparation and skin support are key: there is the temptation to get your skin “squeaky clean” but it is much better to gently treat skin and repair/maintain a natural barrier, cell behaviour and minimise inflammation.

Look for

*Cleansers that contain amino acids, antiseptics such as colloidal silver and antioxidants, particularly those that give anti-pollutant effects and protect from environmental stressors.


  • Stripping, harsh cleansers. Over cleansing. Swap out your toner for a spritz with a prebiotic action that supports natural microbiome and spritz repeatedly during the day, this will help reinforce your natural skin defence.
  • Alcohol-based toners or skin wipes
  • Heavy, occlusive moisturisers that work by forming a protective layer on the surface of your skin and creating a barrier to prevent moisture loss.
  • Heavily fragranced, chemical preservatives
  • Long stay make up
  • Chemical sunscreens

How to Treat Maskne

Look for actives that support oil/ water balance in skin like Vitamin B3. Actives that support cell health by strengthening skin barrier- oat beta-glucans, plant-based stem cells, Indian ginseng

*Apply at least 30mins before putting mask on

*Try to remove mask periodically through the day- and spritz

*Sanitize hands before handling mask, then try not to touch

*Cleanse skin as promptly as you can after removing mask

* For thickened skin, a home exfoliating treatment may be beneficial.  Be sure to speak to a Skin Care Professional and look for an exfoliant that gives a “gommage” (gentle physical exfoliant) and/or enzyme activity. Gentle is key!

Seek Advice!

  • Speak to a Skin Care Professional, such as a Beauty Therapist, and don’t assume you can treat maskne as a typical acne. A specialised beauty therapy treatment plan will look to restore pH and microbiome of your skin. It will also regulate oil flow, manage congestion, minimise inflammation and enhance healing. The relaxation of such treatments also helps regulate stress hormone production.


Marie August is the founder of Juvenate Skincare Limited, a full clinic only range of innovative skin care products, tailored to New Zealand’s harsh and unique climate. Formulated and manufactured in NZ, the products are rigorously tested, pharmaceutically graded, free from toxins, ethically produced and vegan friendly.