How to care for your skin while wearing a mask



Johannesburg, June 2020 –The National Department of Health (NDoH) recently recommended during their Level 4 restrictions, the use of face masks when in public – and rightfully so, as this is one of the ways, in addition to hand-washing and social distancing, to reduce the transmission of the Coronavirus1. However, some people may be experiencing breakouts in their skin.


Welcome “Maskne”, the latest and not-so-luxurious term to enter the world of COVID-19. As the name suggests, Maskne, is acne that results from wearing a face mask2,3 or dermatologically known as acne mechanica. This type of acne is commonly triggered by sweat, friction, and pressure on the skin and causes inflammation, unpleasant red rashes and tiny clusters of pimples around the nose and mouth specifically3. Cetaphil®, a leader in gentle skin care products, shares some tips to help take care of your skin while wearing a mask.


1. Choose a soft and breathable mask

Cloth face masks can now be easily purchased from a variety of places online or home-made. It is recommended to use a mask with three layers, selecting a non-woven (or similar) fabric with strong filtering capability as the middle layer, and the accompanying inner and outer layers for comfort, structure and some additional protection4. It is recommended to wash re-usable masks regularly as they are prone to collect dirt, oils, bacteria, and germs, which may exacerbate skin problems5. It should also be noted that the Department of Health has discouraged the public from using the N-95 masks, as these have been reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders1.


2. Include a gentle skin cleanser into your skin care routine3,5

Select a skin cleanser like the Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser, a mild, non-irritating, non-drying gentle skin cleanser for even the most sensitive skin. This cleanser can be used without water. So, if you have irritated or sensitive skin, gently swipe a cotton round with the cleanser over your skin.6


3. Create a skin care barrier by using a moisturiser3,5

After your daily morning exercise and post cleansing, apply a moisturiser like the Cetaphil® Daily Hydrating Lotion. This lightweight, oil-free moisturiser with Hyaluronic Acid provides instant hydration, maintaining the skins protective barrier, and helps to protect skin from dryness.7


4. Don’t forget your Sun Protection Factor, even in the colder months

Although half of our face is covered by our face masks, it is still important to apply an SPF on a daily basis, as some of the skin is exposed to the harmful sun rays when going for morning walks. Opt for a non-comedogenic and oil-free option as they work to decrease excess oil that can clog pores and lead to acne.


5. Keep in contact with your dermatologist

If you are concerned about the health of your skin or keep experiencing skin breakouts, keep in contact with your dermatologist. Some dermatologists are offering a Telehealth solution, which is the distribution of health-related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technologies.



  4. Recommended Guidelines Fabric Face Masks RSA DTIC
  6. Galderma Data on file: Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser ID CARD 0024 0214.
  7. Galderma Data on file: Cetaphil® Daily Hydrating Lotion ID Card 1407 and Packaging 08/08/19


Full product information on the Cetaphil® range is available from Galderma Laboratories South Africa (Pty) Ltd., Co. Reg. No.: 1996/000311/07, PO Box 71150, Bryanston, 2021. Tel.: (011) 706 2339. ZA/CET/1295/0520. Final approval date: 01/06/2020