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For all of the nineteen years I’ve lived, I’ve endured my struggles with skin, but acne was never an issue. Instead, combating dry patch breakouts and parched skin was my norm. I refused to put makeup on my face, as there was no need to cover up any blemishes or scars. 

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, my face broke out in ways that I never would’ve imagined could happen to my skin. Foundation masked every inch of my face and I was left with less self-confidence because my once clear skin was stripped away. 

However, my skin is slowly reverting back to its original state, with targeted products and a strict regimen. Mask-cne, while common, is certainly an annoyance but can easily be calmed. Listed below are my top suggestions to clearing mask-cne and preventing further breakouts.

The reason that I mention masks is because they in fact play a vital role in your chances of developing mask-cne. In order to let the skin properly breathe, opt for a silk mask (Etsy in particular is a great online shop to purchase the said from). A silk mask is much better than a regular cloth mask as it results in less irritation to the skin and prevents bacteria from entering the subcutaneous layer of skin. Avoid using disposable masks, as they are not as effective and additionally more likely to cause acne. 

Finding a product for your specific skin care needs is not always easy, but fortunately there are some products that cater to every skin type (even ultra-sensitive skin)! I have found that these products have thoroughly decreased my scars and hindered breakouts. Look for products with hyaluronic acid which has hydrating properties, and will actually nourish oily skin, which is caused by a lack of water. Additionally, niacinamide and salicylic acid products regulate sebum production, which is responsible for the oil that we feel. 

The best cleanser to use on your skin when dealing with this is Neutrogena Oil Free Acne wash. It’s compatible with all skin types and melts off makeup very easily. The next step in the routine is emulsion, or putting your face in hot or cold water for about fifteen seconds. It has truly worked wonders for my skin, and prior to doing this, my acne was more severe and inflamed. Third, always follow up with your desired serum or spot treatment, in that order. My favorite to use at the moment is Sunday Riley’s Ultra Clarifying Face Oil, which gets rid of stubborn dark spots and prevents any future pimples. The other benefits of this product is that it addresses Anti-Aging, which not many acne serums or facial oils on the market targets. Lastly, find a moisturizer that is suitable for treating blemishes, but also addresses hydration, as that is the root cause of acne. I have been a fan of the Origins Clear Improvement Pore Clearing Moisturizer with Salicylic Acid, and have noticed a significant decrease in the amount of visible pores and impurities. 


Hi there! I am currently a sophomore that is part of Michigan State University's chapter of HerCampus. I am a Microbiology major, with aspirations to become a dermatopathologist. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with loved ones, catching up on a good book, or streaming a copious amount of shows and movies on Netflix.
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