Maskne and How Stamina Started: The Unspoken Pandemic of 2020.


The year 2020 presented many challenges, and among them, Maskne was born. According to our founder, Dr. Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, dermatologist, skin irritations and pimple breakouts and blemishes are at an all-time high and, just as we do when something unfortunate happens in 2020, she blames it on COVID. “Facial masks are creating so much friction on the skin, which causes redness, while the humidity and germ imbalance clogs and upsets the pores,” she says. Although we can’t stop wearing a mask for the time being, Dr. Blyumin-Karasik has some tips and tricks for how to bring mask-induced breakouts to a screeching halt.

One of the questions we are often asked at Stamina is how to tell the difference between acne and mascne.

The Maskne Difference
“Regular acne is going to be throughout the face and maskne is going to be more concentrated in the area where your mask would typically sit,” says Dr. Blyumin-Karasik. Although this may seem obvious, if you’re prone to acne in the lower face, it can be very difficult to differentiate maskne from its counterpart. But, Dr. Blyumin-Karasik has a tip: look out for symptoms of chafing. “If you see redness, swelling, or rough skin, that is an alert that your skin is extra irritated from the friction and pressure caused by the mask.

Maskne has become a common skin condition during this Covid pandemic. “What we are beginning to understand is that it is a mask-induced dermatosis or skin problem either new or underlying challenged by the mask. So Maskne can be a manifestation of other skin conditions besides acne, such as rosacea, eczema, folliculitis, and psoriasis, which can appear in mask-worn areas and create negative effects on our skin. We also now know that Maskne has a significant impact on our Quality of Life by affecting our skin health as well as appearance. 

The Maskne Solution
The good news is that Stamina Cosmetics has formulated a line that can help reduce irritation, redness, blemishes, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  

Here are some additional tips to help improve your maskne breakouts:

  • Choose your mask wisely. This may depend if you have an option. As a frontliner, the main concern is Covid-19 prevention, so very tight/occlusive N-95 respirators are necessary. However, if there is an option, try to wear a lighter, hypoallergenic, cotton-based masks.
  • Keep great cloth-mask hygiene by daily washing it with hypoallergenic detergent (e.g., Arm and Hammer Sensitive Skin Liquid detergent) or consider disposable masks.
  • Keep good facial hygiene by cleaning your face with gentle facial cleanser at the end of the day (e.g., Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser).
  • Provide barrier protection with oil-free, non-comedogenic, light moisturizer before applying the mask.
  • Avoid using or try switching to lighter or alternative make-up, such as tinted mineral sunscreen moisturizer such as Elta MD Clear. Try minimizing use with only spot concealers for few complexion corrections (e.g., Neutrogena Skin Clearing Blemish Concealer).
  • Simplify your skin care to a few steps: sunscreen moisturizer in am, cleanser, and moisturizer in pm. Multi-layered skin-care approach is not ideal under the masks; it may be causing more acne.

Try to avoid frequent application of AHAs and BHA (hydroxy acids) and retinoids, which can penetrate deeper and act more potently under mask occlusion, leading to barrier interference and more irritation of the skin.

Do your best to minimize the use of heavy emollients or occlusives that can be greasy and comedogenic, resulting in pore congestion. If maskne is creating skin dryness, then start correcting it by using a lightweight lotion of gel-cream (Neutrogena Hydroboost or Vanicream daily facial moisturizer). If skin irritations occur, heavier moisturizer is needed to re-establishing skin surface equilibrium (consider La Roche Posay Toleriane double repair face moisturizer or Avene Tolerance Cream). If your skin has abrasions, scabs and deeper wounds from mask’s pressure, consider wound repairing Cica-based creams (Cicabio by Bioderma or Ciclafate by Avene) or restoring Dr. Heather Rogers Restore Balm with castor oils to speed up the skin healing mechanisms.

Neck and ears irritation from mask rubbing and friction can be addressed with soothing botanical oils (Daily Nutrition Amethyst Skincare).

Lip irritations from masks are best addressed with well nourished and stay-put moisturizing balms, such as Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm. 



Stamina Cosmetics® is designed  by a dermatologist, Dr. MBK with an optimal blend of gentle, yet powerful adaptogens (such as Hypochlorous Acid, Tamanu Oil, Aloe) and other healing ingredients to provide skin resilience, balance, and radiance. The Stamina Calming Mist is a Maskne Spray that helps to purify and refresh skin by reducing microbes and mask-related frictional inflammation. The Stamina Sleeping Serum helps to restore skin equilibrium and skin barrier by anti-bacterial, anti-irritant and healing powers. And the Stamina Blemish Remedy MPP (maks, polish, and peel) Mask enhances skin brightness, smoothness, and skin moisture. The Stamina Maskne Trio is an energizing winning combo that revitalizes skin grit and grace. Hence, #nomoremaskne!

Learn more about Maskne in this New Beauty article.

Learn more about our winning Stamina Cosmetics skincare lineup for Maskne!