Are Surgical Masks Better for Acne?


Acne is a common skin problem, and the cause is still unknown. Acne can be treated in two ways; by over-the-counter medication or by a prescribed medication from your dermatologist. When it comes to wearing facemasks to guard yourself against Covid-19 exposure, it’s hard to know which option is best.

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A disposable surgical mask is ideal for dry, sensitive skin or for those with acne. I propose using a light natural breathable fabric mask like 100% cotton that can absorb moisture for individuals with more oily acne-prone skin.

An astringent after removing the mask will close pores, reducing possible irritation from acne medicines. 

What Causes Mask-Related Acne?

Although masks are an excellent way to protect yourself from Covid-19 exposure, they still can be a cause of acne flare-ups.

There are many factors that decide if you will have mask-related acne. These include the type of mask you use, your skin type, and the frequency of wearing masks. 

If you have oily skin types, the best option is disposable surgical masks, as these do not absorb much moisture, so they won’t clog your pores. But if you have dry, sensitive skin, reusable cloth masks may be better for you as these can absorb any excess oils on your face.

Reusable Cloth Masks vs. Surgical Masks

Surgical masks are a better option for those that have acne as they do not absorb too much moisture and won’t clog your pores.

Disposable surgical masks can also help reduce the number of breakouts you have by creating a barrier between the acne medicine and your skin. This means you will have to apply fewer medicines onto your face, which reduces irritation from medications.

Cloth reusable masks may be better for people with dry, sensitive skin as these can absorb any excess oils on your face. Cotton masks are more breathable as well. Cotton masks should be washed after use to ensure they are clean. Cotton masks can help reduce breakouts by allowing your skin to breathe while protecting you from Covid-19 exposure. 

Although reusable cloth masks are more breathable, they may not be as good at protecting you from Covid-19 exposure. Disposable surgical masks prevent the penetration of particles through the mask. In contrast, cloth reusable ones do allow some smaller molecules through them due to their material’s pores which can cause acne flare-ups if you already have acne-prone skin. 

Whether disposable or reusable, make sure you properly wash and deep cleanse each mask after use to remove


It’s hard to know which option will work best for you when it comes to wearing facemasks for Covid-19 exposure protection. I recommend choosing the type of mask based on your sensitive skin needs and whether you have dry or oily acne-prone skin with high oil production levels.

A disposable surgical mask would be ideal if you have dry, sensitive skin or suffer from severe acne. For those with more oily and acne-prone skin, a light natural breathable fabric mask like 100% cotton would make an excellent choice because it absorbs moisture well without trapping bacteria on the surface of the face where they could potentially cause future breakouts. I recommend you check out local Australian business Canberra Diamond Blade, as they have a great range of disposable and reusable masks for both kids and adults.

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