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Here’s Why M’sians Have Been Breaking Out A LOT Lately & What To Do To Prevent It


Watsons Feat
Source: iStock & TRT World

When it comes to pimples, zits, and acne, none of us are quite in the clear (that pun was totally intended). We Malaysians live in a hot and humid environment which makes us sweat every time we set foot outside. Normally, it’s not a problem because you can just wipe your sweat and oil away.

But then COVID-19 came along and forced a new norm on us which is to wear face masks all the time. In doing so, this global outbreak has caused us to break out (with acne).

This phenomenon is known as ‘maskne‘ and the struggle is real, we can assure you. Here’s everything you need to know:


1. What causes ‘maskne’ and is it the same as normal acne?

Maskne 1

If you have not been getting zits or pimples since you hit puberty but have started getting breakouts around the lower half of your face recently, chances are ‘maskne(mask + acne) is to blame. Now that it is mandatory for us to wear masks in order to halt the spread of viruses, we wear them all day whether at work or when we go out to buy groceries.

Having your face covered by a mask all the time will trap a lot of warm and humid air when you breathe or speak. This creates an ideal environment for yeast and bacteria to grow. The imbalance of bacteria, coupled with friction from your mask is what promotes acne around the covered area too.

You basically have a little germ terrarium around your nose and mouth.


2. Unfortunately, acne is not the only skin condition caused by wearing masks

Maskne 2

Yes, acne is the least of your troubles when wearing masks because there have been reports of other skin problems too, like:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis – Some masks may contain chemicals that cause your skin to have an allergic reaction which can be bothersome or even painful depending on how severe the reaction is.
  • Rosacea acne – This is a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in your face. It may also produce small, red, pus-filled bumps and is usually worsened by heat and stress. Wearing a mask can aggravate this condition.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis – This skin condition mainly affects your scalp but it can affect your face also. It causes an itchy rash with flaky scales similar to dandruff.
  • Folliculitis – Even our hair follicles can be affected. This skin condition happens when yeast or bacteria infect hair follicles and cause inflammation.

These are just some of the other conditions you might suffer from when wearing a face mask frequently, depending on your skin type.


3. It’s actually super easy to prevent maskne with a few skincare steps

Acne Woman Stress

You don’t have to be an expert dermatologist to know how to prevent maskne. There are but a few simple steps you can take before donning your protective mask to ensure you don’t get the horrible skin conditions mentioned earlier.

  • Wash your face first
    • This should be the first step before you put your mask on and head out to go about your day. Use a gentle cleanser and rinse with lukewarm water to prevent dirt and oil from being trapped in the skin, which can cause breakouts.
    • You can try: Dermaction Plus by Watsons Anti-Acne Facial Gel, COSRX Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser or Pink by Pure Beauty So Soft foam cleanser
  • Use a moisturizer
    • Not only will it keep your skin hydrated, but it also acts as a barrier between your face and your mask. Apply onto a cleansed face before wearing your mask.
    • You can try: Alia Tea Tree Moisturiser (infused with Habbatus Sauda, Jeju Green Tea and Tea Tree Oil) or the La Roche-Posay Serozinc Solution
  • Tone down or ditch makeup altogether
    • Makeup will soil your mask and also causes blockages in your pores which in turn leads to breakouts too.
  • Remember to wash your mask
    • This only applies if you wear a reusable cloth mask. The dirt and oil that accumulates on it can be a breeding ground for bacteria from your nose and mouth.

Easy enough right? At most, just remember to wash your face and mask and you should be acne-free!


4. Choosing the right facial products play a vital role too


Try to avoid using harsh products that are acidic or rough on your skin. Exfoliating with scrubs is a bad idea too as they strip away your skin’s natural barriers and make your face more prone to acne breakouts. There are a ton of products out there and it might be confusing to know which is the right one for you.

That’s why, if you’re looking for some new facial products to help with maskne or other skin conditions, Watsons is offering promotions on these skincare products to help take care of any nasty problems you might be facing. Here’s what they are:


  • Pink by Pure Beauty (up to 20% off)
    • Essentials like cleansing foam, toner, clay mask and more!
    • Unique Korean formula contains Pink Flower extract and Alps Rose to give your skin a glowing pinkish skin tone
    • The fizzy So Soft Foam Cleanser gently rinses away dirt and impurities without hurting your skin
    • Their So Smooth Pudding Cream and So Soft Dewy Lotion boosts moisture levels and enhances skin elasticity



  • La Roche-Posay (Watsons members get 5% off)
    • For their soothing, anti-irritant thermal spring water cleansers and moisturisers
    • Effaclar foaming gel cleanser gently washes dirt and oil away while maintaining the skin’s PH balance
    • Pair the foaming gel with the Serozinc solution moisturiser for best results as it contains zinc sulfate and natural thermal spring water to gently moisturise oily and acne-prone skin

La Roche Posay Serozinc


  • COSRX (up to 20% off)
    • For their Low PH Good Morning Gentle Cleanser and other facial products
    • Their low pH products are formulated with purifying botanical ingredients to help soothe, refresh and soften the skin gently


  • Alia Tea Tree (up to 15% off)
    • For the whole range of cleansers and moisturisers
    • Infused with Habbatus Sauda, Jeju Green Tea and tea tree oil, these ingredients contain antimicrobial properties that can help treat acne

Alia Tea Tree Group Front 1


  • Dermaction+ by Watsons (up to 15% off)
    • For all the anti-acne products that will ensure your face is spotless!
    • Their products contain AcnoDERM, a smart technology that continuously releases active ingredients into the skin over six hours
    • Helps exfoliate and repair the skin too
    • Witch Hazel extract tightens pores, controls oil and has antioxidants to protect your skin from pollution

Watsons Dermaction

Now that you have a whole list of skincare products to choose from (and at great offers too), there is no excuse for having maskne. Get to your nearest Watsons and start taking care of your beautiful skin today!

Check out other products at Watsons on their website or stay informed by following their Facebook and Instagram.

Source: AsiaOne
Source: Freepik
Source: Watsons
Source: IG/COSRX
Source: Watsons

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