Female talent with face mask

Maskne in winter? Not a vibe

Maskne: one of 2020’s newest (and unwanted) skin trends to hit our beauty vocab. But did you know maskne doesn’t just happen in warmer, summer months? When it comes to winter maskne, you can blame a combo of cold, dry air with scratchy face coverings, which together can leave skin sensitive, irritated and breakout prone. Not a vibe! Read on for the lowdown on winter skin care tips to beat maskne plus glow-getting goals to reclaim hydrated skin. Your winter skin care routine switch-up starts now!

Summer maskne vs winter maskne – what’s the diff?

You might be thinking you’ve seen the last of maskne in summer, but winter maskne? Totally different. Quick recap: maskne (AKA blemishes, breakouts and irritation caused by wearing a face mask) happens when your face covering traps sweat, dirt and warm air against your skin, allowing bacteria to thrive and cause breakouts. Even if you don’t usually get blemishes, face coverings can create the perfect party for pimples. Not the kinda party we like! So, what’s different about winter maskne? Let’s break it down.

Dry winter air saps your skin of moisture and hydration. The result – dehydrated skin that feels tight, red and sometimes breaks out thanks to an imbalanced skin barrier. Now, add your face covering to the mix. Chafing against drier-than-usual skin can cause face-hair follicles to become inflamed and enlarged (ouch!) allowing blemish-causing bacteria into the skin.

This looks a lot like pimples but is actually a condition called folliculitis (don’t stress! It sounds scarier than it is). In short, maskne in the summertime is probably down to clogged pores, whereas maskne in the winter can also be from friction on dry, delicate skin. But, no biggie! We’ve got allll the tips to help you beat maskne this winter. Ready, set... let’s go!

Female talent looking at spots in the background

Maskne tips for combination skin in winter 

Say hey to balanced, moisturised skin with these winter skin care tips for combination skin.

1. Keep combination skin clean and f-r-e-s-h

It’s cold out! But that doesn’t mean morning (and evening) cleansing should take a backseat. Keeping combination skin clean and cleansed is the most important step in your winter skin routine – especially when maskne comes creeping! Try a double cleanse to deeply clean pores, remove oil and impurities and makeup, starting with Daily Skin Detox Oil Be Gone Micellar Cleansing Water.

Then get sudsy with a soap-free, creamy cleanser like our Kind to Skin Moisturising Facial Wash for instantly hydrated skin when temps start to drop. The aim? Skin that feels super-clean but not stripped, ready for your next skincare steps.

2. Multi-moisturising is your winter skincare A-game

Combination skin is a challenge because your skin wants different things and is relying on you to know the drill! During winter it’s a mix up as oily zones become dry and dry skin zones become oily. Talk about mixed signals! Our tip – go bespoke with your moisturiser depending on your zones. Try one lighter like Water Boost Hydrating Gel Cream, and one richer like our Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser to match up with your combination skin zones.

3. Switch up your face masks

Not just your face covering – we mean your mid-week pamper sesh. If you love a mid-week exfoliating mask, now’s the time to switch it up to something a little more hydrating. Remember, even combination skin needs a hydration boost. Your winter skin is probably shouting out for extra hydration so treat yourself to a Water Boost 5-minute Reset Hydrogel Mask.  Yep, true story – one sheet mask is the equivalent to 40 days of moisturiser* – in just 5 mins! Soak. It. Up!

Female talent with sensitive to normal skin

1. Take it down a notch

Your hot shower, that is. We know – it’s tempting to turn up the dial when it’s cold outside, but keep your showers tepid to safeguard stripping dehydrated skin of hydration. Why is it a big deal? Because when dehydrated skin chafes against your face mask, it can quickly turn into maskne. Top tip: once you’re out of the shower, pop on your moisturiser ASAP to lock moisture into thirsty skin.

2. Get sneaky – add extra moisture to your winter skin routine

We’re talking masks! Our Water Boost Hydrating Sheet Mask gives you the same, whopping hydration boost as 16 days of moisturiser. Then as an everyday hydration booster, try a sweep of Water Boost Cleansing Micellar Water all over before popping on a layer of Water Boost Hydrating Booster as a pre-moisturising step for skin that g-l-o-w-s with hydration.

3. Never forget your SPF

Sure, half your face is under a covering and the sun is… where? BUT! It’s still plan A to keep an SPF in your skincare arsenal to protect your skin barrier and dehydrated skin. Simple Protect ‘n’ Glow Triple Protect Moisturiser SPF 30  is a triple threat against UVA, UVB and pollution & blue light (thanks to extra screen time) plus it’s fast absorbing and keeps skin moisturised a-l-l day.

Do’s and don’ts for winter maskne


DO switch your face covering regularly

It’s cold so your mask gets less sweaty, right? Technically yes, but daily bacteria build-up can still cause winter maskne. Wash or replace your face mask after every use.

DO avoid touching your face

It’s tempting to readjust your mask – we know! But touching your face when you suffer from folliculitis can irritate your skin even more. Hands off! 

DON’T forget to moisturise

Combination skin needs hydration and moisture in winter – especially under a mask. Keep a tube handy in case your mask chafes away much needed moisture while you’re on the go. Remember to only reapply with squeaky clean hands!  

Now you know – winter maskne vs summer maskne (hello humidity!) – same, same but different. Those breakouts and irritations are easy to manage thanks to a few winter skin care tips and switches to your winter skin care routine. Goodbye maskne, hello ultra-glowy, hydrated skin.

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