Maskne: mask acne

Marzia Filipetto, Skin Expert

Maskne or Mask-ne indicates the occurrence or worsening of some skin manifestations such as: acne, pimples or blackheads due to the daily use of protective masks.

How to recognize mask acne?

For skins that suffer from alterations of the sebaceous glands there is the appearance of redness, itching and pimples.

On the other hand, for reactive and sensitive skins it is possible that there are: irritation, skin rash (rashes) and small abrasions, itching, erythema, desquamation.

For predisposed subjects, other dermatological problems may appear, such as: allergic contact dermatitis, irritation dermatitis in the nose and ears, seborrheic dermatitis, Rosacea.

However, in most cases Maskne is mainly localized on the cheeks, chin, lip contour and nose, while for those suffering from seborrheic dermatitis the skin is also sensitized on the sides of the nose, along the eyebrows and / or behind the ears.

What are the causes of Maskne?

  • Prolonged contact with the mask can compromise the integrity of the skin barrier
  • In the presence of injuries from contact with the mask, germs and dirt can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin creating subepidermal inflammatory states

  • Moisture and heat from our breath can alter the pH of the skin creating: angular cheilitis (persistent chapped lips with small cuts), dermatitis with an erythematous rash around the mouth, characterized by papules, cystic pimples and dry skin
  • Use of aggressive products on the skin
  • Weakening of the skin bacterial microflora with bacterial overgrowth
  • Applications of film-forming and occlusive creams of the pores that favor the accumulation of sebum and dirt.

  • The material of some face masks and protective gear can retain residue from laundry detergents and fabric softeners that can irritate the skin.

In & out action to prevent and cure Maskne


With nettárÉ® in a single gesture you remove dirt and impurities leaving the skin hydrated and soft.

nettárÉ® è un detergente in crema delicata composta per oltre il 99,9% da ingredienti naturali.

Its unique and delicate formulation has been designed to gently take care of the daily hygiene of the skin most prone to irritation. With natural vitamin E. Without dyes, preservatives and allergens.


The Lino-dÉrmA® formula aims to rebuild the physiological hydrolipidic barrier.

In addition, it contains a synergy of plant extracts with an anti-inflammatory action such as Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Cumin and Aloe which has demonstrated a soothing action identical to the hydrocortisone ointment, while being completely natural and free of side effects.

The moisturizing and emollient active ingredients keep the skin hydrated and elastic, eliminating itching. Due to its unique characteristics it could represent the ideal natural remedy for atopic dermatitis suitable for all ages.


Crema Balsamo C.R.B. has a regenerating action on the skin thanks to the effect of 14 essential oils.

It has a normalizing and sebum-regulating action suitable for acne-prone skin. It contributes to maintaining the skin pH at physiological values. Soothes and leaves the skin soft to the touch.

The clinical tests carried out indicate, in fact, that it is effective in protecting the epidermis from the action of external agents and free radicals and in soothing any irritation while maintaining the physiological balance of the skin intact. Thanks to vegetable hyaluronic acid, it has excellent moisturizing properties and improves skin elasticity.


Help from within is favored by the natural supplement Leni Mal which acts against free radicals at the base of inflammatory states, thanks to the skilful combination of plant extracts selected for their antioxidant active ingredients, such as green tea and artichoke.

In addition, the action of these active ingredients is combined with the more specific properties of Curcuma longa and Boswellia serrata extracts. Turmeric, already known by the Egyptian Pharaohs for its ability to restore “a general condition of well-being”, has anti-inflammatory properties also confirmed by modern scientific research.

Boswellia has a double protective action, inhibiting the activation of inflammation mediators. To these are added the essential oils of Rosemary, Savory and Juniper to which both the herbalist tradition and recent scientific research recognize important anti-inflammatory properties

Cyclooxygenase, lipoxygenase and the inflammatory process

Cyclooxygenase and lipooxygenase are the two families of enzymes that are commonly involved in the inflammatory process, through a complex of reactions which is called arachidonic acid cascade. This complex of reactions develops as follows: a first enzyme, a phospholipase cleaves the phospholipids of biological membranes, releasing arachidonic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid with 20 carbon atoms (eicosa-5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z-tetraenoic acid ; C20:4; ω-6). The arachidonic acid is then transformed by two parallel enzymatic pathways, that is, by two families of enzymes: the cyclooxygenase which transforms it into prostaglandins and thromboxanes and the lipooxygenase which transforms it into hydroperoxides which in turn transform into leukotrienes .
There are two cyclooxygenase isoforms indicated with type 1 and type 2, briefly COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 is the enzyme present in most cells (except red blood cells), and is constitutive, that is, it is always present. COX-2 is an inducible cyclooxygenase isoform: it is constitutively present in some organs such as brain, liver, kidney, stomach, heart and vascular system, while it can be induced (i.e. developed if necessary) following inflammatory stimuli on the skin, white blood cells and muscles.
There are various types of lipooxygenase that lead to different products, the most important in the inflammatory process is 5-lipooxygenase, 5-LOX.

Prostaglandins, Thromboxanes, and Leukotrienes

Prostaglandins, Thromboxanes, and Leukotrienes are chemical messengers or mediators, that is, molecules that bring a message to specific cells and activate or deactivate metabolic responses in these cells. They, therefore, have a function similar to hormones, only that, unlike what hormones do, the chemical message is carried only at a short distance, that is, only to the cells that are in the vicinity of the place where the mediators were produced. There are different prostaglandins, different thromboxanes and different leukotrienes that carry specific messages. In many cases these act as mediators of the inflammatory process , therefore they trigger all the events that are involved in inflammation:
– vasodilation with consequent blood supply (redness),
– increased capillary permeability with consequent fluid exudation (swelling or edema),
– stimulation of nociceptive nerve signals (pain),
– on-site recall of immune system cells that attack a possible invader (chemotactic action)
– activation of the biosynthesis of fibrous tissue to strengthen or repair the affected part (even if there is no need)
– generations of free radicals that can chemically destroy an invader (but also damage our tissues, i.e. they just “shoot in the middle”).
Prostaglandins and thromboxanes, however, also play important physiological roles in normal conditions, i.e. in the absence of inflammation. For example, they regulate the secretion of mucus that protects the walls of the stomach, they regulate the biosynthesis of cartilages and synovial fluid in the joints, they regulate vasodilation, hence the correct flow of blood in the various local districts, and more.


Triglycerides are the main components of most oils and fats. These are heavy, non-volatile and little polar molecules, insoluble in water, made up of glycerol (or glycerin) esterified with three molecules of fatty acids: therefore, it is a tri-ester of glycerin, from which the name derives. Each fatty acid contains 8 to 22 carbon atoms (commonly 16 to 18) and can be saturated, mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated. The size of the fatty acids and their saturation determines the physical and sensorial properties of the triglycerides, which can appear as oils (liquids at room temperature) or fats (solid or semi-solid) and can have greater or less greasiness and smoothness on the skin. Unsaturated triglycerides or with shorter fatty acids are more fluid and have greater flowability.

Fatty acids (saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated)

The name fatty acids is commonly used to indicate those organic acids that are found in the composition of lipids, that is, in animal and vegetable oils and fats, both in the free form and in the form of esters with glycerol (e.g. in triglycerides), or they are esterified with “fatty” alcohols, that is, long chain alcohols, to form waxes. Fatty acids are carboxylic acids (formula R-COOH) which have a long carbon chain (R), unlike common organic acids such as acetic acid and propionic acid, which have 2 or 3 carbon atoms in total, respectively. Fatty acids are defined as saturatedif they do not have double carbon-carbon bonds, (called “unsaturations”), they are defined mono-unsaturated if they have only one, they are defined mono-unsaturatedpoly-unsaturated if they have two or more double bonds (see figure). The term omega-3 (ω-3) or omega-6 (ω-3), refers to the position of the first double bond starting from the bottom of the chain of carbon atoms: if the first double bond is encountered after 3 carbon atoms the fatty acid is classified as omega-3 , if after six carbon atoms omega-6 , as shown in the figure. The most common saturated fatty acids are palmitic acid (16 carbon atoms and no double bond, C16: 0) and stearic acid (18 carbon atoms, 18: 0), the most common mono-unsaturated is the oleic acid, typical of olive oil (18 carbon atoms and 1 double bond in position 9, C18: 1; ω-9), while the most common poly-unsaturated are linoleic acid and linolenic acid, progenitors respectively omega-6 and omega-3 (see figure).

Terpenes and terpenoids

Terpenes or terpenoids are a large family of natural molecules, typically containing 10 to 30 carbon atoms, which are biosynthesized from a common “brick”, isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP), containing 5 carbon atoms (see figure). The discovery that the repetitive brick consists of 5 carbon atoms is relatively recent, while it was once assumed that the entire family was created by repeating a brick of 10 carbon atoms, which was called “terpene”. Therefore, the molecules with 10 carbon atoms (such as limonene, see figure) were called mono-terpenes, i.e. composed of a single brick, diterpenes those with 20 carbon atoms (e.g. the cafestol that gives the aroma to the coffee), triterpenes those with 30 carbon atoms (e.g. beta-carotene). Since molecules made from 15 carbon atoms were also found (such as bisabolol), it was thought they contained a terpene and a half, and were called sesquiterpenes (from the Latin semis = half + atque = and). Today it is known that the repetitive unit is composed of 5 carbon atoms, therefore it is easy to understand how mono-terpenes contain two (see figure), sesquiterpenes three, diterpenes four, triterpenes six.