CPAP Mask and Acne
Last updated: August 2023
Using my CPAP full time, I started to notice that I would wake up with the marks all over my face from the CPAP that would last for hours. Next I noticed that when I use overnight skin treatments that you don’t wash off, and are around where the plastic hit my face, I started having severe breakouts.
I stopped using my overnight treatments and outside of my hormonal outbreaks that occur around my menstrual cycle, I saw new acne around the bottom of my nose, around my lips, and on my chin. Already having skin issues stinks, but noticing that my CPAP mask was causing new issues meant I had to figure out how to treat it.
I changed my skin care routine, starting using a jade roller and a refrigerated sheet mask, and experimented with disposable and fabric mask covers.
Different types of CPAP masks & their benefits
There are full face masks, nasal pillows, and oral only masks out there to use with your CPAP. Because I currently roll a lot in my sleep, the full face mask has been the best option, however, it's the biggest of the mask options and has a lot of contact points with the headgear and mask.
The AirFit F30i is one of the smaller full face masks and it sits under my nose which allows me to wear my glasses. This was great until I started to notice acne popping up on all the places the mask touched.
At first, I thought that the overnight serums were the cause of the acne. So I got rid of all my overnight masks and treatments.
The acne was pretty much still the same and changed very little, but the redness and irritation did go away.
Tips for preventing skin issues from wearing a CPAP mask
To help protect my skin, I tried the disposable paper mask covers, however, as a drooler I would wake up to bits of wet paper blowing around. It was gross, so I abandoned that idea and tried the fabric covers. They don’t fall apart, but having a wet cover on your face in the middle of the night didn’t work either.
Things I can control
So I focused on things I could control, such as my skin and my skin care routine. I eliminated overnight masks and oils because the mask would trap those products and cause redness and irritation, and within a day or 2, acne.
I started to make sure I cleaned and toned my skin every night and in the morning when I got up. After I cleaned my skin with a charcoal face wash, I then toned my skin with Thayers Natural Remedies Rose Petal Facial Toner with a cotton pad. I would use a chilled jade roller on my face and it helped eliminate the CPAP marks on my face much quicker.
I started doing a charcoal mask twice a week. The mask wash is a charcoal power that is mixed in a wooden bowl with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
After about 3 weeks in, I finally started to see a difference in the acne breakouts caused by my CPAP.
When you start using a CPAP, you never really think about the side effects until it happens. For me, using a CPAP has meant adjusting my relationship with sleep and insomnia. It’s also caused everything from nose bleeds, dry eyes, dry mouth, and the newest thing: acne. It took some time but I have a great routine to help keep my skin healthy while still using my CPAP.
What have you had to change in your routine while using your CPAP?
What themes would you like to see your fellow community members write about?