Hansen later added, "The idea of the mask is that there is no personality under the mask. That was the idea in talking with Tobe and Kim. When they created the character, they said he has to put on masks to express himself because he himself can't do it. The way we tried to create him, there is nothing under the mask, which is what makes him so frightening."
The remake offered a more concrete explanation as to why Leatherface wore masks. As a child, a severe facial deformity ate away most of his nose and made him subject to cruel ridicule from his peers. Prior to killing people, he wore animal hides, cloths and leather masks that covered up the bottom of his face. Later he began to skin some of the people he killed and wore their faces as masks. In contrast to the original film, Leatherface does not seem to have different masks for different purposes, although he does change masks occasionally. He appears briefly without his mask on in one scene of remake, his face suffers badly from Deterioration and he is missing a portion of his nose. According to the Making of Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, How Thomas loses his nose is while at the slaughterhouse searching for Chrissy, distracted by Dean calling out for her, she attacks him and cuts Thomas badly on the nose with a knife she found.
The Wildstorm comics that took place in the remake's continuity had Leatherface taking off his mask when alone with his family, something that did not occur in any of the original films.