(HealthyResearch.com) – Those of us who wear face masks regularly might have noticed irritation or acne becoming a recurring issue. Masks probably aren’t going away any time in our immediate future, so it’s vital we do what we can to minimize their effects.
Skin health is important. Try these tips to keep yours at its best and prevent face mask irritation.
Check the Fit
Masks can be irritating if they don’t fit just right, warns Mayo Clinic. Too loose, and the material can be chafing; too tight, and the mask can bruise and impair circulation to the skin. Make sure the fit is snug, but not so tight that it causes pain or damage.
Consider the Materials
The makeup of the mask can be as important as the fit, and masks can come in many materials. Be aware of any you may find especially irritating, sticking to organic cotton if you need a more hypoallergenic option. Cottonique has some great, eco-friendly options.
Avoid disposable masks, which can contain plastics and chemicals that can irritate the skin and cause contact dermatitis. These masks are also beginning to pose bigger problems, with their components breaking down in water supplies and polluting the environment.
Wash Masks Regularly
CBS12 News reports that face masks can quickly become growing media for bacteria, fungi and other microscopic bugs. The CDC recommends washing used masks each day to keep them clean and safe to use. Have several on hand so it’s no big deal to toss used ones in the hamper each evening.
They can go in the washing machine with the rest of the laundry, or users can hand-wash them using detergent or soap as long as they make sure to rinse them well. If possible, machine-dry masks on high heat or hang them out to dry in the sunlight. Make sure masks are completely dry before reusing.
Keep Face Moisturized
Having healthy skin is the first step toward lasting protection against dryness and chafing. Mayo Clinic recommends keeping the face clean and using liberal amounts of a hypoallergenic moisturizer twice daily. Make sure not to over wash — that’s no more than once or twice a day, according to Healthline — as too much cleansing can also contribute to dryness.
Directly Address Irritation
People who wear masks all day may need to take additional steps to keep their faces blemish-free. Mayo Clinic suggests putting zinc oxide (like what’s in sunscreen and diaper creams) on the nose to reduce friction without compromising the mask. A warm, 15-minute compress using a teaspoon of vinegar to a bowl of water may humidify and revitalize problem areas.
Face masks can be hard on the skin, but solutions are available. Irritation might not be completely avoidable in all cases; in most, however, we can regain control and minimize the effects. Try the suggestions above and see if they make a difference.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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