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What's Underneath That Mask?

What's Underneath That Mask?

Wondering what's going on underneath the mask that you're wearing? Maybe it's a slight odor or excessive sweating. It could be "maskne" in the works; acne resulting from wearing a mask. Here are a few tips on preventing any mask issues.

Wear sunscreen.

Many people will be surprised to know that a mask does not act as a sunscreen. It gives you 0-5 SPF sun protection. We still need sunscreen. I am very prone to freckling, therefore, I wear SPF 50+ and a UPF face mask; on top of my protective mask, when outdoors. It sounds excessive, but I still get a couple of freckles! Otherwise, two would be 50.

Clean face before and after use.

Before wearing our masks, we need a clean face. Once we wear our masks with dirty faces, pores can clog from the humidity underneath. After we've worn one, and are safe to be mask-free, a quick swipe with a cotton pad and toner, or a facial cleansing wipe can clean up some of the bacteria accumulated. Once we're home, it's a good idea to give our faces a good, clean wash.

Wash mask with fragrance-free detergent.

Our masks need regular washes. It's a good idea to have spare ones, in case we forget to wash. If we sweated to the point where we didn't want to re-use one, we can just grab a spare on the way to our next destination.

Mask material.

Some people have allergic reactions due to synthetic fibers or ones that are pre-treated with formaldehyde. Knowing what fabrics your skin is okay with is important. If you suspect your mask's fabric is the culprit, then opt for another fabric, possibly an organic and safe-to-use mask.

Brush teeth.

Brushing our teeth pre-mask is a great idea. (Plus, the odor from within is way better.) We're aware that bacteria causes funky breath. Since wearing a mask causes humidity, adding bacteria from our mouths is something we want to avoid.

It's stressful enough to remember to wear a mask everywhere while making sure they stay in place. Getting acne can annoy us more. Frontline workers wear them for long periods, even over 12 hours straight! So, I'm not complaining. Stick to a regular skin care routine. It's more important than ever. Next time you're about to wear your mask, think of all the ways to avoid maskne.

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