How to care for your masks and the skin underneath

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From skincare to washing guidelines, here’s how to get the most out of your fabric face masks

Image by Vera Davidova via Unsplash

By now, we are well-acquainted with face masks, and have probably wracked up quite the collection. But with mask use becoming so mundane, you may now be wondering what’s the best way to care for them. Maybe you’re not sure how often to wash them, or your skin underneath is suffering. Here are some top tips to help you mask properly, safely, and comfortably!


Wash up

You should ideally clean your hands before and after applying or removing a fabric mask. Cleaning your mask after every use reduces the risk of spreading germs or coronavirus. This is where having a big collection of them comes in handy! You can wash fabric masks in your regular laundry load with hot water. Dry them on a high heat after to really blast away any germs. You can also hand wash with hot, soapy water. Scrub the mask for at least 20 seconds, and dry them on high heat in the dryer.

What’s the store-y?

Maybe you’ve got a designated box by your front door, or a bedroom drawer full to the brim. It’s best to store masks (once they’re dry!) somewhere clean when not in use. Having a bag to carry the mask around in your handbag is also a good idea, so that you can pop it in between uses. Some companies, like NoGo, sell face masks that come with a little pouch for your keys, meaning they’re portable and easy to use.

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Image via NoGo

The dreaded maskne

Ah, acne. A daily struggle for some, a monthly matter for others, and a teenage memory for almost all! With face coverings being worn for most of our public outings, the chin and mouth area is constantly being touched. Moreover, it can get a little clammy under many fabrics. As a result, a lot of people have experienced some pesky pimples. Healthline recommends either treating or preventing maskne.

To prevent, wash your mask after every use, remove it every four hours, or apply a moisturiser before you put it on. To treat maskne, take a break from makeup during a breakout (sure no one can see it anyway!) Alternatively, apply moisturiser with ceramides, use a gentle cleanser, and wash your face regularly.