For most of us the face mask was an unexpected twist to 2020. What started out as feeling bizarre has now become almost normal, despite the added political statement. And unfortunately, if you live on the west coast, the chances are you also own other masks - specifically for fire season. We aren't here to get into the health benefits or pros and cons. We aren't doctors. But we are here to talk about a little bit of basic hygiene that goes a long way when it comes to masks - and how Nucifera can help with that.
For the majority of us who are completely unfamiliar with wearing a mask (myself included) the feeling like we can repeat wear a cloth mask over and over needs to go. Your mask gets really dirty, and with the "cute mask" movement upon us - the materials and fabrics that are being used vary in efficacy and antimicrobial aspects.
Most of the masks we are wearing, are not designed to be worn for long periods of time, and potentially can harbor bacteria. Washing your cloth mask frequently is essential. When we inhale, we breathe in mostly nitrogen and oxygen, and when we exhale - its carbon dioxide and our germs and toxins. All of this gets trapped on your face or re-inhaled. If you aren't familiar with wearing a mask for a long period of time, it feels a bit uncomfortable. Fortunately, most of the cloth masks that we are wearing aren't airtight enough to pose any major threats (so far), but what many people are starting to notice is the rise in 'maskne' or acne and skin irritations from wearing a mask. So, what to do about that maskne?
Nucifera Mask Hygiene 101
1 - The number one thing to do to keep your mask from irritating your skin is keeping it clean. Wash cloth masks after each wear, and if you aren't in a situation that requires wearing one - don't. This comes down to a bit of personal judgement, but unless you are an Uber driver, wearing a mask doesn't seem necessary if you are alone in your car. Being socially responsible doesn't have to mean over doing it.
2 - Keep your face clean and fresh while wearing your mask. Spritzing your face and mask with The Mist, or other hydrating and cleansing toners is a great way to reduce irritation. The Mist contains colloidal silver which is potentially antibacterial and anti-fungal. A bonus to have around during this time. If you have the ability to take work breaks and step outside - give yourself and your mask a fresh misting. It also feels great.
3 - Keep your skin hydrated. Even if you have oily skin, keeping your skin clean and hydrated is really important in preventing irritation. We do a cold splash of water on our face in the morning, followed by The Balm, and a spritz of The Mist. This helps with rubbing and chaffing.
4 - The Stick can be your on the go best friend. While we are definitely biased, we have to mention that our number one thing to take out the door with us (along with our mask) is The Stick. The Stick contains nutrient dense and hydrating candelilla wax that provides a barrier to irritation - especially on the lips. Think of it like a chapstick, but extra. Extra soothing, extra moisturizing and filled with ingredients that help combat skin irritations.
5 - Lastly, mask safety. We must mention this because we live in California. Going out the door to the grocery store in your cute custom mask is fine. It is not fine when there is smoke and fire and the air quality is bad. Preventing your germs from spreading is very different than protecting yourself from toxic smoke inhalation. If you live on the west coast, and the air quality is bad - you need to wear an N95 or another professional grade mask. Cloth masks can actually trap smoke and make the situation much worse for your lungs.
All this being said, we hope you are staying safe, healthy, and making the most out of this (hopefully temporary) new normal.