How to Clean your Mask so it Doesn't Damage your Skin

Keeping your mask clean is a crucial part of maintaining proper hygiene and optimized skincare.  

Your mask should be treated like your other clothes and undergarments: wash frequently. Wearing your mask multiple times without washing will increase the spread of germs. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mask recommendations as of February 2021:

CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people. Effective February 2, 2021, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.” 

Cover both your nose and your mouth to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. And don’t forget to wash your mask! If you’re not sure how to proceed with mask maintenance, you’ve come to the right place.

The Recommendations: 

After removing your face mask, make sure to wash your hands and store the mask in a plastic or paper bag until you are ready to wash it.

N95: The N95 mask, known as the most protective mask on the market, is not easy to sanitize. Most healthcare officials will recommend that N95 masks be replaced after using more than once. For extended use, double up with a disposable mask underneath to protect your skin from the dirt and bacteria that the N95 collects from multi-wear. A little-known fact is that you also can wash your N95 gently with soap and water. Try hand washing and air drying your N95 and see if it works for you.

Cloth Mask: Most cloth masks are machine washable. If you’re unsure of the washing instructions, check the label of the manufacturer. In most cases, cloth masks can be washed and dried along with the rest of your laundry. Cloth masks should be washed daily. If you’re unable to wash your mask regularly, double up with a disposable mask underneath to protect your skin from the dirt and bacteria that the cloth mask collects.

Handwashing: If you choose to handwash your reusable cloth masks, make sure to use hot water, and wash your mask vigorously with detergent or soap, and rinse until completely clean. Then air dry. 

Disposable: The lightweight blue and white disposable masks should not be used more than once. They are designed for single-use purposes and should be disposed of after a day of use.

Gaiter: While bandanas and gaiters are often not accepted as proper face masks in some public places, a gaiter that is folded twice over is a better form of protection. If a gaiter is your choice of face mask, make sure to wash it along with your clothes. 

Face Shields: If you decide to wear a face shield over the top of your mask, the cleaning process is a bit different. You can try to use antibacterial wipes to clean a face shield, but oftentimes they leave unwanted streaks. The best way to clean a plastic face shield is to dunk it into hot, soapy water, and dry it with a gentle towel. 

 

Your skin is fragile. What you put on your face should be handled with care. In the same way that we recommend you clean your makeup brushes after use, cleaning your mask will help prevent pushing unwanted dirt, oils, and bacteria onto your face. Stay safe, and help stop the spread. 

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