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Got Maskne? Non-Toxic Tips for Acne from Face Masks

Face of young blonde woman wearing mask in the city with nature outdoors
Updated: December 5, 2020
Posted In: Best Of The Web

As Americans (and countries world-wide, really) adjust to the new reality of wearing face masks in public or other settings of increased risk from respiratory droplet exposure (and as many states, including mine, now mandate), our quest for the perfect mask continues.

While some materials are better for restraining the exchange of smaller droplets, the breathability of such masks inhibits airflow on your face as well. So, how can we both be safe and keep our skin happy for those inevitable Zoom calls later?

First, wear the right mask.

Second, prep your skin before mask use.

Third, be mindful while wearing the mask.

Forth, treat your skin after use.

OK, yes, it sounds simple. And it is. With just a few modifications I’m hoping you can work some magic that’s got a good return on the effort you put in! If I can make this work, with my extremely sensitive acne-prone skin, I’m think we call can.

Switching to safer skincare and changing my lifestyle habits changed my skin years ago, but it’s still quick to “react” at the slightest irritation. This is what I’ve done to keep my skin clear and happy.

1: Wear the right mask (and wash it).

According to this study, the following masks are most ideal for reducing respiratory droplets. Good news, cotton reduces the droplets the most AND is less irritating for most skin types.

You want to look for a washable, re-usable ORGANIC COTTON DUAL LAYER (or more) mask. If there is an opening for a filtration system (i.e. thick padding you can add in), it’ll be even better for safety without affecting your skin. Here are some brands I found in stock:

  • Alex and Nova, which come in adult and kid sizes. They have a ton of options and fit as well as a satisfaction guarantee!
  • Duty Apparel uses size charts for an exact fit, adjustable nose pieces, and is both organic cotton and hemp, which is hypoallergenic and has a stronger resistance to breaking down than cotton (by 8x). They also use latex-free elastic and natural dyes for the cotton, it is fully non-toxic!
  • I love that Graf-Lantz donates to Feeding America with purchases of their masks, which have a unique nose-piece and come in 2 sizes. They also have filters that fit perfectly you can purchase, and if you’re feeling generous you can add a bulk set for essential workers to be donated to your order.
  • With loops around the head and neck vs. ears, Groceries Apparel not just uses organic cotton, but they also gift 3 masks when you buy 3. Love it!
  • and of course, when you search Organic Cotton Mask on Etsy you get SO many options!

If you’re going to be wearing a mask a lot, I suggest getting some of both around the ear and around the neck and head to alternate to reduce irritation. While not included in the referenced study, a face shield is also a great option for those with sensitive skin.

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