A face mask is basically a thin, hollow mask worn around the nose and mouth, typically made out of common cloth materials, such as cotton. While face-masks are primarily worn by cosmetologists, who work with makeup to change a face’s color and skin tone, they can also be worn by anyone who wants to add a little spunk and punch to their appearance. However, not everyone likes them, even though they do seem to provide some positive benefits. To answer the question posed in the title, yes, you definitely need to wash your face!
I will also not recommend using a face-mask, no matter how homemade, unless you have the ability to properly cleanse your skin. I will explain why in this article. Typically, if a face mask contains ingredients that are abrasive, they will scrape off the natural surface of your skin, which can result in bleeding or a reaction from your skin. When using a homemade mask, especially one that contains ingredients that have the potential to irritate your skin, you are placing yourself at risk of further skin damage.
In addition to potentially damaging your skin, the ingredients commonly found in face-masks can also clog your exhalation valves. Exhalation is when the lungs exchange air during breathing, the process that provides us with fresh air. Exhalation valves are located on the front of your nostril, right where the bridge of the nose meets the nasal cavity.
The reason that I am not recommending using these masks is because they do not allow the nasal air to escape, which is important for supporting proper breathing. If you take a look at most face masks, you will see that they are composed of a thin piece of fabric stretched over a frame. Multiple layers of fabric are then rolled onto the frame, creating multiple layers of fabric in the base of the mask. This is fine if you want to protect your nasal passages, but the problem comes in when multiple layers of the mask become saturated with sweat and moisture. Sweat and moisture will form tiny droplets on the surface of the face mask, blocking the exit of air and reducing the amount of oxygen the area receives.
One great alternative to disposable face masks is using a commercially made cloth face mask. Commercial cloth masks (not the kind you roll up like a burrito) are made from a thick synthetic material such as polyester and acrylic. Although commercially made products are better than homemade, they are much more expensive and the time to create a quality product takes longer. The upside to this is that you don’t have to worry about health risks associated with the ingredients in a traditional homemade face mask. A high quality cloth mask made from high quality fabric can be used repeatedly without risk of breakage or clogging.
Although you may have to purchase a face mask specifically made from a higher quality fabric, this is not usually a problem. The better quality fabrics from the manufacturer are often sold at a discount. The savings you realize on your next bulk order will more than make up for the difference in price. You may also be able to find special deals on the type of fabric your face mask is made out of. Cloth and vinyl fabrics tend to be less porous than other types of synthetic materials.