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Skin Care 101 – Wearing a Face Mask to Protect Your Skin

A cloth face mask, sometimes called a facial mask, is a simple mask utilized over the nose and mouth, typically made of strong common cloth materials, such as cotton, polyester or spandex. When physically difficult, and if very effective masks aren’t always available, cloth face masks can be worn by just about anyone. Cloth facemasks are easy to wash, since they tend to get dirty very quickly. Some cloth masks even have small loops on the bottom to keep them from slipping down your chin.

In addition to using a face mask for its calming and soothing qualities, a cloth mask can be used to alleviate colds, reduce redness of irritated eyes, ease itching and irritation of the skin, and even treat fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot. Simply put on a hand sanitizer or any other kind of over-the-counter nasal wash and dab a thin layer of cloth face mask over your nose and mouth. If you have bad allergies, don’t put on a hand sanitizer or soap while wearing a cloth mask, and make sure that any hand sanitizer doesn’t contain triclosan. Better yet, use a good all natural soap that contains no harsh chemicals or scents and that won’t irritate the skin.

Some face masks may contain ingredients that moisturize the skin or that help to lessen wrinkling. These may contain vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene. Vitamins A, C, and E are important for healthy looking skin and are essential for cell division. Beta-carotene is a powerful source of antioxidants, which are important for removing built up dirt and grime from the skin. The presence of vitamin C in citrus fruits helps to protect against exposure to the sun’s damaging rays and its naturally mild exfoliating properties help to minimize wrinkles.

The best face masks contain natural botanicals and essential nutrients that work together to rejuvenate the skin while locking in moisture. When choosing one, be sure that you read the label carefully. “BOTOX releaser” on a product label is not the same thing as “vitamin C.” Active Manuka honey is a great example of a plant-based ingredient that has been shown to improve circulation and to protect the immune system. Shea butter is a natural emollient that softens and smoothes, while providing natural antibacterial protection.

Face masking may sound simple, but it’s important to choose one that’s designed to fit the wearer. Wearing a face mask on your nose is not recommended if you have a tendency to breathe through your mouth. Otherwise, the mask may cover your nose and cause stinging or pain when the airflow is blocked. Similarly, if you have thick hair, you may not want to spread it across your face as thinning hair will get in the way of the smooth movement.

The most common dangers of wearing disposable face masks are allergy attacks. Some people react strongly to the chemicals included in some brands. They can contain botanicals and other naturally occurring ingredients that may upset the delicate skin beneath the mask. Other types are less likely to cause irritation, but they tend to leave a residue behind after use. Since every person’s face is different, it’s impossible to say which brands might be the safest. But using natural products that you would use daily is probably a good idea.

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