What is a Face Mask?
A face mask is typically a fabric face mask worn over either the nose and mouth, or over the cheeks for maximum cleaning power. While some cloth masks can be uncomfortable to wear, most work very well, even for busy individuals. Because they can easily be removed, face masks provide little barrier to breathing and allow for easy exfoliation of your skin. If physical distancing is impossible or if other effective face masks are unavailable, cloth face masks work well for exfoliating and detoxifying the face. Facial masks can also help remove and prevent acne.
In addition to providing a barrier to air, a face mask functions as an exfoliator. Exfoliation removes small particles of dead skin from the face, creating a cleaner look. Although surgical masks are popular for their ability to reduce pores and help draw out oil, facial exfoliation is equally beneficial for all areas of the face. Because it is usually only slightly more expensive than laser treatments, a surgical mask is often best reserved for situations where small particles cannot be removed through other means. Also, most surgical masks have the potential to cause irritation, so they are better suited for persons with special skin needs, such as patients with dry skin.
Nasal sprays and throat sprays are another common product used for facial exfoliation and detoxification. Similar to face masks, nasal sprays and throat sprays remove small particles and dirt from the nose and mouth. They can also be used for allergic reactions and rhinitis due to their low-level irritant properties. Because these products are designed to be worn for a short time, they may not be a good choice for people who need continuous protection from the elements or those with a sensitive nose or throat.
Another popular product used for cleansing and detoxifying the face is a “boil and bite” kit. Boil and bite kits are like the traditional face masks, except they allow the wearer to be able to relax throughout the process. Although these kits are becoming more widespread throughout North America, they remain fairly exclusive to Europe and Asia.
While face cleansers, scrubs, and general public cleansers are popular products, they are not specifically designed for detoxification purposes. Medicated cream typically removes oil, bacteria, and grime from the skin without damaging surrounding tissue structures. Some medicated creams also contain ingredients that increase the skin’s ability to retain moisture and reduce wrinkles, while others help to reduce inflammation and swelling. These products are best used by individuals who have oily skin, because they can cause excessive dryness. However, if the wearer has dry skin, he or she may benefit from a surgical mask, as well.
Face masks may not be an everyday necessity, but they can provide excellent short-term protection from the sun and prevent additional damage to the face. Face masks may not be worn every day, but they should be worn at least once a week if at all possible. Disposable face masks should be worn more frequently but should only be worn on days when no other cleansing products or creams are required.