A facial mask is a sheet-like mask designed with common, absorbent textiles, typically cotton, worn around the nose and mouth. Facial masks can help soothe, hydrate, and protect your skin from environmental irritants, dirt and even premature aging. While face masks aren’t always the best solution for everyone, there are those that can benefit from the following benefits. If physical distancing isn’t possible, and if other organic face masks aren’t available, cloth facials are an easy alternative to masking your skin.
Natural Cotton: Often, cotton is used to create face masks, but not all kinds are created equal. While natural, cotton masks are great for everyday use, they can leave a greasy residue after the session is over. Many companies have come out with organic cotton masks that repel oil without leaving behind a greasy residue. To make these masks, colloidal oatmeal is mixed with water to create a thick paste. Some brands add aloe or other natural extracts to create an extra moisturizing effect. These types of organic masks can be worn multiple times a week for relief of dry skin or cracked lips.
Natural Caviar: If you’re wearing a natural Caviar mask, it should be short-lived and you’ll need to discard it after ten minutes or so. Caviar is made from milk or other proteins used in cooking, which is exfoliating. You don’t want to put it on your face for more than 10 minutes, as proteins break down after that length of time. If you wear a mask that is meant to hydrate your skin or reduce wrinkles, consider using colloidal oatmeal instead. You won’t get the same hydration or deep cleansing benefits, but the effect of the product will last a bit longer.
Citrus Fruit Extract: Sometimes on the job, you might wear a mask that contains citrus fruit extract. If this is the case, make sure the brand you’re buying has no artificial flavors. The fruit extract can also interact with cleansers, soap, eye shadows and other products you might be using to cleanse your face. If you’re sensitive to citrus fruit extracts, try to limit your exposure to them as much as possible. If you’re still sensitive, read the label of any products you buy that contain citrus fruit extracts.
Exhalation Valves: Many face masks have exhalation valves, which allow the steam to escape as soon as you remove it. When used regularly, these valves will help keep your pores clear, but you can overdo it, especially if you wear a mask that has a double valve. When you exfoliate, always wash and rinse your face before removing the mask, to ensure the exhalation valves stay open. If your mask has no valve, you can add a few drops of essential oil (your choice) to help seal the moisture in, if desired.
Coronavirus: Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do if your mask becomes contaminated with coronavirus. Coronaviruses are highly contagious, so they can easily travel from one person to another. However, if you already have a cold or flu, or have recently traveled to an area with a high level of contamination, you may want to consider not wearing your mask anymore. Coronavirus is highly contagious, even between people who aren’t currently sick, so using masks during the flu season is strongly recommended. If you already have a cold or other respiratory illness, wait at least a week before removing your face coverings. You may choose to wear a nasal spray instead.