5 tips to stay cool & dry under your face mask

Instagram/MostlySane

It’s been over two years since the face mask has become a part of our everyday wardrobe. The list goes: Phone? Check. Keys. Check. Face mask? Oh damn, where did I leave it! With life slowly and steadily resuming back to the ‘old normal’, one thing we take away from the #newnormal is our face masks (and a bit of social distancing).

 

Although the governments in some states have lifted the mandate on wearing masks in public, we're still trying to follow COVID-19 protocols to the best of our ability, but sometimes it can get a little bit difficult to manage the mask –– especially when temperatures are soaring high. Heat, humidity, sweat, moisture, all get trapped under the face mask making you feel more uncomfortable by the minute. Naturally, breathing is a way we regulate our temperatures when it’s hot, therefore throwing on a face mask during that period is rather suffocating.

 

If you're not ready to throw the mask away yet, there are a few ways in which you can make wearing it during the hot and stuffy months a lot less uncomfortable. Here are 5 tips that will help you to stay cool and dry under your face when the temperatures just aren’t in your favour.

 

#1 - Pick & Choose

 

Make sure you choose your mask wisely. During the hotter months it’s best to go with a breathable material like cotton. While it was said that synthetic fabrics as used in surgical and N95 masks are more effective than other materials, new research shows that breathable fabrics also keep droplets away provided you are double masked.

 

Softer fabrics also prevent rashes and chafing, and also keep skin inflammations like acne and eczema at bay.

 

#2 - Keep Dry

 

Make sure you keep your mask as dry as possible. Cotton masks trap less air and moisture, however they are far more absorbent than synthetic masks. If it gets slightly damp due to your breath or, it can hamper the efficacy of preventing droplets from entering or exiting. The dampness can also cause the fabric to chafe or cause a rash on and around your mouth.

 

#3 - Carry A Spare

 

If by chance you get your mask damp or wet, always make sure to carry a spare you can swap it out with. It’s always a good idea to swap your mask out with a clean one every couple of hours –– the moment you wear your mask outside, it reduces its lifespan.

 

How To Swap Your Mask Safely:

 

Step 1 - Sanitise or wash your hands before removing your mask.

Step 2 - Remove it from the elastic –– do not touch the front of the mask.

Step 3 - Store the mask in a sealable bag.

Step 4 - Sanitise or wash your hands before touching the clean mask.

Step 5 - Put on your clean mask from the elastic bands –– again do not touch the front or the back of the mask. Secure over nose and mouth.

 

#4 - Avoid Extreme Heat

 

While you cannot avoid stepping out in the heat, make sure you time your outings when the temperatures are a little lower. Take breaks between the outings if you can –– this will allow you to cool off and take off your mask safely. Make sure to stay hydrated while you are outside in the heat.

 

While wearing a mask in the heat the chances of a heat-stroke are quite high. Therefore, pay attention to symptoms that include dizziness or an increased heart rate. Apply a cool, damp cloth to your head and neck to help you cool off if you feel like an attack is coming on.

 

#5 - Go For No Makeup

 

You might want to skip the makeup, especially if you plan on wearing your face mask for longer periods of time. The sweat and heat breaks down the makeup formula under your mask and can get rather messy and gross. This buildup just sits under the mask and can result in clogging of pores. Tada! You have yourself #maskne never like before.

 

Make sure to always cleanse your skin and use a light layer of moisturiser and SPF when wearing a face mask. This creates a bit of a barrier between your skin and the fabric, and prevents friction. Secondly, according to experts, it is best to avoid harsh acids like salicylic or retinol when wearing a face mask, as it can irritate the skin a lot, especially when it is closed off by the face mask.

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