In the wake of this pandemic, we have all had to adapt to a "new" normal. Wearing a mask has become not only a suggestion but mandated in many places since it is the only protection we have from contracting the virus.
A mask is only as effective as it's fit, so using it correctly is paramount. There are quite a few factors that can compromise a mask's integrity. While some are obvious, there are others you may be surprised by.
It seems a given, but it has to be stated. If you're wanting to protect yourself, leaving that mask in your pocket is going to do you no favors. Wear it in public places or crowds as you go out.
Plus, one of the biggest mistakes of wearing a mask is only having it cover your mouth and chin. Proper fitting masks should mold at the top on the bridge of your nose while closely hugging below your chin. Most importantly, a snug but breathable fit seals off the bottom half of your face, offering the most protection during these strange times.
Facial Hair & Masks
One thing to point out is the length of your facial hair while wearing a mask will affect it's fit. To maintain a proper seal, the edges need to be firmly fitted around your face and pressed up against your skin. If the mask is sitting on your facial hair, which is an uneven surface, your seal may be compromised. Some medical professionals even claim that hair breaks the seal and makes it useless in protecting you.
For some background, essential workers who wear the N95 mask are required to have a yearly fit test under US regulations. The thing is that a proper fit is tested only on cleanly shaven faces, while even sideburns can get in the way. So, a BBS shave all over your face is the way to go here. Luckily, we know a thing or two about shave prep. #humblebrag
Prep Your Skin Properly
If your WFH lifestyle has kept you from being clean-shaven for a bit, it's important you take your time with your pre-shave routine. Warm water is your best friend for prepping your shave. If time permits, start with a nice, warm shower. The combo of heat and steam will soften your hair while simultaneously opening up skin pores, making it an easier shave on your face.
If you don't have time for a shower, grab a damp, warm towel to prep your skin pores. Add in a light massage to your face with the towel to gently lift and prep hair. If you have one, using a shaving brush with warm water while you apply your shaving cream is also a great way to exfoliate and prep for that close shave. Then, follow up with a single blade to minimize the irritation and friction with your skin and reap the benefits of a close, comfortable shave.
Wash & Moisturize Daily
Even with a close, razor burn free shave, the constant presence of a mask can still irritate and dry out your skin. To help, it's extremely important to wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and at the end of your day. Follow up with a moisturizer that will lock in hydration to worn, tired skin.
Look at the face wash and moisturizer you're using and make sure they are water-free formulas. Many companies load their skincare with over 50% of water to make it seem like you are getting more. It's misleading and worse, water-based cleansers strip essential oils from your skin, leaving it dry and sad.
Look for quality ingredients and plant-based cleansers like our Feel Good Face Wash and Multi-Purpose Moisturizer. Not only will you feel good, but your face will weather this unknown season with the best kind of self-care.
While we hope this pandemic is over and cured quickly, in the meantime it's important to take care of your skin while wearing a mask is required.
If you're looking for more tips on creating an epic pre-shave routine or why you should moisturize daily, look no further. Until then, wear your mask properly and take care of the only skin you've been given.
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