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How to Clean Your Face Mask—And Protect Your Skin—For Optimal Safety This Summer(Vogue)

“Phone, keys, wallet…face mask?” Such is the mental checklist that we tick off before leaving the house in the time of COVID-19. Adapting to wearing face coverings has introduced an array of new considerations, chief among them: How to clean your face mask? And how often should you be washing them—both to stay safe and keep skin healthy? Here, experts weigh in on the best practices for wearing and maintaining a face mask for optimal hygiene, as well as how to keep your complexion soothed and protected all summer long.

Why wearing a face mask is essential:

“When we sneeze, cough, talk, or even just breathe, we all emit small particles to the air—and those particles can contain the virus that causes COVID-19,” explains Kirsten Koehler, an occupational and public health expert who is an associate professor in environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. “Face masks can reduce the spread of these particles, which is especially important because some people are infected but have no symptoms. It can also reduce the number of the particles that you breathe.” According to Koehler, a tightly woven fabric that fits snugly around the face will provide the best particle-removal efficiency. “If it’s too loose, all the air will go around the sides of the mask and none of the particles will be removed that way,” she says. During summer, when exhaled breath is especially humid, it’s important to note that cloth masks run the risk of becoming damp with wear, and you may want to bring an extra mask with you. Additionally, it’s essential to wash your hands after handling or touching a used face covering.

The full article read on the Vogue

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