Respiratory issues, acne, and infection? Some of the risks of not caring for your mask carefully and how to fight them.
Since COVID hit and changed the way we live (and look), face masks have become the go-to accessory for most. With many opting for a sustainable option such as reusable face masks, effective mask use is about more than wrapping your face in fabric. If masks aren’t kept sanitised, they can increase the risk of infection , and unsanitised masks might mean adding “maskne” to your list of 2020 problems.
As states such as Victoria and many businesses across the country require people to wear face coverings, it's important to know how to wear it correctly: your health and your skin will thank you.
Unsanitised masks, the risks:
An unclean mask can increase the risk of infection by harbouring pathogens in an environment in which they thrive, so keeping a mask clean is vital . It’s also important to be vigilant of hand hygiene when wearing a mask, not only to avoid contaminating the mask itself, but to avoid contaminating our eyes. Research by the British Medical Journal has found that masks direct exhaled air towards our eyes, making us more likely to touch our eyes due to irritation .
The increased risk of infection isn’t the only issue that rewearing an unclean mask may pose. Constantly breathing through a mask may increase the risk of respiratory issues for those with existing respiratory conditions , especially if a mask remains un-washed and circulating harmful toxins, particles and pathogens.
Unsanitised masks don’t only pose a risk to our internal health, but to our external appearance: with close contact with trapped bacteria and harsh chemicals causing skin conditions such as breakouts, rosacea, dermatitis and inflammation. The New York dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe was quoted referring to an explosion of questions about mask-induced acne since mask-use has become commonplace, and explained to the New York Times that masks can exacerbate existing skin issues or cause new ones . Dr Bowe explained how the environmental conditions of summer – heat, sweat and humidity – are likely to worsen the skin conditions caused by keeping our faces shielded by fabric masks  (an important reminder as we approach the warmer months!).
Looking after your mask means storing it safely, handling it with sanitised hands (thank you Aelin Organics Travel Hand Sanitiser) and washing it regularly. But when you don’t have time to go home and throw your mask on with a load of laundry, our Organic Mask Sanitising Spray can help.
Your new essential has a carefully curated blend of essential oils and skin-loving ingredients, formulated to combat pathogens and prevent the build up of bacteria between washes. Australian eucalyptus extract naturally disinfects surfaces and invigorates the senses, whilst also acting as a natural anti-inflammatory. Peppermint essential oil keeps your mask smelling fresh (rather than re-circulating the mornings coffee breath), while vitamin-rich aloe vera and lactic acid keep skin moisturised and bright. An Aelin Organics hero ingredient, our Botanical Acids Extract Blend combats pathogens without the need for nasty chemicals.
As with every product from Aelin Organics, this new addition utilises active organic ingredients to create a product that serves its purpose without compromising your health or the health of the planet. Free from parabens, phthalates and other unnecessary or harmful ingredients, our 50ml Organic Mask Sanitising Spray is small enough to carry in your pocket, so you can keep COVID-safe, breakout free and breathing in the sweet scents of peppermint and eucalyptus while you’re on-the-go. To use, simply remove your mask from your face (with sanitised hands), spray both sides and leave for a few moments to dry.