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Face masks, our known first line of defense, have now become a necessary tool to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, not everyone seems to be wearing or taking care of them appropriately. 

Wearing masks for extended periods, combined with several bad mask-wearing habits, can do you more harm than good. Cross-contamination occurs when someone touches under their masks or other surfaces, unknowingly transferring the virus from one person to another. 

To effectively use face masks and help everyone avoid cross-contamination, we have broken down five common mistakes people make when wearing masks.

Mistake 1: Wearing the mask incorrectly 

Since masks come in a variety of sizes, it is crucial to look for face coverings that fit snugly against the sides of your face. It should cover the chin, mouth, and midpoint of your nose to create a secured seal.

While it needs to be comfortable and allow breathing without restriction, your mask should not be too loose. Make sure it does not billow out on the sides and leave gaps. Always remember that the goal is to create a barrier that blocks viral particles from entering through your nostrils. 

Mistake 2: Putting on and removing the mask wrongly 

When wearing your mask on and taking it off, do not touch the front of the mask. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises the public to grasp the ear loops or ties when unloosing the masks. After untying them, do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Wash your hands immediately after handling your masks. 

For a step-by-step guide on taking off your mask, read the advisory from CDC here

Mistake 3: Touching the mask frequently 

 

If you're regularly touching your mask for no reason, we suggest you break the habit to avoid contaminating the front of your mask or your hands. If you feel the need to adjust the masks, touch only the ear loops, ties, or band. 

Mistake 4: Pulling down the mask to talk 

It's not a good idea to pull a mask down and speak to people. Pulling them down or hanging them to your ears just to talk increases the risk of viral transmission, ultimately defeating the very purpose of wearing a mask. If you feel the need to speak, cough, or sneeze, do it inside your mask, then wash or dispose of them properly. 

Mistake 5: Wearing the wrong mask 

After checking the fit and breaking bad habits, looking deeper into the fabric of your mask is also important. If you're experiencing masknes, discomfort, and rosacea flare-ups from wearing a mask, your skin might be reacting to the synthetic materials embedded in most surgical masks. 

The American Academy of Dermatology Association encourages everyone to avoid wearing masks made with synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polyester, and rayon since they are "more likely to irritate your skin and cause breakouts."

Instead, the AADA suggests using masks that have a snug, but comfortable fit; at least two layers of fabric; and soft, natural, and breathable fabric, such as cotton, on the inside layer. 

If you're finding it difficult to look for one, worry not as Cottonique fits those standards. 

Our collection of hypoallergenic face masks, made with GOTS-certified, chemical-free 100% organic cotton fabric, are the perfect choice for people with skin allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities. Visit our mask collection to find the right masks for your delicate skin.

From bad habits to proper fit and materials, there are several factors that can affect the efficiency of your mask. To help you decide whether to pick a surgical mask or an organic one when going out, read Surgical Vs Cloth Masks: Why We Think You Should Switch to Cloth Masks.

DISCLAIMER: The information presented on Cottonique is not, and will never be, intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content materials found on this site, from text, treatments, outcomes, charts, graphics, photographs, and study findings, are created and published for general informational purposes only. It should not, in any way, be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. 

Thus, readers are encouraged to verify any information obtained from this website with other accurate references and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with their physician. As Cottonique strives to help those with allergies live with better days, the hypoallergenic apparel brand encourages everyone to always seek the advice of their physician or other qualified health providers with any questions they may have regarding a medical condition.

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