Masks in Summer’s Heat

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Well, we’re hitting the dog days of summer – and wearing a mask in this heat and humidity remains the most important way we can keep ourselves safe in public as COVID-19 continues.

There are many different kinds of masks, from the KN95 masks hopefully reserved for frontline workers, to homemade cloth masks, and colorful bandanas tied jauntily. Here are some suggestions for coping with Washington’s summer heat:

  • Soft cotton, particularly tee-shirt material, made into a double-layer mask is very effective and very breathable. If you’re making masks, try to use cotton. Bamboo fabric is even more effective than cotton and wicks moisture better – google bamboo masks to find them on Amazon, Etsy and elsewhere.
  • Don’t use sunscreen-type products that contain retinoids or salicylic acid.
  • On the other hand, moisturizers with dimethicone as an ingredient actually create a barrier between your skin and the mask, and can help prevent chafing.
  • Choose a light colored mask over a black one, and bring one or more spare masks with you if you’re going to be out for a while. As one may get damp in our hot humid weather, change it for a dry one right away.

Enjoy the long lazy days of summer, and keep safe.

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