From 'maskne' to buying the right kind: Everything you need to know about wearing a mask.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the medical advice on using face masks has shifted.

Although many Australian health experts have not been recommending healthy people wear face masks, that advice has since changed in particular hotspots.

From 11.59pm, Wednesday, July 22, it is a requirement for anyone living in metropolitan Melbourne or the Mitchell Shire to wear a face mask when leaving the home for one of the four permitted reasons, including work or study, shopping, exercise and essential care.

For those living in New South Wales, face masks are now also recommended in situations where social distancing is not possible.

Watch: Face masks are now mandatory for Melbourne and Mitchell Shire residents. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

But with this news comes a flood of differing information on what face masks we should purchase, when we should wear one and oddly enough, why our skin is becoming so crappy underneath them.

So, to make things much simpler for all of us, here are seven of the most common questions surrounding face masks, answered.

Do I need to wear a mask?

At this point in time, the Australian government has outlined that anyone living in metropolitan Melbourne or the Mitchell Shire is required to wear a mask. And, for anyone based in New South Wales and in situations where social distancing isn't possible, they are recommended.

Furthermore, if you know that you'll be in a situation where there will be large groups of people (i.e. on public transport), or you are at increased risk of moderate illness, masks are a great way to keep yourself and others around you protected.

OK, so what type of mask should I be buying?

"My preference is disposable masks so they can be clean and fresh daily; but if you are wearing a reusable mask, make sure to wash it daily," Northern Sydney Dermatology skincare expert Dr Nina Wines told Mamamia.

If you do opt for a reusable mask, the Australian Government recommends one that has three layers. The outer layer should be a water resistant fabric (polyester), the middle layer should be a fabric blend (cotton polyester blend or polypropylene) and the inner layer should be a water absorbing fabric (cotton). 

The most important factor is that the mask covers both your mouth and nose.


If you cannot access or afford a mask and you need to leave your home in Melbourne or the Mitchell Shire, Premier Daniel Andrews has reiterated that something is better than nothing. 

An alternative face covering, like a bandana or scarf, won't offer the same protection as a mask itself, but it will help reduce the risks.

Where can I buy a mask from?

When it comes to actually purchasing a face mask, you are spoilt for choice. But as the pandemic is causing immense financial hardship for small business owners, we suggest purchasing your mask from an Australian-owned company.

Here are five of our favourite female-owned options:

Taradale Kitchen Co. Reusable Fabric Face Mask, $18.

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NOW AVAILABLE // Reusable Cotton Face Masks, the latest addition to our range of reusables, due to the unprecedented health crisis we find ourselves in. Of course the best thing to do at the moment is to #StayAtHome, but some people do have to go out to work, or have to pop out to the supermarket or chemist for necessities.  Cloth face masks have been found to be a great barrier mask to help stop you touching your face or coughing on others and can help improve personal hygiene. Features of our face masks include: * A comfortable triple layer of cotton/polypropylene/flannel. * Fun and stylish prints. * Double stitched for durability. * Machine washable and reusable. * Ties allow for a perfect universal fit. * Pleating allows for covering from nose to chin. * Individually handmade in country Victoria, Australia * Support a local small business * Adult sizes only currently (Kids sizes coming soon) - Sets available in my online store. Search 'Face Mask' or browse the 'Reusables' section of the Shop - My thoughts go out to all the families doing it tough out there at the moment. Look out for each other and stay safe everyone x - Please note: These are not medical-grade masks and we can not make any claim to our mask's effectiveness in preventing disease. - #taradalekitchenco #handmade #facemask #staysafe #clothmask #fabricmask #washyourhands #socialdistancing #weareinthistogether #covid_19 #locallymade #shoplocal #madeinmelbourne #regionalbusiness #buyfromthebush

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Harvey X Seeker Handmade Facemask, $12. 


Melissa Jackson Millinery Cotton and Silk Face Masks, $25 - $58. 

Kuwaii Reusable Face Mask, $19. 


Aroma Baby Fabric Face Masks, $19.95 – $24.95.

What is 'maskne'?

Speaking to Mamamia, Dr Wines describes 'maskne' as "acne due to the use of masks."

While the term might be unfamiliar, many people have began experiencing breakouts ever since masks were introduced.

But how do you prevent it?

"Cleanse your skin well prior to and after applying your mask and use a lightweight moisturiser as well so as not to block your pores," Dr Wines recommended. 

"A big must is to make sure you rarely touch your skin and mask with your hands. It may sound silly but try to wear minimal makeup beneath the mask, this helps avoid pores clogging."

If I've already got 'maskne', how do you treat it?

"It’s treated the same as normal acne and so prevention is best," Dr Wines told Mamamia.

"But if you end up suffering very severe acne due to the wearing of a mask long term it may be worth trialing a Fraxel treatment to help with any acne scarring that occurs."

Feature Image: Getty.