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Know How to Survive Summer Masks

Hot, itchy and uncomfortable, face masks during a Dongguan summer are a nightmare. What are some little tricks to help with summer mask survival? 

Many believed COVID-19 would disappear like SARS once summer arrived. The temperature in Dongguan soared in late April, and it seems there is still a long way to go before it is safe to get rid of face masks entirely.

The good news is you only need to wear a face mask in a confined or crowded place such as on the subway or in a school. In outdoor areas or well-ventilated places, you do not have to wear one. If you need to be in close contact with others for a long time, it is advised you keep your mask on.

Wearing a face mask in the summer is dreadful, with heat and sweat making the mask uncomfortable on the face.

How can you survive suffocation by wearing a face mask in Dongguan’s unbearable heat?

You should choose disposable surgical masks, not N95 ones. Though the latter masks have better filtration, they are much thicker. Surgical masks are available and accessible in most drug stores in Dongguan. No lucky draw or appointment in advance is needed.

You find your mask is quickly getting soaked by sweat, keep new ones on hand. Changing your mask regularly will provide better protection and be much more comfortable. Before putting on a new mask, use some wet wipes (alcohol-free ones are best) to clean your face.

Masks can cause skin irritation when combined with moisture and heat. If you notice skin irritation—especially where the nose strip lies—apply aloe vera gel to the affected area.

It is likely for people with oily skin to have a burst of acne caused by the mask. The more acne they have, the more unwilling they want to remove their face mask, thus worsening the problem. To break the vicious cycle, keep your skin as clean as possible.

If you are not allergic to salicylic acid, switch your facial cleanser to a product that contains salicylic acid. I recommend getting a tube of Effaclar Duo+ produced by La Roche-Posay, or acne cream by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical. I have found these products to be useful in treating and preventing skin problems.

Keep your face mask well ventilated. A double-head neck fan should do the job. It looks like a headset with two small fans at the two ends instead of earpieces. You can hang it on your neck and adjust the angle of each fan to provide you with the perfect breeze. A neck fan is easy to find in Miniso and you can have a cool summer even with your mask on. Hopefully, you can find some relief from summer masks until it is safe to leave your mask at home.