How often should you be washing your cloth mask? The answer may surprise you

Posted at 3:46 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 07:34:05-04

How often are you washing your cloth mask? Experts say you should put it in the same category as underwear. You should use a fresh one every day.

“I think of a cloth mask in the same way I think of any undergarments,” said Dr. Michelle Henry, Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College. “So we really should be washing it daily, especially if it’s soiled.”

Dr. Henry says wearing a mask for a long period of time can cause skin irritation, like a rash or "maskne," acne in the area of the mask.

“Probably the worst concern is actual skin breakdown. That’s from the moisture, the friction and the pressure of the mask,” she said.

To help prevent problems, she suggests gently cleansing your skin and using a light moisturizer and sunscreen. Stay away from oils and makeup, if possible.