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There Are Masks and Then There Are MASKS

Treating "Mask-ne" - Robot Bunnies PSA

I have to admit that pre-Covid, I’d never spent a solitary second thinking about protective Face Masks. I would have mistaken “N95” for a new Chanel scent or automatic weapon and assumed a “nose wire” was something piercing- or possibly fishing-related. Since redirecting my quilt/bedding business to mask making in April though, I’ve become something of a mask aficionado.

I can converse nimbly on the relative benefits of ties vs. elastic, pleats vs. nose seams, thick elastic vs. thin and don’t get me started on construction. I thought I pretty much knew it all, but, recently, I stumbled onto a whole new aspect of masking, known (to those in the know and dermatologists) as “masc-ne.”

The folks at fab, NYC-based skincare brand, Hear Me Raw, schooled me on the range of unpleasant skin symptoms mask wearing can cause, including clogged pores, acne, overly dry and/or irritated skin, eczema and more. Who knew?

These issues first became prevalent during NY’s intense Covid peak. Front-line workers, worn down and stretched thin in the fight to save lives, wore protective masks for longer periods than ever before and reused them due PPE shortages. They began to experience skin troubles. When the general public started masking regularly, they experienced the same problems even more quickly than the pros.

The cause? Protective masks don’t allow skin to breath properly and moisture from exhalation stays in the mask creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Re-wearing unwashed masks makes matters worse – increasing levels of dirt and bacteria build-up and damaging skin further. 

Hear Me Raw, CEO, Mike Indursky says, “We had just launched our company when Covid hit and we really wanted to do something to help and to express our gratitude for front-line workers. We knew our masks – The Brightener with Chlorophyll+ and The Detoxifier with Charcoal+ would treat many of the skin symptoms front-liners were experiencing. Ultimately, we donated 10,000 masks across 7 hospitals around the country. We were thrilled that the masks provided relief for their skin and deeply gratified that the front-liners – who felt so forgotten at the time – were overwhelmed by the support.” 

 Hear Me Raw skin care products

Recently, Hear Me Raw launched The Clarifier with French Green Clay+ and The Hydrator with Prickly Pear+, both of which are also excellent for mask-ne. The former seems practically tailor-made for it.  “If I could have invented one product to treat mask-ne, it would be The Clarifier,” says Indursky.  “It absorbs dirt and oil and evens complexion instantly.  And the 3-in-1 day cream/night cream/overnight mask Hydrator will moisturize your skin back to health.”

A brand after our own heart. At Robot Bunnies, we donated 2000+ protective face masks to front-liners in New York at that time. (Being a native New Yorker, my heart was there, and I wanted to do something too.) At Robot Bunnies, we pride ourselves on making the most well-fitting, comfortable and fashionable masks from high-quality natural and breathable fabrics. They are easily machine washable and we recommend washing after each day’s use.

While our team at Robot Bunnies doesn’t have firsthand experience with mask-ne, we did have the opportunity to try Hear Me Raw’s awesome masks and can attest that they are bursting with vital, natural ingredients that soothe, nourish and heal. Bonus: they feel and smell amazing. We’re delighted to recommend them to our customers, to mask-ne sufferers everywhere and to anyone who wants to give their skin a love-and-brilliance boost.

Let’s face it, protective masks are here for the foreseeable future. Robot Bunnies and Hear Me Raw are here to help you stay safe, healthy, hip and beautiful for the duration.

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