Face masks are a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) that are used to protect wearers from hazards. These are used in many industries to keep workers safe. There are three main types of face masks: disposable paper masks, reusable cloth masks, and powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs). The type you choose will depend on the purpose and how much protection you need from certain hazards.
Since face masks have become necessary for daily use in this day and age, it's crucial to know which one to choose. The market is flooded with various types of face masks, but not all work the same or offer the same level of protection.
Here are six tips you can use while choosing face masks for daily use:
People’s most common concern when it comes to face masks is that it can be a struggle to wear them sometimes, particularly when you have to wear them the whole day, while doing physically taxing activities, or while under a sweltering summer sun. That being said, when choosing face masks, one crucial thing to consider is their breathability. Light flexible and breathable masks are ideal for daily use as the fabrics or materials they’re made of can effectively wick away moisture, ensuring utmost comfort any time of the day, most especially during hot days. Such breathable fabrics include polyesters, lighter types of cotton, as well as performance fabrics.
However, in your search for breathable, comfortable-to-wear face masks, never compromise on their protection level. They should still be able to safeguard you from harmful elements, such as viruses. Don’t choose masks whose fabrics are too thin, defeating the purpose as to why they exist in the first place.
The bottom line is to choose face masks that help you keep your health in top shape and are effortless to wear.
Check The Material
Materials usually used for face masks include cotton, latex, or a combination of both, among others. Your ultimate choice should depend on the comfort level you desire.
Cotton masks are more durable and breathable than latex ones, making them suitable for daily use by people who have sensitive skin or suffer from problems such as acne or rosacea. Cotton also tends to be less expensive than latex. However, some manufacturers sell multi-layered masks that combine both materials, which means they offer more durability at a lower price point.
Choose Ones With Replaceable Filters
Some masks have replaceable filters. However, you should check if the filter can be washed or reused, or needs to be replaced after a single or a number of uses. Most masks have replaceable filters that can be changed out when needed, but some masks require you to wash and reuse them instead of throwing them away when they get dirty.
If you're looking for a face mask that can be washed and reused, look for ones with instructions for cleaning. If the mask comes with no instructions, it's best to avoid washing it with soap and water, or in a dishwasher. Instead, wash the mask with warm water (but not hot) and pat it dry after washing, so that excess moisture doesn't ruin the material. It’s also important to know how many times you should reuse the mask.
Look Into Face-Fitting Features
It’s essential to keep in mind that not all face masks are created equal, at least size-wise. The best way to determine if a mask will fit your face is to look at the size specifications and choose the one that's best suited for you.
Some masks come with adjustable straps, which means you can wear them even if you have a smaller or larger face than others. However, some may not be able to accommodate a wide range of head sizes due to their design limitations.
Consider The Packaging
As you do your research and go shopping, take a look at the packaging. Does it include health and safety information? Are there any warnings about the mask? Such details can help you understand how to use the mask, and whether or not it's safe for you.
So, it's also worth noting that some face masks may contain ingredients or materials that could trigger certain allergies. So, don’t ignore the information on the packaging as it can save you from inconvenience or discomfort, or, worse, a trip to the emergency room due to an allergic reaction.
It's crucial to do your research before buying a face mask. You should consider factors such as the material used, whether it's breathable, and whether it can be washed and reused. The packaging will also tell you if it's suitable for your face type or your sensitive skin, as well as tell you how to use the mask safely.