Finding the right face mask

13/10/2020

Are you having problems with your face masks? Today's blog looks at how to find a mask that is as comfortable as possible. 

Wearing face masks for a while has meant that we're familiar with the associated problems - acne, littering, sore ears, glasses steaming up. Choosing the right mask can help overcome some of these problems, and today's blog looks at some options to try. 

Please be aware this blog deals with 'face coverings' not medical face masks, and you should always choose the masks that are most suitable for your level of risk. 

The science behind masks is still developing, and the W.H.O has extensive information. Broadly speaking, they recommend 3 layers, with interfacing giving the highest level of protection. Stretchy fabrics are not recommended. 

There are exemptions from wearing a mask for some conditions, and there is advice on the UK Government website on creating your own exemption card. You may find however that it is less embarrassing to wear a mask, and if you do choose to wear one, then ensure that it won't worsen your condition. 

Fit

A good fit is essential. Your face mask should be comfortable, but snug. 

  • Size: If you have a small face, it may be worth considering buying children's masks, or finding someone who makes petite sizes. 
  • Adjustable The alternative is to buy masks that have adjustable elastic. These normally include a plastic slider that allows you to shorten or lengthen the elastic. 
  • Nose wires can also help to give a good fit over your nose. Be careful though, as some masks contain metal wires, which are not washable. Our masks contain plastic nose wires. 

Mask related Acne (Maskne) / Eczema and skin conditions

If wearing face masks for a long time is causing you to break out in skin blemishes, or irritating your skin, then some dermatologists recommend silk masks. Others say cotton is the better option. Softer fabrics like silk can be kinder to your skin, and also lighter.

Whichever you choose, it is important to:

  • wash your face before putting on a mask
  • Wash your mask regularly - the longer you wear them, the more frequently they need washing. 
  • Have more than one mask, so you can change them frequently

Claustrophobia / Hot Weather / Menopause / Asthma

If you suffer from Asthma or claustrophobia, you are exempted from wearing a mask. However, if you choose to wear one, you may wish to try as light a mask as you can find. If you're experiencing those dreadful flushes, or are simply hot, thinner, lighter masks will be more comfortable. 

  • Silk is a good, lightweight option, and pure silk masks can help with the heat
  • Fewer layers (they offer a lower level of protection, but masks that are only one or two layers will be lighter, and more comfortable.)

Problems with ears - hearing aids, damaged ears

If you're struggling to wear elastic around your ears, then it's worth considering 

  • tie-on masks, with ribbons or ties that go around the back of the head rather than the ears
  • Use a normal mask, but use a piece of elastic to tie it around your head
  • Try  face visors instead of a mask. 

People who lip read

If you are working with people who lip read, then you may want to consider using a face visor, or a mask that has  plastic over your mouth. 

Protect the environment

Our countryside and oceans are already becoming littered with disposable masks. if you do use these, please ensure you dispose of them correctly. Alternatively, washable and reusable masks are much kinder to the environment, and in the long run, are likely to prove a lot cheaper. 

We're going to be wearing masks for a while, so make sure you have the right mask for you. We have a range of options in our shop. We also offer masks made to order.