A face mask is an essentially disposable cosmetic item designed to cover or protect a person’s nose, mouth, or chin. A cloth face mask, typically made out of 100% cotton, is a mask designed to cover the nose and mouth. While disposable masks are impossible to maintain once worn, and often aren’t available when other effective facial masks are available, cloth face masks can be used as an inexpensive alternative to a full face mask. They provide decent protection without being bulky, can be washed in the machine, and require very little maintenance afterwards.
There are a few different kinds of face masks available on the market today. The most common are PVC (or vinyl) straps that tie directly to the face, covering just one eye or one corner of the mouth. There are also ties made out of soft fabric that ties around the neck with Velcro. Many other types are available including ties made out of flexible bandage material, fabric-bands, and even plastic ties. Because there are so many different options, it’s easy to get lost and end up purchasing a face mask that doesn’t fit or is too big for you.
To find the perfect face mask, start with the dimensions of your face. Every face has different dimensions, and the amount of fabric that is needed will vary depending on those measurements. Some people don’t need as much fabric as others, so thin fabric may be sufficient for them. If you know your dimensions, you can order a custom-fitted mask made from multiple layers of the right fabric at the same time so that you have multiple layers of protection for the entire nose and mouth.
Another important consideration is how deep you want your face mask to go. Usually, the wider the face mask, the deeper it should go. Usually it’s best to take some measurements with a piece of string and a mirror so that you have a clear idea of exactly how much fabric you’re going to need. Most manufacturers offer detailed instructions with their face masks.
When you get your mask, you’ll probably notice that there are several closures. There are some that tie in at the top or over the nose, and there are others that hang down and are simple straps. You’ll want to take a minute or two to make sure that the seal around your nose is properly closed, since you don’t want any water entering the nose. If the seal is off, then you risk getting the cold virus into your throat and nasal passages.
Most face shields today are designed to stay on for at least twenty seconds, although the manufacturer does have a few that are designed to last longer. If they are designed to keep for more than twenty seconds, the manufacturer should be able to tell you what exactly is wrong with the model. In most cases, if it doesn’t stay on for more than twenty seconds, then it is defective and you should return it for a replacement or a refund. Most health care providers will be happy to replace defective masks free of charge because it’s a very small amount of money. You can usually find out this information from your physician, or through Consumer Reports.