Face masks, also called face scrubs, masks, or scrubs are medical garments worn to help moisturize, cleanse, and tighten facial skin. Face masks come in various forms, sizes and purpose. Some are used as simple moisturizers to clean and tone the skin, others are used to provide pain relief and disinfect. They also offer anti-inflammatory relief to reduce swelling. Some are used to control the spread of diseases such as the common cold.
A basic face mask is typically a cloth mask worn around the nose and mouth, designed with two layers to absorb and redistribute oil and dirt. When medical distancing is impossible and when other masks are unavailable, cloth masks can be worn. These are worn by staff members such as nurses and doctors. Cloth masks have two layers: a base layer made from an absorbent material like cotton, gauze or polypropylene gauze; and a thin top layer made from clean cloth, often cotton or silk. Masks are frequently disposable, though sometimes a new mask can be machine-washed to ensure effectiveness.
Cleaning and hygiene masks, sometimes called nasal masks, are designed to draw out and contain nasal secretions and excess mucus, which in turn prevents the onset of sinusitis. Typically, they fit inside a mouth bag, which can be taken off during cleaning. This mouth bag also contains a wiper that allows the cloth mask to be removed and cleaned easily. Cleaning and hygiene masks often include a “sink” to collect liquids and a straw to assist in removing them. These are best used by individuals with dry or damaged lips.
Over the past ten years, face masks have become a common item in many hospitals. Face masks to prevent the spread of deadly bacteria from one patient to another, such as in those who suffer from the flu. It also reduces the risk of spreading infection when a person shares the same bathroom, which can be especially important in large health centers or hospitals. A face mask is even sometimes recommended for babies to reduce the risk of seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that can lead to the formation of acne.
Face shields and face masks work by preventing the spread of sweat and saliva from the eyes and mouth. In this way, they take moisture and body oils away from the skin. Saliva production decreases as the body sweats, thereby preventing moisture in the skin from building up and drying it out. This is why some individuals find comfort in a face mask when they need to stay away from the hot shower or the pool. A face mask also helps to keep droplets of perspiration from forming on the face and scalp, which can cause unpleasant odors and potentially serious health problems.
Many face masks also include small dots of a substance called Plaque Matting Acid. This material acts as an agent that removes dirt and excess oil from the surface of the face mask. The tiny dots adhere to the top of the nose, cheeks and forehead, and spread throughout the skin with small bubbles. The acid in the matting acids are similar to the acid found in chewing gum, but are spread less throughout the facial area.