A facial mask, also known as a facial pack, is a thick cloth mask typically made from synthetic textiles, most commonly polyester, typically cotton, worn to cover the nose and mouth. The purpose of the mask is to prevent irritants and other foreign matter from entering the nose and mouth. While effective, sometimes even when natural distancing is impossible and when even more effective synthetic masks aren’t available, cloth face masks have become the common default choice. They can be used as many times as necessary or until preferred by the user. Some popular brands include: Dr. Black’s (Tropical Supreme), Neutrogena, Oxygen 8, Clean & Clear, Philosophy, Purell, and Smuckers. I’ve listed some of my personal favorites below.
I’m allergic to latex, so I always use Dr. Black’s. It’s gentle and hypoallergenic, and has an SPF 15 that makes it wonderful for indoor and outdoor use. The transmission doesn’t rub off, nor does it leave any redness or irritation. It is completely scent-free, meaning no added fragrance. I find that this type of face coverings is best worn in the morning or mid-afternoon when the weather is dry and a bit cool, when the skin is at its thinnest during cleansing.
Although I love my philosophy cleanser, I still use a surgical mask for day-to-day facial cleansing. I don’t feel like I’m wasting anything by not wearing one, nor do I feel the need to expose myself to any risk of irritants. However, occasionally I do feel like I want to go out in a different environment (or just not in the same room) and using these surgical masks I can breathe a bit easier. These particular brands are also great when you experience post-nasal drip, because they allow me to use my nasal spray without running out of the solution.
Another advantage to wearing these types of surgical masks is the reduction of snoring. This happens because the airway is narrowed while the person is asleep, causing a blockage. Since there is not enough air going through, the transmission and vibrations that result cause the throat to open and widen, which effectively stops the air from going through the nose and mouth, causing those horrible snoring sounds. Using a nasal/throat protector on a nightly basis helps remedy this. This will prevent the wearer from snoring, because the airway won’t get blocked. I personally use them after sleeping for a good night’s sleep, before going to bed.
In order to really understand the protective effect of these masks, we have to understand what causes the air to travel through the nose and mouth. As we all know, our sinuses, teeth, cheeks and the back of our tongue trap dust particles and tiny particles. This is why it’s important to keep them clean by brushing. But, there are many different types of toothbrush available today that also include an oral irrigation device. The different materials used in the construction of these products vary from one type of brush to another.
Homemade cloth masks that work best are definitely the best option for me. If you want to try making one, simply start with a simple kitchen article and adapt it into making something that is easy enough to make for your own consumption. Or, purchase a ready-made one and adapt it to your own needs. The choice is yours.