A face mask, also known as a snorkel mask, is a thin plastic mask designed mainly of synthetic textiles, typically cotton. Soft, comfortable fabric is used to provide the full-face coverage of a traditional snorkel mask. While these masks may not offer the isolation of breathing afforded by full-face masks, they do offer the convenience of a completely airtight seal. And because these types of masks cannot be worn while sleeping, face masks provide sleep-free protection for snorers.
In addition to providing a tight-fitting cover for the nose and mouth, a face mask can also serve as a moisture barrier. Since the face is sealed from the outside world, bacteria that might be trapped in a moist mask cannot enter the body. This can reduce the discomfort caused by many conditions such as athlete’s foot, thrush, and penicillin, as well as the expense associated with treating such conditions. When air ventilation is impossible, and physical distancing is virtually impossible, fabric face masks provide an inexpensive, comfortable, and virtually allergy-free alternative to a full-face mask.
The material most commonly used for face masks is cotton duck. Cotton duck is a synthetic fabric that is comfortable and durable, although some people might find that it lacks the natural beauty of real hair. The cotton duck face mask can be washed as normal; simply lay it out to dry, using a mild detergent and a gentle brush to remove any debris or dirt. It should not be dried with a blow dryer, and if you must use one, be sure to use a low wattage setting and let the item dry thoroughly before using the item again.
Another option for a face mask is breathable, washable fabrics. Available in single layer, double layer, and multiple layers, these fabrics provide the comfort and moisture that a sufferer needs to keep their sinuses, mouth, and eyes clean and healthy. These fabrics can either be washed by hand or by a machine, depending on the manufacturer, and are very easy to care for. If washing by hand, be sure to rinse the item thoroughly and place it in the cold water cycle, not just run a short cycle.
To wash a single-layered mask without a liner, place it in the washer with the smallest amount of water possible and run a full cycle. Add a mild detergent and scrub the item thoroughly, working from the outside inwards. Once thoroughly scrubbed, let the mask dry for the shortest amount of time possible before using it. For a double layered mask without a liner, be sure to wash it completely before applying any conditioner or lotion. This will ensure that the item is completely smooth and will help prevent it from stretching or ripping during the application process.
When washing the face, it is best to use lukewarm water, as hot water will create a situation where bacteria can breed in the pores of the face. The same holds true when washing the nose. For men who wear a beard, it is best to wash the beard and tie it back, this will keep any longer hair from slipping into the nostrils. For women who wear long hair, it is always best to wash the hair by hand, using gentle hand movements that are similar to those used to wash one’s hair. This will ensure that the hair is thoroughly washed and will prevent any tangles or snarls from occurring, which can be quite unsightly.