A face mask is a soft cloth face mask worn over either the nose and mouth or on either side, designed to draw out and trap sweat and excess oil. When effective face masks aren’t available, or if physical distancing isn’t possible, a cloth face mask can be used instead. The face mask should be washed soon after use to remove all soap residues, if applicable. Once clean and dried, the face mask should be put on once again for use.
There are several types of face masks that can be worn, depending upon the situation, the severity of facial acne or skin condition, or the desired result after application. For maximum effect, the wearer should wear a face mask covering both nose and chin. The most commonly used type of nose-covering mask is the nasal strip, which is either worn completely inside the nostrils, or partially inside the nostrils, with the remaining part of the strip outside the nose. Some people prefer to wear nasal strips attached to the end of nose clips. These work very well for those who like to have a smooth unobstructed nasal passage.
Another kind of nose-covering mask, also quite popular, is the snorkel-type mask. Often made from silicon-based materials, these are intended to keep excess moisture, such as the sweat generated during rigorous physical activity, from entering the nose and causing discomfort. This type of mask has an oval shaped opening, which allows for easy drainage of excess moisture. Some newer models feature a second hoop that attaches to the top of the mask, allowing it to be worn as a forehead protector as well. It is important to make sure the two hoops are securely fastened together, as the first hoop may loosen over time.
The N95 respirator is one of the most popular varieties of surgical masks today. Designed to provide airway protection during long periods of time, these are often used by people involved in harsh construction, mining, and other industrial environments. Available in various color shades, the N95 respirator features a wide base and a variety of venting and filtration openings. Although these face masks do provide superior air circulation, they don’t allow for much ventilation of the surrounding air.
In recent years, a new type of face mask has emerged on the market – the disposable face mask. Unlike traditional full face masks, the disposable ones are designed to be worn as a single unit, thereby reducing the amount of cleaning required when the unit is removed. As an added benefit, these units can be easily discarded after exposure to the elements, thus protecting the environment. Many people who wish to use them regularly find the lack of cleaning required to be of great advantage, particularly when compared to the amount of effort required to clean a traditional full face mask.
In addition to providing adequate air circulation, disposable face masks feature a number of other benefits as well. For example, they eliminate the need for mouthpieces or other devices that may prevent people from breathing through their nose and mouth. Because they do not have large-particle droplets, they eliminate the chance of causing airborne dust or debris to be inhaled, especially by children. They also reduce the risk of splinter injuries, such as those caused by falling objects. Overall, these products offer safe protection when used properly, especially when compared to the risks posed by the use of a traditional surgical mask.