A face mask is generally a thin, air-tight mask usually made from common fabrics, such as cotton, typically used over the nose and mouth. Face masks originated in the Orient, and were used as an anti-snoring remedy. In modern times they are sometimes used to treat acne, enlarged pores, wrinkles, sun damage, blackheads, whiteheads, enlarged pores, nosebleeds, herpes, sinusitis, and even respiratory problems such as bronchitis. Though many popular over-the-counter facial cleansers and lotions claim to remove even the toughest acne and pimples, they rarely remove the deep facial wrinkles that develop over time. In fact, some masks may actually exacerbate facial wrinkles.
Face masks should offer at least two layers of material: a thick inner layer to combat inflammation, and a thin, breathable layer to help draw moisture away from the skin. The thickness of the mask should be appropriate for your face size. For small or very large faces, a thick, plush mask may cause excessive swelling and discomfort. If the mask does not fit properly, it will not provide the most comfortable fit, which may result in irritation, leaking, or cracking. When possible, face masks should be made with a larger variety of fabrics, including cotton twill, stretch polyester, or spandex.
Face masks should be washed in warm water using a gentle cleanser that contains no perfumes, colors, or allergens. Washing the cloth mask inside out is the best way to clean it. Some masks can be made from plastic, so keeping these away from water is important. Washing the mask inside out also ensures that all of the dirt that got on the surface has been removed, allowing you to continue washing the cloth. Once the mask has been cleaned and dried, it is then ready to be used.
There are three main types of face masks: N95 masks, which are made from synthetic polyethylene; the neoprene variety; and the air purifiers, which are made from a combination of natural and synthetic materials, with the neoprene being the more popular choice. N95 and neoprene masks provide the best overall protection against dust particles and allergens. However, the air purifiers are an excellent alternative if allergy sufferers cannot afford to buy a new mask. Air purifiers can effectively remove particles up to 10 times smaller than those that reach the eye, which will reduce the amount of sneezing and other symptoms that may occur on a person with allergies. Some people may experience redness, tightness, itching, or slight swelling from using air purifiers. This often disappears within a few hours of use, but may return if the air purifier is left on for too long.
Cotton and spandex face masks are another option that offers a high degree of comfort and a highly effective barrier against dust particles and allergens. They can be used by children and adults alike, as they have a low level of restriction. Many of these are available in a variety of sizes, from small disposable masks, up to adult size. Most of these are available in a variety of different materials, including nylon, vinyl, and PPE.
Most people who suffer from allergic skin problems find it necessary to use some type of face mask on a daily basis. Masks that do not fit properly or that cause pain and irritate the skin can also lead to more serious skin problems. The best type of mask to use for allergies involves a comfortably fit disposable unit that leaves little to no room for bacteria or other pollutants to enter. These masks will help to prevent allergen-related skin problems, while providing excellent comfort and protection from irritants. Allergy sufferers should always remember that a comfortable fit is the most important element when selecting an anti-allergy mask.