A face mask is typically a thin cloth mask worn directly over the nose and mouth, typically using a bonding agent like glue or epoxy. When face masks aren’t available or when the physical distancing isn’t possible, cloth face masks are used. This is because cloth masks have the benefit of being very simple to clean and disinfect. For hygiene, it’s important to note that while a cloth mask can be laundered, the mask component should be dry-cleaned only. However, before putting the mask inside your washing machine, it’s recommended that you first thoroughly wash and air-dry the face mask.
Facial masks come in several types, depending on the function they perform. There are nasal masks which are often used to prevent exhalation and prevent inflammation of the linings of the nose, thus facilitating nose breathing. There are also facial masks which are used to facilitate coughing, as well as for the purpose of draining excess sweat from the face. Some masks also have additional functions such as removing grime, dust, or even bacteria from the nose and sinuses.
The materials from which a face mask may be constructed vary. One common material used for these protective shields is neoprene, which has excellent insulating properties. In addition to its excellent insulating properties, neoprene is also lightweight, which makes it easy to put on and take off. Another popular fabric used in the construction of a face mask is acrylic, which allows for superior moisture absorption.
Typically, a face mask consists of four components: a thin piece of cloth, one piece of neoprene (or acrylic), and two layers of either polyurethane or vinyl. Typically, these are comprised of either two layers of plastic, vinyl, or neoprene. Neoprene is preferred because it is easy to clean, doesn’t retain odors, and serves to protect the wearer’s nasal passages against airborne germs and pollutants. These factors make it an excellent choice when protecting against cold and flu viruses.
Polyurethane or vinyl, on the other hand, are constructed to resist or to trap air flows that might expand into the interior of the mask. They may be used with higher concentration of contaminants. Vinyl comes in a variety of convenient varieties. It is easy to clean and it has the added benefit of being able to help prevent the spread of mildew and mold. Unfortunately, it does not prevent the spread of the virus that causes botulism.
As a side note, some manufacturers have begun using another type of fabric, called “bamboo lace”, in their face mask products. This fabric acts as a barrier between the wearer’s skin and any contaminants. Although bamboo lace seems very attractive, it is still very effective in preventing the spread of bacteria. This particular type of fabric can be found in numerous health and beauty stores nationwide.