Masks have become a normal part of our everyday lives and we are still getting aquatinted to how to properly wear and pick them. I want to put pretty much everything you should know about masks in one place.
The Mask Test
When looking to purchase a cloth mask you should be asking yourself a few questions to make sure what you’re buying will actually keep you and others safe.
Obviously, a one or two-layer face covering is better than none but for the full effect, it’s recommended for your mask to have at least three layers or more.
Look for a high thread count dense material. Flimsy or see-through materials do not provide adequate protection from droplets and aerosols. The outermost layer of your mask should not be pure cotton as it’s incredibly absorbent and can hold onto germs. Instead, the outer layer should be polyester or a cotton-polyester blend. You can have the innermost layer cotton as it makes the mask more comfortable by absorbing the moisture from your breathing.
Make sure your mask fits well around your face. Gaps around the edges let in and out possibly contaminated air.
Put on your go-to mask and try to blow out a candle. If it goes out it means that your mask doesn’t adequately stop the flow of air. If you can blow air out, air can leak inward just as easily.
The virus is carried through water droplets. If these droplets land on your mask you want the outer layer to repel them. If you place a drop of water on the outside surface of your mask and it is absorbed right away it’s a fail, if the drop forms a water bead, the mask passes.
Cleaning Reusable Masks
First, it’s important to know how to safely remove your mask as to not spread the germs from face to face contact onto your hands or other surfaces. Wash your hands before removing to avoid placing germs on your face. Do not touch the front of your mask but rather use the ear straps to remove the mask and put it directly into your washing machine. You should wash your mask after every wear. Fabric masks can be washed in your regular machine in hot water and then tumble dried on a high setting. You can also hand wash your masks by scrubbing them with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds and then drying them on high heat in your dryer.
Cut The Straps
Disposable, blue surgical masks cannot be laundered or cleaned and should be thrown away often. Recently, these masks have caused serious harm to the environment and have uprooted attempts to rule out single-use products. If you are in a position to wear a reusable mask I highly encouraged it but if you must wear a disposable, please cut off the ear straps before tossing it. Like all of our waste, these masks are ending up on our beaches and the straps are getting tangled up with wildlife. Cutting the straps off and disposing of your mask properly can help save the earth and the animals that should not be affected by this.
For Every Occasion
Masks 4 Hope – Masks 4 Hope is a non-profit started by two teens who sell protective reusable face masks. All proceeds are donated to the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in NY and Island Harvest Food Bank. They are super cute and the purchase you’re making to protect those in your community can help countless others in another. Go to @masks4hopee on Instagram and DM to order! They ship anywhere!
Atoms Everyday Mask – with a polyester blend outer layer and a copper-lined ionized quartz yarn inner layer germs can literally not get through this mask. It’s incredibly breathable and comfortable and comes in 5 sizes and a variety of colors.
Athleta Made to Move Masks – These masks have a strong reputation as a good sports option. With many gyms and workout studios requiring masks, you want something breathable, durable, and protective. These mask come in a pack of three.
Skims Mask – I LOVE Kim Kardashians Skims mask, not only are they incredibly comfortable but they make me feel protected and fit well. Their neutral colors go with any outfit and are perfect to wear out to dinner or when you dress up.
Wearing a mask is a sign of respect and can save lives. Send a picture of you in your mask to @show_your_mask to be featured on their Instagram!