What to Look For When Shopping for Face Masks
Face masks were once upon a time just a medical accessory but have turned into a worldwide necessity overnight. It used to be the case that you would only see them worn by medical professionals and sick people, yet now their usage has become prevalent due to the growing number of Coronavirus cases.
Together with proper hygiene and eye protection, face masks are essential in curbing the spread of the virus based on a Lancet study. However, not all face masks are effective. You have to make sure that the face masks you buy offer the maximum protection. Here’s what to look out for when shopping for face masks.
Make sure that the face masks fit snugly
Face masks are only effective when they can cover your nose and mouth properly. Make sure that the face masks offer a snug fit by buying a well-fitting mask made of fabric that covers the face. Any gaps allow the virus to pass through, whether it’s from you or the people around you.
Multiple layers provide more protection
The more layers your face mask has the more effective it is, according to studies. However, more layers can make it difficult for you to breathe. If you know you’ll be going to a low-risk place where you can practice safe social distancing, two-layer masks can be enough. You can always opt for more layers if you are part of the high-risk group or have comorbidities.
Non-woven fabrics work best for reusable face masks
Non-woven fabrics provide the best protection against viruses among any other fabrics. It is because of the tighter weave that doesn’t allow the virus nanoparticles to pass through. Masks that are made from blended fabrics (e.g., cotton-flannel, cotton-silk.. etc) also offer better protection and comfort.
It is not always necessary to wear a surgical mask
Unless you work in a healthcare or medical setting or in are contact with infected people (such as cleaners who sanitise hospitals and clinics), there is less of a need to wear a surgical mask.
According to the Department of Health, surgical masks “benefit people who are sick so they don’t cough on others, and health care workers who have frequent, close contact with sick people.” People who also have returned from a country or region that is at high or moderate risk for COVID-19, or think they may have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus should be wearing surgical masks when out and about. Minimising the use of surgical masks prevents the depletion of the stocks that are better reserved for medical and healthcare professionals as well.
N95 respirators are the best masks for medical and healthcare professionals
N95 respirators filter out 95% of particles, making them the best option there is. However, they are running low in supply everywhere in the world, so these masks should be reserved for medical and healthcare frontliners.
Makeshift face coverings such as bandannas and shirts offer little to no protection
A study from M&T has found that bandanas performed the worst when it comes to protecting the wearer. If budget is an issue, there are affordable options for two-ply masks that can protect the wearers while also being easy on the wallet.
Face masks aren’t foolproof
While face masks dramatically reduce the risk of catching and spreading the virus, they are not entirely foolproof. It still depends on your personal hygiene and proper mask-wearing techniques. Here are WHO guidelines on proper mask handling and wearing:
Shop for the best face masks in Australia on Brandconnect!
Bulk orders of face masks may be hard to come by these days, but Brandconnect is always here to help you with your COVID-19 needs. You can check out our assorted range of face masks and other COVID-19 sanitisers and protective gear.