Mask wearing has become the “new normal”. As one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19, wearing masks have become either recommended or mandatory in indoor and outdoor spaces across the world. Here is a crash course on mask related information that you should know!
How do I wear a mask properly?
To ensure your mask is effective in doing its job, it’s important to follow some important tips and guidelines.
Wash your hands (with soap!) before and after touching your mask.
Only touch the bands that are attached to the mask—not the mask itself—when you are putting on and taking off your mask.
Make sure your mask covers 3 parts of your face—the nose, mouth and chin.
Make sure that you are able to breathe comfortably and talk through your mask.
If your mask is reusable, ensure you are washing it as frequently as possible. Ideally, this should be after every use.
Additionally, here are some common mistakes to avoid when wearing a mask.
Don’t touch your mask while it is being worn.
Don’t put your mask underneath your chin with your nose and mouth being exposed.
Don’t leave your nose, mouth or chin uncovered.
Don’t remove your mask when in public spaces.
Don’t share your masks with other individuals.
What types of masks can I wear?
There are many different types of masks that can be worn, each different in supply and effectiveness when it comes to filtering air particles from your surroundings.
Cloth masks are very popular and can be easily created by hand, or purchased from your local clothing or general store. At this point, where masks have become a staple in our lives, they can be found with many different designs and materials! If you decide to make your own masks, it’s important to follow the CDC guidelines. They recommend using cloth masks with at least 2 layers, which are most effective in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Surgical masks are disposable ones, which are usually worn by frontline workers and used as personal protective equipment (PPE). They are designed to protect from large respiratory droplets.
N-95 or Professional-Grade Medical Mask
These types of masks are formed in order to keep a tight seal between your face and the outside air. They are most frequently used by healthcare workers and professionals, since they can effectively protect them from droplets in the air. Since they are usually in demand in the healthcare industry and are important for their work, it is recommended that the general public refrain from wearing these types of masks.
A Face Shield is a clear sheet of plastic that hangs down from a headband, covering from the top of your head to the bottom of your chin. They can be worn as an extra layer of protection, but they do not provide the same protection against droplets as masks do, and therefore, do not replace them.
What does mask fashion look like?
The creation and daily usage of masks has created a whole new uncharted territory for fashion. Many celebrities and clothing companies have come out with their own lines of face masks, and they have been created in various styles and materials to suit the needs of every single individual. Thanks to social media, such trends and styles are being sent globally every minute. Here are some mask trends from across the world!
In European countries such as France and Italy, luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci have used their high-end style to create luxury face masks that show off their well-known logos and designs.
American pop star Billie Eilish wears Gucci mask (Sourcing Journal).
In Korea, mask-wearing has been popular for many years due to common trends, such as the Sakun trend, which was created by a Korean Streetwear Brand and became popular due to the boy band Big Bang in 2009. These masks can be identifiable by their black colour with teeth marks in the front.
Bedazzled masks have also become popular, for example, as created by designer Samia al-Zakleh in Jordan. These can even be purchased with matching jeweled phone cases.
Athletic brands such as New Balance and Adidas have also come out with reusable masks that emphasize breathability. By using antimicrobial technology, these masks have become popular for athletes to wear.
Adidas reusable face mask (Sourcing Journal).
Chinese Designer Zhijun Wang has created functional pollutant masks that are upcycled from sneakers. He has said that these techno-type designs could make masks as desirable and collectable as the latest sneaker collection for streetwear in China.
Face masks have also become a tool for expression. In the United States, the Black Lives Matter Organization has come out with face masks that feature phrases such as “freedom” and “justice”, which has become an important part of protest culture in light of the pandemic.
Face masks featuring the phrases "freedom" and "justice" (Black Lives Matter).
It is evident that masks have become an integral part of our lives, as well as in the fashion industry. They are a new form of expression for all, and companies across the world have used their own expertise and branding to offer us a great variety of masks catered to people with different interests and needs. So the next time you go shopping, make sure to take a look at all the mask varieties stores have to offer. Happy mask shopping!
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Article Author: Asima Hudani
Article Editor: Victoria Huang