Ever since the covid pandemic happened, we keep seeing information everywhere on face masks, people wanting to make them, donate them, or maybe for their personal use. But, there are so many questions arising about this topic - Are they effective? What kind of material you use?
Do you need a filter?- and the list goes on. I’m a creative kind of person and love to make new things, so I personally did a little bit of research to find out more about cloth face masks - I read so many articles, journals, talked with healthcare professionals, and I’ve compiled all of that research here to share with you.
The big question is - Are they effective? If yes, how effective are they? So, I found out that cloth masks protect people from large droplets released into the environment by infected people.
This is very important, especially when you are around sick people. When you wear a mask on your face, it also helps splashes of fluid and other stuffs from getting into your mouth, which is, in fact, a good thing.
How do you choose an effective face mask?
A mask’s effectiveness depends on what it's made of and how well it covers your face. But if you can't breathe properly after wearing it, then you're less likely to keep it on. So, along with the fabric and fit, you should focus on the breathability factor as well.
Avoid those that come with valves at the front.
Even though cloth masks' filtration effectiveness is comparatively lower than medical masks and respirators, a well-designed cloth mask may provide some sort of protection if used correctly.
Reusable cloth face masks are a good alternative to N95 and other medical masks while you are in public. And what not, they are even environment friendly!
What fabric is best for face masks?
From colorful face masks to fashionable ones, there are plenty of face masks to choose from. But, what is that one fabric that makes the best face mask?
While reusable cloth-made masks are great, organic cotton face masks are even better!
If you are wondering why cotton is the best and safest option of all, we’ve got answers. This particular fabric has the most effective characteristics when compared to all other fabrics. It contains tiny fibers that may help to stop the virus and other particles on the way through.
Three-dimensional structure, tighter weave, thicker, heavier yarn, and higher thread count - organic cotton has got them all.
A face mask is something that you use very close to your mouth and nose. While using them, it is important to make sure that you are not breathing in harmful toxins from the mask. Well, I do that every time, and that’s why I prefer buying organic cotton face masks.
They are durable, breathable, and much easier to handle than other fabrics. Not only are they good for you but also for the earth that you live in.
Two layers of tighter weave cotton face masks are considered good, but three or more are better.
Cotton face masks and sensitive skin
If you have sensitive skin and need to wear a face mask for longer hours, what will you do? Rashes, blemishes, and soreness are very common, especially with disposable face masks and others made of synthetic material. In such a situation, consider switching to a reusable cloth mask such as cotton as they are antimicrobial and can reduce skin irritation.
Cotton over other fabrics
Cloth masks made out of good fabric such as cotton could block at least 80% of the viral particles from entering your mouth and nose. These infected particles get trapped into the fibers of your maks, so never forget to wash them regularly.
The woven fabric on the outside of these masks can protect you from external fluids, and the knit fabric on the inside can make your skin feel better, which is a good thing as well.
However, just wearing a face mask when you are out is not enough. You still have to wash your hands properly, practice social distancing, and do all those things you can to keep yourself and others safe.
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Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.