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Whether you like them or not, you can’t get rid of face masks. Even though the science around the productivity of face masks is not clearly defined, these items provide some sort of protection.
Once we sneeze, cough, or exhale, thousands of droplets are produced. Many of these droplets settle on nearby surfaces or remain suspended in the air. Therefore, wearing a face mask protects you from spreading the infection to others. It will also keep you from touching your nose and mouth with potentially infected hands.
When it comes to masks, a well and sustainable initial approach could be selecting reusable face masks instead of disposable ones.
Face masks are only useful if you wear them correctly. Harmful particles can still enter the mask if you do not wear them the right way.
Firstly, wash your hands well and take out a clean, breathable cloth mask. Then, put it on by holding the ear loops. Make sure that the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face. But don’t make it so tight that you find it difficult to breathe.
Always pull your mask up so that it covers your nose, and tug it down to cover your mouth. If you are leaving your nose and mouth exposed, you are probably not doing any good for yourself and anybody. It is similar to holding the seat belt in your hand but not clicking it. If you think that wearing a face mask will affect your ability to breathe, you are wrong. Organic cloth made face masks have zero impact on oxygenation and the quality of breathing. So, there is no need to worry at all.
While wearing face masks has now become a part of our everyday life, don’t forget to keep them clean. Nowadays, masks need to be worn whenever you go out, so consider having at least two of them handy.
If you're not immediately going to wash your mask after you use it, place it in a paper bag. You can pick it up, holding the ear loops to place it inside the bag, and store it in a cool, clean place. There are organic cotton storage bags available out there which can be considered as the most sustainable and safest option to store your face masks.
Don’t store your face masks in pockets or purses. Instead, you should carefully fold them in such a way that the outside is folded inward against itself. Make sure not to store your mask with other people’s masks.
I would always prefer buying a cloth face mask made with tightly woven fabric. They show up as the safest option when used, washed, and disposed of in the proper way. If you find a face mask that is hypoallergenic, breathable, has multiple layers, made from fabrics that are easier to wash, then that’s it - you’ve found it!
If you haven’t realized it yet, these masks actually act as a barrier between you and the infections. An ideal mask should be made of at least three layers. Its outer layer should preferably have antimicrobial finishes, and the inner layer should have a water-absorbent fabric. Its middle layer should act as a filter. If the number of layers are more in your antimicrobial face masks, you will definitely have more protection.
The best type of face mask is the one that is wide enough to comfortably cover your nose and chin without gaping. Choose the one with adjustable straps and nose wire. Finally, always go for reusable face masks, because at the end of the day, this piece of cloth can play a much more significant role in helping you, your loved ones, and the environment to stay healthy.