There's no denying that in today's society, preventing the spread of viruses by any means possible is crucial in keeping our families, jobs, and community safe and in a well-kept place.

Whether you enjoy wearing facemasks or not, it is essential to consider when buying one. Disposable masks are available, but not only are they bad for the environment, but they should only be used in an emergency, such as if you leave your primary mask at home.

Here is how to find the right facemask for comfort and functionality to ensure you get the most out of your mask.

Comfort in Style

Whatever type of mask you choose, it's important to feel comfortable wearing it. Ultimately, it's going to represent who you are, and if it doesn't fit, you'll only find yourself becoming frustrated. It should have the same effect as a well-fitted pair of shoes.

Many Sizes for Many Faces

An essential element of a mask is its fit. It can be made of the perfect material, but it renders itself useless if it doesn't fit your face.

Make sure you do your research on face masks, primarily if you invest in quality and long-term reliability. Knowing your face shape is the best way to understand what kind of mask to purchase.

Materials for Different Climates

The material of the mask can also affect how comfortable and functional it becomes. For example, if you live in a sunny climate, there are a range of masks and protective wear that will block the sun's UV rays; remember, even when it's cold, the sun can affect your skin.

Plus, different materials have different levels of effectiveness. If you believe you may have the virus, it's essential to self-isolate. Even so, wearing a mask can still prevent spreading, especially in your own home, if you have to look after a dependent.

Safety is paramount in finding the right mask. Did you know that if you can blow a candle out while wearing a mask, the mask isn't safe enough?

Make sure to find a mask with more than one layer of material, too, as most single layer masks don't pass the candle test. BloqUV ones, for example, have three layers while remaining breathable and UV protected.

Don't Forget the Straps

Buy a mask with the wrong type of straps, and you'll not want to wear it. There are different types of mask straps, from fabric to rope, depending on your comfort levels and needs.

Straps are also the most likely part to break. If you've ever used disposable masks, you'll understand the frustration when the string strap breaks away from the mask. Plus, there's a hidden environmental impact that should be avoided too.

A mask that is a single woven piece of fabric will likely be the most durable, but if you don't feel confident tying it to your face, or you are an active person, you may become frustrated if it becomes undone. Therefore, there are alternative adjustable straps available, which also have an adjustable nose bar's added feature!

Functionality in Facemasks

It's easy to think that a facemask has one function, covering your face. There's much more to it than that. Many factors come into play, and ultimately it depends on what's needed for you.

Facemasks at Work

This depends entirely on the working environment. You may already be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), primarily if you work in a scientific or medical field. Or maybe you wear similar gear in dusty environments.

For those that come into close contact with other individuals or surfaces, make sure you find a mask that will reduce the chances of spreading as much as possible. Plus, you'll want it to be comfortable, especially as you'll be wearing it all day.

Don't neglect surfaces, either in your consideration. We all think about how we shouldn't get too close to the person in front, yet we still touch the same door handle they just touched and the person before them. Or maybe you work close to the customer's product, for example, a watch repairer. In these cases, it's equally important to eliminate risk.

Wearing a Mask While Shopping

Like above, the dangers are high when shopping, so wearing the right kind of mask is vital.

You'll find shopping is the part of the day where you'll be most likely to contract or spread viruses since you can not control others' actions. In smaller environments such as workplaces, it is easier to manage, but in a supermarket, some people will choose to ignore the rules, and unfortunately, that can't be helped.

A mask that has a high filtration rate will be best suited for shopping for this reason. A study suggested using vacuum cleaner filters in mask pockets. Clean, of course. But for a similar effect, a mask such as the BloqUV masks have four filters, which makes them the closest alternative to PPE for anyone who would be classed as vulnerable.

Visiting Family, Friends and Vulnerable Individuals

Many won't believe that wearing a mask to visit family is essential as it requires minimum contact instead of shopping in public. But unless you've been at home and not left the house all week, symptoms of viruses can lay unnoticed for days before presenting themselves.

Therefore it's essential to wear the right mask for visiting family, especially anyone vulnerable. Plus, if you live on the edge, would you want your elderly relative to see you in a mask with expletives all over it?

Facemasks for Everyone

There are numerous factors to consider. It is irrelevant to your personal opinions on wearing facemasks, making sure vulnerable adults and children are prioritized. It might not affect you but think about the next person.

There's a universal acceptance that wearing a mask is the new normal, so like the rest of our clothes, why not take the time to find the right one for you and your lifestyle.

It's time to find your dream mask. Let's not forget they make great gifts for birthdays and festivities!

Take a look around to find more inspirational ideas for your wardrobe this season.

January 13, 2023 — Gabriella Lowell