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Breathe Easy: How To Properly Use a Face Mask

by Kate Grigorenko on February 28, 2023

Who doesn’t love an accessory that’s both practical and stylish? Face masks have quickly become the new must-have for many — for stay-at-home style and protection from the elements, all in one. But wearing a face mask isn’t just about fashion: It’s important to get the details right if you want to make sure you’re getting optimum protection.

Whether you're a first-time face mask wearer or an experienced user, proper fit is essential — not just for comfort but also to maximize coverage and minimize potential contaminants. To help you get the most out of your face mask, we've put together this guide on how to properly use a face mask. We'll cover everything from why you need to wear one to tips on finding the right fit and how to maintain it correctly.

What Materials Are Used in Face Masks?

With all the buzz around medical face mask, it’s important to know what materials are used to make them. There are a number of different materials you can find in face masks, and each one offers unique benefits.

The most popular materials include:

* Cotton – Cotton is an absorbent fabric that is soft and lightweight, making it a great choice for everyday wear. It’s also highly breathable, so you won’t feel like you’re suffocating when wearing your mask.

* Polyester – Polyester is a synthetic fiber that’s commonly used in face masks due to its durability. It is much stronger than cotton and can last for a long time without snagging or tearing.

* Nylon – Nylon is another strong yet lightweight fabric, which makes it ideal for face masks. Its strength also makes it resistant to dirt and moisture, meaning it won’t get ruined easily by everyday use.

No matter which material you choose for your mask, just make sure that it fits snugly against your face and allows you to breathe easily. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing one with a particular material, then switch it out and try something else!

Breathe Easy: How To Properly Use a Face Mask

Should I Wear a Mask?

The simple answer is yes, absolutely. It's important to wear ffp3 masks when heading outside, no matter the situation. There are a few different kinds of masks available—from cloth to surgical—but all of them offer some form of protection in a variety of situations.

Cloth masks are recommended by the CDC and can prevent the spread of respiratory droplets, albeit not as effectively as surgical masks. Surgical masks provide a high degree of protection and are designed for medical professionals who regularly come into contact with those at risk from infections.

No matter which type you choose to use, it’s important to wear it correctly and ensure that it fits snugly around your mouth and nose and doesn't slip off when you talk or breathe. Make sure it doesn’t have any gaps or tears that could allow particles in or out, and avoid touching your face while wearing it. If you do, make sure to wash your hands afterward!

What Size Should I Get?

Choosing the right size face mask is essential for comfort and effectiveness. It should be fitted snugly around your face and not hang loose, as this will not create a tight seal.

When selecting the right mask size, it’s important to take into account the shape of your face, as well as your nose and chin. Here are some things to consider:

* Faces that are more round should opt for a wide mask compared to those with narrower faces

* Those with large noses should look at masks that have adjustable nose clips or padded nose bridges

* If you have a smaller chin, try using masks that have loops instead of ear loops so that the bottom edge fits comfortably

It’s also important to make sure you can breathe effectively through the mask. Consider how breathable the material is when shopping for a mask and be sure to check if it has any vents or filters that can help with airflow. By picking the right size and checking its breathability, you can make sure that you’ll be comfortable wearing your face covering all day long.

How Do I Put on and Take Off a Face Mask?

How Do I Put on and Take Off a Face Mask?

The first thing to remember when putting on a face mask is to wash your hands with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizer before touching the mask. When wearing a mask, make sure it fits snugly to cover your nose, mouth and chin. 

To put on the mask:

1. Make sure the pleats are facing downwards and away from your face.

2. Place the ear loops over both ears.

3. Pinch the nose bridge so that it fits snugly around your nose and helps create a complete seal from any potential contaminants.

4. Pull down on the bottom of the mask to ensure that it fully covers your chin and mouth as well as your nose. 

To take off a face mask:

1. Unloop the elastics from behind your ears first (avoid touching the front of the mask).

2. Peel the bottom edge of the mask away from your face with one hand, while pulling off any ear loops with your other hand

3. Fold and store away in an airtight plastic bag or container until you can discard it properly later in accordance with safety guidelines

4. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after discarding without touching or reusing masks

When Should I Replace My Mask?

When your mask becomes damp, soiled, or torn, it is no longer effective and should be replaced. It’s important to change disposable masks after each use since they are a one-time use item.

Some reusable masks have replaceable filters that should be swapped out often. Depending on the type of filter your mask uses, it’s advisable to change them out every 1-2 weeks to ensure that they are providing the optimal level of protection. If your mask comes with carbon filters, you will want to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific info on when to change them out. 

It is also important to check for any tears or holes in your mask and replace it immediately if any are found. Even small holes can decrease the mask's effectiveness and lessen its protective capabilities against airborne particles. Damaged masks not only reduce the level of protection you receive but also present an increased risk of contact transmission by exposing droplets from other people.

FAQs About Wearing Face Masks

FAQs About Wearing Face Masks

With more and more places mandating the wearing of face masks, it's no surprise that many people have questions about the proper use of masks. Here are some of the most common queries:

How Often Should I Change My Mask?

It's recommended to change your mask after every use. If you’re using reusable masks, you should wash them regularly with unscented laundry detergent, or hand-wash them in hot soapy water using a mild detergent.

How Do I Put on a Mask Correctly?

To ensure a snug fit, start by washing or sanitizing your hands before putting on a mask. Then, place the mask over your nose and mouth and adjust it until it fits snugly against both. Once in place, avoid touching your mask while wearing it, as this will expose you to any viruses it may have collected. Make sure to also avoid taking off your mask while out in public - remove it only when you're in a safe area, like your home or car.

What Face Masks Can I Use?

The most effective way to wear a face mask is to use one that has multiple layers of fabric and is made from tightly woven materials like cotton or polyester. Disposable surgical masks are also widely available, although those should be reserved for healthcare workers and other essential personnel who need them most. Reusable cloth masks come in many shapes and sizes to fit everyone’s needs - just be sure to wash them regularly!

What Face Masks Can I Use?

Wearing a face mask is one tool that can help protect you from the virus and help prevent the spread. It’s important to wash your hands before you put it on, and after you take it off. Make sure you are properly fitted and that it fits snugly all the way around your face.

Caring for and storing your mask properly is also important. Cleaning and replacing your mask regularly will ensure that it is effective. Remember, if you can’t breathe easily through your face mask, it’s not doing its job.

Finally, remember to take precautions no matter what you’re wearing. Wearing a face mask is not a substitute for social distancing, handwashing, and other preventive measures. Wearing a face mask is one more step towards keeping you, and everyone else in your community, safe and healthy.