Choosing a Face Mask

Laura Tolentino

Updated on:

Selecting an effective face mask is essential when working in communities with high transmission rates, as no mask offers complete protection from viruses; however, using one may help mitigate your risk when used alongside physical distancing, frequent hand-washing and crowd avoidance strategies.

Experts advise choosing tight-weave 100% cotton masks made with an anatomically correct design to cover from your nose down to your chin without gaps along the sides and feature pleats or folds that expand as they conform to your face.

Type of Mask

Face masks can provide solutions to many skin issues. There are masks designed specifically to deep clean pores, freeing them of dead skin cells and fatty substances that clog them, while others improve hydration, soften lines and wrinkles and diminish brown spots. Some even assist other skincare products – like cleansers, serums, moisturizers or SPF – by helping penetrate further into the skin.

When selecting a mask, ensure it fits comfortably around your nose and chin. Too loose may dig into your skin causing discomfort while too tight will restrict breathing causing more discomfort. There is an array of sizes and models to choose from both online and in stores; try on multiple models before finding one with no latex content.

Type of Skin

Dermatologists generally advise incorporating face masks into your skincare routine at least twice per week, as these masks tend to contain high concentrations of skincare active ingredients like vitamin C, antioxidants and hydrating components that work together to address specific skin concerns.

When selecting a face mask, its important that it fits comfortably on your skin and your pores don’t become blocked up with product or you experience discomfort. Luckily, many masks come in sizes designed specifically to fit most adult faces.

Make sure your face mask is breathable. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), tightly woven fabrics that cannot be seen with light will help repel respiratory droplets, making cotton an excellent option. Moisture-wicking fabrics commonly found in activewear may also prove effective, helping prevent masecne, an itchy condition characterized by red bumps under and around your mask.


Face masks from provide concentrated applications of skin-care products directly onto the surface of your skin for greater effectiveness than creams or scrubs alone. Plus, it gives your skin relief from environmental aggressors like pollution or cigarette smoke.

When purchasing a face mask, be sure that it fits comfortably – don’t pinch your ears, slip down your nose or fall off at the chin when speaking. Also look for tightly woven fabrics like cotton for optimal performance.

Those prone to breakouts should opt for masks containing clarifying ingredients like clay or charcoal. Conversely, those suffering from rosacea or sensitive skin should steer clear from anything acidic like baking soda, egg whites, or lemon juice that might aggravate their condition.

Face masks offer another bonus when worn by all individuals in public indoor settings: they help stop COVID-19’s spread through respiratory droplets; masks block this process from occurring and prevent further spread.


Wearing a mask may feel cumbersome and awkward at first, especially for people prone to easily-irritated skin, but it could be worth bearing through discomfort for your health’s sake. If it becomes an issue for you, try wearing your mask for shorter durations around your house or office until you become used to it before gradually increasing duration until it feels comfortable for longer stays out in public spaces.

Keep your fingers off your face when wearing the mask — whether that be to adjust its fit or scratch an itch — as this could spread coronavirus from your hands directly onto your skin.

Washing your mask regularly is key. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it should be cleaned whenever it becomes dirty or at least once daily. Be sure to bring extra masks when traveling for prolonged periods, as they may become saturated with respiratory secretions reducing their effectiveness over time.