Four Face Mask "Dos" and Three "Don’ts" During the Pandemic

Posted by Adam Moxon on

Four Face Mask "Dos" and Three "Don’ts" During the Pandemic

The world is a concerning place. Pollution, natural disasters, and disease seem to be creeping around every corner, waiting to strike. It is a changing environment that can be, at best, uncertain, and at the worst, scary. People scramble to understand what to do in this climate and search for ways to protect themselves and their loved ones from the harmful side effects that many others face. Fortunately, some simple methods can provide some protection from the uncertainty and danger of the changing environment. One such strategy is the reusable, washable face mask that is helpful for dust, germs, and allergies. 

For more information, please visit Debrief Me at

What Is a Face Mask?

A face mask is simply a mask that covers and protects your face. There are many different types of face masks from surgical masks to anti-pollution masks, to homemade cloth masks. There are two types of masks in particular that have come under public scrutiny: the N95 respirator and homemade cloth masks. 

The N95 respirator is a tight-fitting face mask that can keep the user safe from splashes, sprays, and large droplets. The respirator is designed to form a tight seal to your face and can filter out 95% of small particles that include viruses and bacteria. The “N” in N95 is the NIOSH certification for a mask that is safe for occupational use. The National Institute of Safety Health has stringent testing and visits every factory anywhere in the world that has this certification. Make sure if you do buy an N95 you look for the NIOSH logo and certification number on the mask.

Homemade face masks are those created by people in their own homes. They are often created using cloth, and it is recommended that, without access to other face masks, people wear them when in public places. It is important to note that even with a homemade face mask, you should still maintain a safe distance from others, and they will require washing after every use. 

Whether choosing a mask for dust, germs, allergies, or even an anti-pollution mask, there are things that you should keep in mind while wearing them. Below are four dos and three don’ts of face mask use. These dos and don’ts are intended to help educate people on the use of face masks, no matter what brand or type. 

The Face Mask Dos

1. Do Make Sure that the Mask Fits Snugly but Comfortably

A face mask should not only be comfortable but fit correctly with no gaps between the face and the mask. The mask should cover the mouth and nose. 

At first, a face mask may be uncomfortable, especially while becoming accustomed to the new sensation of having a covering in place over your mouth and nose. It is recommended to treat the mask as if it isn’t there and to avoid touching it to avoid cross-contamination. 

 2. Do Use Masks Secured with Ties or Ear Loops

To ensure a snug fit, face masks need to be secured so that the mask will remain in place and avoid constant adjusting and tugging to keep it over the nose and mouth. This is often done with the use of ties and ear loops. In the case of some non-medical face masks and homemade masks, a simple solution is rubber bands or hair ties, though they are often not as comfortable or as effective. 

Some face mask manufacturers have the option of using a neck or behind-the-head clip. These clips will not only help keep the face mask in place, but it will provide more comfort when wearing it. With these clips in place, you can avoid the common problem of rubbing behind your ears. 

 3. Do Include Multiple Layers of Fabric

Non-medical face masks are not as efficient as most medical-grade masks. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have many benefits. For instance, they can block large particles, such as those expressed when coughing or sneezing. 

Although these masks can’t block the smaller particles like medical-grade masks can, using layered fabric to construct the mask can help to increase its efficacy. Filler material, usually a nonporous, yet breathable material to go between the fabric, can be added to try and block smaller particles. 

 4. Do Allow for Breathing Without Restriction

To increase the comfort of wearing a face mask, the material used must be breathable. Materials, such as cotton or knit fabric, provide the most breathability. 

This breathability will not only provide an increased ability to breathe through the material but will also keep the face cooler than other, heavier materials. In both of these cases, it will help to avoid constant touching and adjusting the mask, keeping the wearer safe from cross-contamination. 

The Face Mask Don’ts

1. Don’t Use Unwashed Hands to Put on Mask

It is of no use to put on a clean mask with dirty or soiled hands. This will just increase cross-contamination and the risk of contracting an illness. 

Before putting on a mask, the wearer should clean hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or simply soap and water. 

 2. Don’t Touch the Mask While Wearing It

For the same reason not to put on a mask with unwashed hands, it is not recommended to touch a mask while using it. If there is no other choice, it should be done with clean hands in the same procedure as mentioned above with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water. 

 3. Don’t Assume Protection Is Invulnerability

Face masks can protect and help with a variety of environmental issues such as pollution and dust. Unfortunately, this protection does not make a person immune to other harmful conditions such as viruses and bacteria. 

Even with a face mask, proper hygiene and safety procedures should be followed. Frequent hand washing and physical distancing will aid in the safety and well-being of those wearing any face mask. 

With an increasingly hostile environment, people must take extra precautions to keep themselves healthy and happy as they navigate the world. One of those precautions is the use of face masks. 

4. Don't Use a Mask with a Beard

This is a tough one, but if you have a beard, it is highly recommended that you follow the CDC guidelines for wearing a mask with a beard. Beards can substantially affect the effectiveness of face masks. The CDC says that ensuring the respiratory seal is maintained around your face, and different kinds of facial hair can prevent this seal from being properly formed. 

So, if you’re wanting to try out a new facial hairstyle or grow that beard out, check out the CDC’s recommendations for beards and face masks, before using a mask that may not provide you with the protection you need.

A forerunner in the world of quality face masks is Debrief Me, an American company that believes its products should be functional, durable, and work as hard as its owner. With high-quality products and a dedication to excellence and superior customer service, Debrief Me is the next step for those looking to protect themselves from pollution, and in light of the COVID pandemic, from spreading the new coronavirus.

To get a high-quality reusable, washable face mask that suits everyday life, see Debrief Me’s collection at