Face masks have been around for centuries (think of the Black Plague and Beak Doctor masks). While COVID-19 has made masks an essential part of our daily outfits, there are some places in the world where the wearing of face masks has continued to be a staple, particularly during the colder months. From these countries, we have seen that they do reduce the risk of infection, whether you are at high risk or not.
Protective face masks do have their drawbacks, with compromised comfort level being one of the most obvious. When considered to be a part of a regular outfit though, we see that face masks don’t operate any differently to anything else we wear and are happy to remove once we get home.
What is notable about the face mask though is that the benefits of them far outweigh the discomfort – and they are far more practical and beneficial than some items of clothing that you already wear.
Statistics from Mask-wearing Nations
Before COVID-19, Asian populations regular wore face masks to reduce the spread of other communicable diseases. Until recently, people did not often wear masks in an effort to protect themselves. Those who feel sick may wear masks to keep from spreading any illness they have.
While it is difficult to find the statistics on how illness was prevented prior to 2020 (there was never so much interest and certainly no need to understand the numbers), there have been a number of studies that have focused on Asian COVID-19 numbers. Since the population was already accustomed to wearing face masks, the people were able to easily accept the need for masks. This has helped to get some early data on how effective the masks have been against stopping the spread of the virus. Though COVID-19 originated in Asia, the Asian nations where face masks are a regular part of people’s lives have had far fewer cases of the disease than nations where face masks were not used prior to the spread of COVID-19. There are likely other contributing factors to the lower count of new cases, but face masks are thought to be a significant reason why the illness has not spread so quickly as in other nations.
Because the illness can make you very sick (not to mention the possibility of being fatal), taking any logical precaution to reduce the risk of contracting it – especially something as easy as wearing a mask – is a precaution worth taking.
Obvious Benefits of Face Masks
There are several incredibly obvious benefits to wearing a face mask.
- Face masks make it harder for any communicable disease to find new hosts. It is easy to think about face masks as a result of COVID-19, but they help protect you against any communicable disease. If you are sick, it helps protect your friends and family.
- If you have allergies, masks can help reduce your body’s reactions since they protect your respiratory system from allergens in the air (truck fumes, smoke, etc.).
- Those who suffer from asthma will have some protection against things that could cause their respiratory system to react. Viruses that attack the respiratory system tend to cause an asthmatic response; this means that those with asthma benefit both by reducing the risk of contracting an illness and less risk of setting off their asthma.
If you are interested in learning about the statistics that have been collected that support the benefits of wearing a face mask, you can check out this summary by the University of California San Francisco and the recommendations of the CDC.
Less Obvious Benefits
Masks are practical because they help to protect you from COVID-19 and other communicable illnesses. However, there are some benefits that are less obvious, and can help put them in a new light.
- For women, you can save time putting on makeup since you don’t have to put it on half of your face.
- Masks make you more aware of your own oral healthcare. By having something that makes you more aware of how your breath smells, you are much more likely to take oral hygiene a little more seriously.
- If you eat something that has a strong order, you don’t have to worry about other people smelling it on your breath.
- For younger people who still have acne, you can easily cover it up.
- For the guys, you don’t have to worry about shaving as often because no one will see your stubble.
- You don’t need to check your teeth for food to make sure nothing is stuck between your teeth.
- If you’re particularly frustrated with someone, you can mouth whatever you want, and they’ll never know what you just called them. Think of your mask as the equivalent to being on a conference call where you can mug at your phone as much as you want.
- They are another accessory that has a lot of potential to be stylish.
And as mentioned before, you get a nice sense of relief as you remove a mask – like kicking off your shoes.
A New Fashion Accessory
Masks may feel restrictive, but really are not any worse than any of your undergarments or socks. If you are the kind of person who uses your socks, tie, or other little extras to show your personality, fashion face masks fall into this category as well. That isn’t something you can say about most accessories. Ties just hang down the front of a shirt. Watches are largely obsolete because of smartphones. Masks are a functional addition to your ensemble.
And there is so much you can do with a mask! From matching your outfit to distracting others from that spot of mustard you’ve spilled on your shirt, masks can provide a bit of style to your outfit.
Finding a fashionable face mask that is as protective as it is fashionable is easy. Check out Leg Avenue to find the right look for your everyday outfits. These cloth face masks are comfortable, letting you breath more easily, and since they are machine washable, you can have a reusable face mask for every day of the week without spending a fortune.