By Emma Dooney published
We've all experienced it at some point during the pandemic, that pesky feeling of a mask that doesn't feel quite right.
From slipping off our faces to pinching at our ears, a good-fitting mask can be as hard to come by as a snug pair of jeans. But with masks scientifically proven to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, there's no excuse for improper use.
It should come as no surprise that mask braces are recommended to get the most protection out of our face coverings.
Research has shown that applying a brace or "fitter" to your mask can significantly enhance its effectiveness, upping its strength to almost that of an N95 or a gold standard medical face mask.
A photo posted by on
Simply put, the brace locks the mask in place, sealing off any gaps through which air could escape. While store-bought masks are typically produced in a standard size, a brace enables the wearer to adjust the cover to fit their face.
"These reusable devices help improve the fit of a cloth or a medical mask by creating a tight fit,” said Dr. John Brooks, a medical epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Fitters have been scientifically demonstrated to improve filtration performance by as much as 90% or more, which, again, is getting into that range of filtration efficiency afforded by N95 respirators.”
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What exactly does a mask brace look like? Fix the Mask, a startup company based in California has developed the first commercially available mask fitter. Made from a single piece of biocompatible silicone, they come in a range of sizes and feature adjustable straps to ensure the perfect fit.
Tightening your mask's earloops with elastic bands could also achieve a similar effect.
So whether you purchase a brace online or opt for the DIY route, make sure your mask is always fitted securely on your face for the safety of you and others.
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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