What's the Safest Face Mask? We Asked Doctors Which Ones They Wear During Their Off Time

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By now we’re all well acquainted with our handy dandy face masks (we’ve even started matching them to our outfits). Per the CDC: “Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control.” Wearing masks, whether you’re sick or not has been a proven tactic for lowering infection rates. But you, like us, have probably wondered what the best face mask option is. That’s why we went straight to the source and checked in with a couple of doctors for the safest face masks that they recommend.

8 Breathable Face Masks Made for Running, Biking and Working Out

vida face mask 1
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1. Vida Protective Mask

“This mask checks all my boxes,” says Shirin Peters, M.D., Founder of the Bethany Medical Clinic in New York, adding that this option from the brand Vida is affordable and durable (and comes in 16 colors). In general, Dr. Peters tells us, “I like masks that have adjustable ear straps and an adjustable wire bridge over the nose because this way I get the perfect fit and can stay comfortable (and feeling safe) for long periods of time, and don't have to constantly remove or adjust the mask. It's also been proven that two or more layers of fabric is the safest design for masks.” Finally, she adds that it’s crucial to find a washable mask, as the more frequently you wash your mask, the better.

Buy it ($10)

amazon face mask 1

2. Ililily Cotton Double Layer Patterned Face Mask

“The best masks will contain several layers of fabric,” says Elizabeth Mullans, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Houston, Texas. “Cotton is the best fabric on the inner lining, touching the skin, because it is less irritating than synthetic materials.” Dr. Mullans tells us that she likes to wear a double layer cotton mask like the one above from Amazon. And of course, as a dermatologist, maskne is at the front of her mind. To minimize any negative skin effects from wearing a mask all day, she washes her reusable masks every day. How? “I wash my reusable mask in hot water with laundry detergent and white vinegar (which has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties), and I dry on a higher heat setting in the dryer,” she notes.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...