We’re all seeing quite a bit of masks these days. Whether you are headed to a grocery store, to pick up take out, on the job, or on a walk with friends – masks are slowly becoming a key accessory in our clothing routine. Think about it – are you someone who wears a mask all day? For a few hours? How long can you go without noticing your mask? Does your mask ever get dirty, scratchy, or moist?
As a clothing company faced with the new needs of a pandemic, these are some of the questions that came to our minds, too! Some of the common gripes about masks that we’ve encountered have to do with fit, moisture, odor, and breathability. In light of these changing times, we set out to design reusable face masks for sensitive skin. These personal (not medical) zinc face masks not only look good but feel amazing all day long and do not irritate sensitive skin!
Soft, Skin Friendly Fabric
Fabric selection is crucial when choosing an antimicrobial face mask. After all, a mask can potentially be on your face all day long! The skin on our faces and lips is very sensitive, and rough, itchy, and highly-processed fabrics with chemicals can be irritating. Our RemedyWear washable face masks are made from lyocell (TENCEL brand) embedded with zinc oxide and were created with sensitive skin in mind. The fabric is Oeko-Tex 100 Class 1 certified to be safe for sensitive and allergy-prone skin), and the masks are made with non-allergenic dyes that contain zero chemicals or adhesives.
Cotton cloth was conventionally recommended as the fabric of choice for sensitive skin. However, a recent review of cotton fabric (in eczema patients) found mixed evidence for their efficacy to relieve skin symptoms and the potential for cotton dyes to cause allergies. Lyocell is an eco-friendly alternative to cotton that is made from sustainably forested wood pulp that is spun into an ultra-soft, smooth fabric that is very gentle on skin. A recent study found that wearing clothing made from lyocell embedded with zinc fabric soothed symptoms of patients with eczema (atopic dermatitis)!
Beat Moisture & Bacteria
One major issue with face masks is that the moisture, bacteria, and fungi from the oral cavity can quickly build up on the inside of the masks and are transferred from inside to outside with use and handling. One main complaint with masks is mask-acne or “maskne”! Preventing bacterial colonization should (in theory) help with conditions like eczema and acne, where bacteria on the skin contribute to flare-ups and inflammation. Our Remedywear 3 ply face masks use zinc oxide, which has been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal activity, to help combat these concerns. The masks are made of three fabric layers – a middle layer in tightly woven lyocell and an outside and inside layer in jersey knitted lyocell embedded with zinc. The innermost layer with zinc sits directly next to the face to help keep the mask germs, fungus, and odor-free and fresh all day long!
Comfort & Breathability
Skin issues due to improper mask fit, where a mask rubs the skin or creates a sweaty environment can exacerbate conditions such as acne, rosacea, and psoriasis.  Getting the right fit with masks can be incredibly difficult. Most of the time they are either too tight or too loose and gape open on the sides. An improper fit isn’t just uncomfortable, but it can also increase friction, which is a leading cause of skin irritation from masks. Remedywear zinc face masks feature stretchy, adjustable straps that provide a personalized, snug fit. Tie them behind your head for longer wear or behind your ears so the mask can be easily slipped on and off when you’re on the go.
Lyocell is well known for it’s cool to the touch feeling and good moisture-wicking properties, both of which make it the ideal mask fabric for warm weather and sweaty circumstances. In fact, lyocell has been rated as cooler and more comfortable than regular cotton. Cotton can also be difficult to breathe through when you add the multiple layers necessary for decent filtration and particle retention. As mentioned earlier, Remedywear 3 layer masks were 3rd party tested and received a good rating for breathability.
For optimal use, we recommend having at least two masks – one to wear and one to wash – so you always have a clean mask on hand. Don’t worry, the zinc won’t lose its effectiveness any time soon! Remedywear fabric has been independently tested by a third party company to withstand >100 cycles of laundering without zinc loss.
Ultimately, Remedywear three ply face masks were made to prevent irritation and to provide soft, cooling comfort for as long as you need to wear them.
3rd Party Test Results
While the Remedywear zinc face masks are not intended to replace Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are not meant for medical use at all, we still wanted to provide you with data on mask breathability and particle retention because you deserve to know what you’re wearing, especially when and out and about in the community. The three layers of our masks were 3rd party tested by Citeve, a National Portuguese Lab with GPL (Good Practice Laboratory) Certification (the highest certification for a lab) via standards: EN ISO 9237:1995 and EN 14683:2019 Type 1 (European test to certify surgical masks). The results were as follows:
- Breathability: Good
- PRC ( > or = to 3 µm) (%) : 85%
- PRC (between 0,5 µm and 0,7 µm) (%) : 12%
“I have been searching for a comfortable, good looking, and functional mask that I can use every day. With this mask, my search has ended!
Lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and antibacterial! This is everything I wanted in a mask. I also love that it has ties rather than elastic bands. This allows me to adjust it perfectly, and I can leave both knotted and use it almost like an elastic band. My ears are actually sore from the masks that wrap around them, so I definitely don’t want that, although you can tie these straps so that they do hook around your ears as well if you wish.
This is the mask that I have been looking for!”
-Dermatologist, Peter Lio, MD