“Wearing is caring” the new mantra of current pandemic.

With the shortage of face masks globally, people have come out with creative ideas to protect themselves.

Yes, we are talking about the face masks that protect from any air-borne viruses. The need to wear a face mask has become a requisite part of our life, so much so that every store and online shopping platform has made it a part of daily supplies. From roadside vendors to top designer brands jumping into the game of safety with style, the face mask market has marked a notch in sales tremendously.

The good news is wearing a face mask is no more boring, woohoo!!

Here we are with a wide range of collections available in the market to choose from for every mood and occasion. Let’s explore.

1.Surgical Mask

These readily available off the shelf “our simple protector” is commonly used by everyone as a got to masks these days. These masks were predominantly used by health workers during surgeries thus also known as a procedure mask. It can only block large particles, droplets, sprays or splashes and not as a protection against airborne bacteria or viruses. The surgical mask should be discarded in single-use or after soiled. These masks are now largely used by infection-free personal and are easily available in any medical store.

2. Respirators

Masks with an exhalation port with a one-way valve mechanism seal the mouth, and nose tight is grouped as respirators. According to the efficiency of respirators they are graded as N95, N99, N100 i.e. they trap 95%, 99% & 99.9% of filtration efficiency. Alphabet written over the mask stands for N- Not Oil Proof, similarly respirators can be R – Oil resistant, P- Oil Proof. So, this mask also reduces the effort of expiration, heat, and humidity inside the mask making it wearable for a longer time period. They can be washable and reused. It is highly recommended for people exposed to or working with an infected person.

3. Cloth Mask

These masks emerged in the market by design houses to support the needy, however, they have become a huge trend and in demand. As this is woven mask the pore size is larger than the surgical mask and is less effective in terms of filtration. While safety is a question, these masks come in huge variety making us spoilt for choices. They are washable and available in different colors, designs, and patterns. DIY tutorials on the making of these masks have flooded the social media platform. Designers have also come out with

“Match-O-Match collection” masks that can match your attire.

4. 3-D Printed Mask

From Disney princess to superheroes here is another option to grab. Also, printed masks are available in funny faces, floral, worded, and even quotes. If you are looking for a mask just for aesthetic use then this is the one to choose. This mask just acts as a physical barrier to the environment. They do not help in air filtration or as a fluid protection barrier. Thus, making it less to no purpose.

5. Metal Masks

Yellow, Yellow shiny fellow!! this pandemic has brought the best imagination and invention out of people.  The yellow metal has been an obsession for many people around and to add to the collection could be this gold mask. Men too are passionate about wearing gold accessories and investing in Gold masks proves that. Businessmen from Pune, Calcutta, and sutra have been making headlines in media for their made to order gold face mask pricing to 3.4 Lakhs. Name your lucky gem – diamonds, precious stones, and get them studded to your choice. Does it serve the purpose is the biggest question here!!

6. The Bridal Masks

Well, Face masks as a part of the bridal trousseau is the last thing you would have ever thought of. With lockdown and a restricted number of guests, this marriage season is still rocking. From designer made to readily available instore bridal mask, the collection is never-ending for the bride, groom, bridesmaid, and everyone on the list. From silk to laces, precious stones to Kundan work, printed to embroidered names, designers get it done. Although this mask is not of medical standards, some of them come with an option to insert additional layers to add your own filters.

7. The Scarf-Mask

When scarf met mask – Two in one scarf mask was born. One-size with adjustable ear straps or tie together, these scarf-masks are available in cotton, chiffon, and silk material and in various prints.  Washable and reusable, you can wear a medical mask under this one if you are looking for extra protection.

About the author: Rekha Hariprawin is the Founder of SaRay Image consulting firm in Chennai. She is an Internationally Certified Personal Branding and Lifestyle Coach, POSH (Prevention of sexual harassment at the workplace) torchbearer & DiSC consultant.

She loves to empower people in identifying their strengths and areas of concern and walk them to success by working on their appearance, behavior, and communication.

She acts as a catalyst in transforming people into a “Personal Brand” that differentiates you from others!!

You can email your queries at sarayimage@gmail.com to know more about personal branding, enhancing your personal image, dressing for success, etiquette, and communicating right.