7 Best Cold Weather Face Masks for Coronavirus
Winter is coming, which means you may finally be excited to wear a face mask to help keep your face warm and protected from the elements in addition to lower the risk of COVID-19. But you may be wondering if you can wear a scarf as your face mask or if you still need a mask underneath. And what about wearing a gaiter or buff instead?
“Gaiters and buffs are fine for brief encounters,” says Paul Silka, MD, chair of the department of emergency medicine at the Regional Medical Center of San Jose, California. “If you’re anticipating prolonged exposure to others, particularly indoors, double-layer face masks or surgical masks are better options.”
So if you’re just traveling from home for a quick errand, or going outside where you won’t be spending much time around other people, you can consider wearing just a gaiter or buff. But if you’re going to be around others for a while, the best option is a face mask with a gaiter or buff or scarf on top.
Even the best mask won’t help much if your face covering doesn’t fit properly, though. “It is important that they are tight-fitting, covering the nose, mouth, and face,” says Dr. Silka. “Two-layer masks are even better. If the face covering is loose and single-layered it will be less effective.”
Don’t have a mask? Dr. Silka suggests going for double layers of a gaiter and scarf, or even two gaiters or buffs. “If you don’t have medical conditions, breathing shouldn’t be an issue,” he says.
For the best protection this winter, use one of these expert-recommended cold weather face masks and gaiters to be safe. These eye-opening facts will convince you to wear a face mask.