Posted on by Cosmetic World

With the highly transmissible Omicron variant now here, the colorful reusable cloth mask may no longer be the best protection suggested by experts. Some experts are urging people to ditch certain types of masks in favour of a mask that will offer more protection.

Dr. Peter Juni, from the head of Ontario’s Science Advisory Table said Friday that single-layer cloth face masks may not be enough to protect against Omicron.

“If you have a single-layer, the ability to filtrate is absolutely minimal and doesn’t make a difference whatsoever,” said Juni, actively encourage the use of respirators and medical masks over cloth ones.

“They can use a medical mask that still has to fit well around the face to prevent leakage from the sides and should have a nose clip. Double or triple-layer masks made of a mix of materials can be more effective,” Trish Greenhalgh, professor of primary health care services at the University of Oxford

No recommendation for Cloth Mask then What to Get?

Colin Furness, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, pointed to the use of N95 respirators as a more effective option. Dr. Saqib Shahab said many people are now choosing to upgrade to a K95, N95 or KF94 mask. "I think the N95 has always been a more safe and secure mask," said Dr. Brian Conway, medical director of the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre.

Good filtration is useless if the mask doesn’t cover your nose and mouth properly. You also need to be able to breathe easily through the mask, Greenhalgh said.

Seems like N95 mask is the best, is it?

Dr. Pirzada recalled his days as a medical student in Toronto in 2003, during the SARS epidemic. He said when healthcare workers switched to N95 masks, transmission of that virus completely stopped.

With the best protection and stringent regarding the pressure drop in N95, it may be harder to breath for some people. The sensation of having a mask on your face might make someone anxious or uncomfortable. When we're feeling discomfort, even subconsciously, it can change the way we breathe.

Protecting Skin While Protecting Health - Transforming Outcomes  Marks on face after long-time N95 use.

The respirators act as a barrier to the inhaled and exhaled air, which may change the nasal airflow characteristics and air-conditioning function of the nose. Studies show that N95 respirator mask can leads to excessive carbon dioxide inhalation under long-time use.

If not N95 mask, then what else should I get?

When it comes to masks, there are two things that are utmost important. Fit and Quality.

Masks that are loose, with gaps around your face or nose, are not really protecting you and people around you. A fit mask should completely cover your nose and mouth and should fit tightly against the sides of your face without any gaps. Masks with a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask can help ensure a proper fit.

Then quality. Wearing a mask with at least two layersis very important. The highest quality masks are designed and tested to ensure they meet a standard. That means they perform at a consistent level to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The highest quality are:

N95 and KF94 are the most effective, provided they are genuine and have been tested to meet a standard. Similar level of protection comparing to N95 with better breathability and comfort.

      N95 mask

     

    Pack of 10] [Air Queen] 3-Layers Nano-Filter Face Safety Mask for Adult  [Individually Packaged] [Made in Korea] - - Amazon.com KF 94 mask 

      What about KN95?

      During the beginning of the pandemic, the FDA allowed the KN95 (Chinese equivalent of an N95) to be fast tracked approval for US markets. The problem was that the testing was allowed to be done by the manufacturers and not an independent study. 

      FDA revokes emergency approval for non-NIOSH approval

      NY Times Andrew Jacobs article November 30, 2021

      According to the Andrew Jacobs of the NY Times, November 30, 2021 -

      "Consumers who try to purchase N95 masks, mainly on Amazon, are often led to vendors selling fake or poorly made KN95s, a Chinese-made mask that is often marketed as an N95 equivalent despite the lack of testing by U.S. regulators to confirm virus-filtering claims.

      In fact, KN95 masks offered on Amazon and through other retailers are being sold without authorization for use in health care settings from the Food and Drug Administration, which last July revoked its emergency use authorization for imported masks that lack approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — a category that includes all KN95s from China."

      3M N95 Mask - The Gold standard

      3M N95 mask respirators are widely recognized as the gold standard for respirators. They incorporate some ingenious technology - electrostatic technology to filter out particles. True N95 rated respirators do not have ear loops. They utilize 2 over head straps for maximum tight fit. This level of protection does sacrifice comfort as the largest complaint we have experienced is that it is often hard to breath in and the tight fitted over head straps tend to be uncomfortable. Pay attention to the labels for any typos meant to mislead consumers. Legitimately labeled N95 respirators are rated by NIOSH.

      3M Cool Flow valve respirators

      3M Cool Flow valves are a one way valve that expel air out of the respirator. The 3M 8822 is a valved respirator that is popular within manufacturing and construction workers. This allows for high level of filtration (N95, FFP2, P1) and comfort for extended periods of time. However, valved respirators are often not recommended by government agencies because valved respirators offer the user protection, it does not protect the people the user is in contact with. A popular hack is to use the cool flow valved respirator with a surgical mask creating a filtered valved.

      3M 8822

      3M 8822 Cool Flow Valve with surgical mask

      3M N95 Cool Flow Respirator with a surgical mask

       

      Do KF94 masks have enough protection?

      KF94 is the South Korean equivalent to an N95, which has a slightly different shape and 94-99% filtration efficacy.

      "I would recommend a high-quality KF94 or KN95 for high-risk situations," says Dr. Bob Bollinger, professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and founder of Emocha Health.

      With the ergonomic design and nose wire, KF94 masks snuggly fit your face and nose without any gaps. 4 layered filter protects your respiratory system from dust, viruses, particles.

      What is so special about KF94?

      Lightweight and breathability. With the same quality and level of protection as N95, KF94 is easier for breathing and everyday use. While tightly fit your face, fish-shape design allows more space for breath.

      Some brands like BMT and Air Queen, manufactured with bio-fibre or nano-fibre filter, are very lightweight that cause no burden to whole day wearing. These high technology fibre filters also effectively filter particles size down to 0.000001 meter.

      Nano-fiber on Air Queen KF94 Mask

      "When it comes to use in day-to-day activities, KF94 masks perform pretty well," Advani says. As far as protection goes, masks with multiple layers will do you better in staving off potentially infectious particles than thin ones – and studies have shown that three layers is typically the sweet spot,” Sonali Advani, an assistant professor of medicine at Duke University,.

      Which KF94 should I buy?

      The authentic one. Authenticity is not about brand name for masks, but for credibility, certification and protection. KF94 masks that manufactured in Korea, imported from Korea and certified in Korea are the authentic and the best one.

      Long lasting filtration, deodorizing, comfort and reusability are factors that people are searching for. BMT Bio Mask is a popular choice and used by staff at Cosmetic World. Invented in South Korea, BMT Bio Mask utilizes Bio Mineral Transplant technology to effectively reduce bacteria by up to 99% according to lab results. The deodorizing ability is up to 99% according to lab results. The 7 day reusability is enabled by the unique BioFiber material that is long lasting and cost effective (less than $1/day). BioFiber is manufactured with sustainable eucalyptus tree fiber and the 7 day reusability creates less landfill. 

      BMT Bio Mask | cosmeticworld.ca

      BMT Bio Mask Bacteria reduction lab results | cosmeticworld.ca

      According to lab results, BMT Bio Mask has 99.9% bacteria reduction of staphylococcus aureus and klebsiella pneumoniae.

      When you look for comfort and protection in one mask. Air Queen Nano-filter Mask could be the one to go for. With all the protection same as N95, the nano-fiber filter just makes it easy to breath and light. Most KF94 masks are light and easy to breathe, but once you tried an Air Queen Nano-filter Mask, you can easily tell the difference in terms of comfortability and breathability.

      Air Queen Nanofiber Filter Breeze Mask (White)

      Proper fit is one of the most important factors in choosing a respirator. For petite and junior face shapes, Pure Mate KF94 is a great choice. Certified KF94, high filtration, easy to breathe in and cost effective make it an easy choice. The size is categorized as small and measures 185mm X 137mm. Available in black or white.


      Puremate KF94 Youth size respirator | cosmeticworld.ca

      Puremate KF94 Youth size respirator | cosmeticworld.caPuremate KF94 Small size (Junior) | cosmeticworld.ca

      Proper fit for youth is an overlooked factor that is not often accounted for. For youth and children sizes, the Pure Mate KF94 Extra small is an ideal KF94 kids mask because of the high filtration and easy to breathe 3D sectional design. It is a good idea to have children get used to wearing the mask by wearing them at home and develop a comfort level before wearing them outside. An excellent kids N95 alternative where availability is scarce.

      Puremate KF94 Childrens mask Extra Small | cosmeticworld.ca

      Puremate Child size KF94 respirator | cosmeticworld.ca

      Certified KF94 EG Guard 3D offer the classic 3 dimensional stereoscopic design with 4 layers of protection with electrostatic technology. Made popular by K Pop stars sporting black coloured KF94 masks. High performance protection and great value from $1.50/unit.

      Black KF94 Respirator | cosmeticworld.ca

      EG Guard 3D KF94 Black respirator | cosmeticworld.ca

      EG Guard 3D KF94 respirator | cosmeticworld.ca

      EG Guard 3D KF94 Mask white colour

      Certified DB Bio KF94 For Family Mask is a popular choice in South Korea. Utilizes 4 layers of electrostatic protection. High filtration protection and good value at $1.50 per mask.

      DB Bio KF94 For Family | cosmeticworld.ca

      KF94 white | cosmeticworld.ca

      DB Bio KF94 For family