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Essential Features You Need In A Mask

Essential Features You Need In A Mask

*The APM Mask is not intended for medical use but for personal protective wear. 

As we collectively navigate a new normal within the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s one preoccupation that reigns higher than all others: safety. With an infectious novel coronavirus potentially in the air around us, our fears are further heightened by the knowledge that this virus is transmitted largely by the respiratory route. Wearing a protective mask can greatly reduce the transfer of coronavirus or influenza from an infected person, while wearing a mask, in general, can be the single most important protective measure in reducing the chance of infection.

What makes one mask better than the other? Is it comfort, functionality, fit, protection, or all of the above?

We designed our Antibacterial Performance Mask, the APM, to include the most essential features necessary for high quality, daily protection from viruses, harmful pollutants, and UV-rays.* 

The HMNKIND APM is unique from most reusable, protective face masks in that its material is 99.9% antibacterial. The unique antibacterial property has been tested and designed with clean skin in mind, as the mask is constructed with a patented polyurethane foam produced in Korea by K-Beauty Industry professionals. In a separate test we conducted, there was no significant decrease in the material’s antibacterial property even after the mask was washed 50 times.

The key self-cleansing feature of the APM is what makes the HMNKIND mask the last step in your skincare routine, a solution for maskne and irritated skin.

While 100% silk and cotton masks are offered as a gentler solution on the skin to paper masks, the friction from the fabric can still cause irritation and breakouts. The APM’s poly-foam keeps the skin fresh and the natural oils undisturbed as it rests on the skin throughout the day.

While antibacterial properties are important, we are dealing with a novel coronavirus, which means Viral Filtration Efficiency (VFE) is an even more important feature to look for. Filtration efficiency tests measure how well a material or device filters out a tested organism, and in this case, we’re looking to see how high a mask’s material VFE percentage is. Because COVID-19 is transmitted primarily through the respiratory system, it’s important we have quality protection for our mouth and nose when we’re in contact with others.

We had the HMNKIND APM tested for its VFE by Nelson Labs, LLC, with the mask’s material averaging at a 84.2% VFE. The test is performed by delivering a suspension of virus aerosols at a constant flow rate and air pressure to determine the percentage of filtration. In comparison, the 100% cotton mask and the silk mask average at 69.42% and 58% in these UK study test results shown below.

Although we ideally want our masks to filter as many viral particles as possible, the breathability of our masks are key in ensuring our comfortability throughout the day. According to this scientific journal, while the tight fitting N-95 mask has filtering capacity superior to surgical masks, it has a lower breathability, causing the wearer discomfort after long use. On the contrary, 3-ply 100% cotton and 2-ply 100% silk masks, have larger pore sizes due to the fabric, thus rendering them ineffective in filtering but more comfortable as an alternative to the N-95 or KN-95 masks.

We intended the APM to truly be a performance mask, superior in protection and comfort, which is why we had our mask tested for breathability by Nelson Labs, LLC. The test that measures breathability is called the Differential Pressure Test. The differential pressure test measures how much a mask’s material impedes airflow, and higher values of pressure differential indicate that the fabric or mask is harder to breathe through, while lower values mean it is more breathable. The APM tests at an average of 2.36, while 100% cotton masks and silk masks result in an average of  4.29 and 4.57. Function and performance should never compromise on comfort.

The last major test we had conducted was a Fiti Lab UltraViolet Blocking certification. In holding our skincare values true, we designed and certified our masks to be 99.9% UV-R, UV-A, and UV-B protected, keeping your skin healthy and safe in any environment. As wearing heavy SPF lotion under the mask can clog your pores and cause further breakouts, the APM can be worn with minimal SPF underneath, while keeping both your skin and your health in great condition.

With all the criteria and new research being conducted on masks, it can be difficult to determine a viable standard. But the good news is that with information and research being readily accessible, we can begin to decipher which qualities in mask protection are a priority. At HMNKIND, we’d like to help you understand what the certifications and tests mean, while also providing the certainty that the APM is the mask for you.