Protection from COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind and at the forefront is the new accessory of choice - the face covering. Face masks are a distressing idea for those who like a good accessory. It is a depressing idea to have to wear a white medical mask in public. Unless you think out of the box and go for a fashion face mask or a multi-purpose face mask bandana (otherwise known as a neck gaiter).
Why do you need a multi-purpose face mask bandana (neck gaiter)?
The coronavirus pandemic has created a surprise new fashion niche and new accessory opportunity around face coverings. Everyone seems to be rocking some kind of face-covering from the boring white medical mask to high fashion branded masks to recycled underwear…(yuk)!
Many people are wearing face masks in an effort to reduce the risk of contracting novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In some countries, governments are requiring us to do so. This means face masks are in huge demand right now and the opportunity to add a whole new fashion accessory to your wardrobe is right here! This demand has led to some creative fashion solutions. Cue the multi-purpose face mask bandana (otherwise known as the neck gaiter, Multiclava or face mask snood). It has fast become one of the best options in terms of style, versatility and practicality.
What is a Multiclava/Face Mask Bandana/Neck Gaiter?
The multi-purpose face mask bandana, or neck gaiter, is traditionally an accessory that is worn around the neck for warmth and is able to be pulled up over the lower half of the face to protect one from wind, dust or sand.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) pandemic, some media and governmental bodies have suggested that neck gaiters can be appropriate apparel for non-medical people to use to shield against viruses.
Why is the neck gaiter multi-purpose?
Multi-purpose face coverings do exactly as the name suggests. They are worn as a headscarf, bandana, neck scarf, wrist band, hair tie and, of course, a face covering. They can also be worn as a balaclava, cap or headband. The only limit is your imagination which makes it a really versatile fashion accessory as well as a useful face covering for protection.
What are the benefits of a multi-purpose face mask bandana?
Also called neck gaiters, are really cost-effective as they can be worn in multiple ways and are washable and reusable. This makes them a great buy as they have multiple uses and longevity. You can get them in all different prints and designs so they can double as a fashion accessory, not just a face covering.
They are a terrific way to protect your neck, face and ears from the outdoor elements, especially in extreme temperature, both hot and cold. They are brilliant in colder countries instead of a winter scarf, as the neck gaiter will keep your neck and face warm and those winter chills and winter bugs at bay.
One excellent side benefit of a neck gaiter over a traditional disposable mask is that being reusable, it does not contribute to the landfill as single-use masks do, therefore is more environmentally friendly.
What are neck gaiters made of?
The neck gaiter is essentially a closed tube of fabric. For those who use them for sports, they can be in often thick fleecy fabrics. More luxury types come in cashmere or merino wool. The easiest care versions come in a jersey or knit material that is easily washable and can be comfortably slipped on and off over the head. Be sure when you purchase, that your multipurpose face mask bandana does come with enough stretch to work well in various ways.
Do neck gaiters protect against germs?
Like all non-medical face coverings, they are better than nothing. Most experts advise that a covering will always be better than not wearing one. Neck gaiters are not medical grade masks but can still help form a shield between you and others. Neck gaiters have been deemed adequate to protect you from bugs and ensure that the public is not exposed to droplets from you.
The majority of multipurpose neck gaiters are made of cotton mix or synthetic fabrics. These materials are often thinner for improved breathability and comfort and also have a decreased ability to contain droplets. However, layering the neck gaiter can help improve containment. Think about doubling it up when using as a face covering.
As with all masks they are only effective if worn correctly (over both the mouth and nose). As neck gaiters are comfortable they do reduce the risk of you touching, adjusting or fiddling with them during wear which improves protection. Like any mask, when removing the neck gaiter, avoid touching the inside of it, and wash hands immediately after removal. Launder all cloth masks, neck gaiters and bandanas before reuse.
Are face masks reusable?
This depends on the face mask. The multipurpose face mask bandana is reusable for two reasons. Firstly, it is washable and secondly, it is a fashion accessory. This makes it usable for many purposes longer after Covid19 becomes a memory.
If you want a reusable face mask alternative, consider the more traditional shape face masks that have removable filter inserts. This allows the face mask to be easy care and clean.
Both options are great to invest in for the long term. You can be creative with your fashion choice and know the mask will last the distance.