Everything You Need to Know About Face Masks

If you had asked us 6 months ago what we knew about buying face masks we would have probably said, ‘Nothing!’ Now, hardly a day goes by without us fielding enquiries, answering questions and taking orders for branded face masks in all different shapes, colours and sizes. When it comes to buying face masks there is a lot to consider, from getting the right fit, feel, and price to ensuring they are sourced safely, responsibly and within a time frame that works. 

The good news? When it comes to buying face masks – we’ve completely got you covered. Here’s some frequently asked questions to get you started:

What should I be looking for in a Face Mask? Ideally you want a reusable, washable fabric mask that fits snugly but is still comfortable/breathable. The mask should cover your nose and mouth. It is useful to consider the type of customer or event that the mask is for and to tailor it accordingly. Staff/frontline workers who are likely to wear the mask for longer periods of time will have different needs to customers/attendees who may only just choose to wear it when commuting or in busy areas.

How much should I be expecting to pay? The final cost will be determined by the material/design you choose, by how many face masks you want, how soon you need to take delivery of them and whether we source them locally or off-shore. We can supply single-use surgical masks from under $1 and simple, branded face masks from upwards of $2. Expect to pay slightly more for fully sublimated masks with lots of branding or for higher quality masks decorated locally. We also offer beautiful, bespoke, silk face masks and can even help you design your own from scratch – Prices available on request.

How many face masks do I need to order? Smaller orders can be sourced via our local suppliers and would need to be upwards of 50+ to make it viable for both parties. Our VIP bespoke masks we can supply in smaller quantities of 50+. To source competitively priced masks from off-shore we would be looking at entry-level orders of approx. 500+.

How quickly can I get my face masks? We can usually turn around smaller, local orders in as little as 7 days. For larger off-shore orders expect to wait around 2 weeks if sent by air-freight or 2-4 weeks if sent by sea-freight. Looking for quick turnaround face masks? Have a look at what we can offer here.

What’s the best material for my face masks? Again, this is a question of balancing efficiency (protection against aerosol transmission) with comfort. When choosing which face mask will suit your customers best, the type of material/s, number of layers and how they will be using the mask – Will they need to communicate effectively? How long will they be wearing it each time? –  all need to be considered. Generally, cotton is considered to have better ventilation and will trap less of the moisture build up than materials such as polyester, which is reflected in the cost. Regular users with sensitive skin can be prone to mask rash (yup -it’s a thing) in which case a silk or silk blend mask can be more comfortable for them. We are happy to discuss the pros/cons with you when putting together a quotation. Don’t forget – although fabric plays a role in the mask effectiveness, the most important thing is that it fits well.

Single-use or Reusable Face Masks? The most suitable mask will be dependent on what its intended use is. Whilst single-use surgical masks offer an affordable way to protect your customers, their limited shelf life makes them the less sustainable choice. There has been some concern from the medical profession that the increased use of these types of masks has meant that they are in short supply (by those that really need them). Whilst we initially took a strong stance around selling these masks, the increased stock/lower prices indicates this is less so a problem than it was back in March/April. That said, for most of our clients and from a promotional marketing standpoint, reusable/washable face masks are the much better choice.

Branded or Unbranded Face Masks? Clients looking to keep their costs to a minimum might want to purchase unbranded black/white cloth masks or unbranded face masks in their company colour. That said, there are already millions of cheap, unbranded face masks already in circulation. So, to stand out from the crowd, we recommend activating with branded face masks. Especially as a well-designed mask will encourage ongoing use and increased brand visibility. 

How About Artwork and Placement on the Mask? The two main considerations here are around cost and comfort. Single or two-colour printing will keep your costs lower and smart art design is key (so not to restrict air flow). We recommend smaller designs (1-3 inches) to the right or left hand side of the mouth. Since they will be printing over the nose and mouth area, water-based inks are recommended. These are also less likely to affect the elastic in the ear cuffs as they are cured at lower temperatures.

Do We Make Face Masks For Children? Yes. Whilst face coverings are currently not mandatory for children under 12 years old in Victoria, we have had requests re face masks for children. Please note – Children 2 years and under should never wear a face covering due to associated safety risks.

What about Face Shields? According to the NSW Government guidelines a ‘face shield is not a substitute for a mask’, although for people who find wearing a mask challenging they may find it easier. Look for shields that cover the sides of the face and below the chin. Reusable shields should be cleaned between uses. Disposable face shields are one-time use only. Clients looking for medical grade PPE might be interested in Face Shields as part of their order.

Are you able to supply PPE equipment? If your business has a genuine need for medical-grade PPE equipment get in touch with an account manager today and we can arrange for a quotation.

When should I wash my Face Mask? You should no longer wear your reusable (or disposable) face mask once it becomes damp. The DHHS recommends washing your reusable mask every day. You can wash your mask by hand or in the washing machine with detergent and make sure it is dried out completely before reusing it. Don’t forget – Washing your mask in the microwave with water is not only a fire hazard but is not likely to kill germs as effectively.

Any Face Mask Tips for Glasses Wearers? This one comes courtesy of The Royal College of Surgeons of England: “Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess,” they wrote. “Then, let the spectacles air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn.”

What About Face Masks & Beards? Unfortunately, facial hair can get in the way of ensuring your face mask fits snugly. This chart put together by the CDC shows which facial hairstyles are the least protected.

When it comes to choosing the RIGHT branded face masks for your brand, event or activation you can rest assured that Inck has got you covered. 

Have a question? Want a sample? Need a quote? Give us a call today!

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