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23 Best Winter Face Masks: Compare & Save

It’s a good idea to mask up these days but now that winter weather is upon us, it’s even a better idea. Yes, there’s the pandemic to be concerned with but there’s also the protection of your precious face to think about when the temperature drops.

These best winter face masks will help to protect your nose, cheeks, mouth, and chin while you’re out in the frigid air and snow. Whether you’re shoveling the walk, skiing, snowboarding, or using a snow blower, make sure to put a face mask on before you head outside.

Most of the gear listed below come in men’s and women’s sizes and in many colors and patterns. You’re sure to find something on our list that you’ll love to keep your face toasty with.

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Do I Need a Face Mask for Winter?

Only if you want to keep your extremities from turning blue. Seriously, it's a good idea. Folks who live in northern climates already understand winter face masks are useful for protecting against the cold weather.

After all, you wouldn't go outside when it's twenty degrees without a coat or gloves so why would covering your face be any different? To keep you and your body healthy, keeping warm and comfortable with cold-weather gear, including a face mask, is important.

A face mask for winter will help protect your face from a number of challenges that frigid temperatures bring. For one, cold air is dry. Breathing it in may affect your lungs and lead to coughing, especially when exercising out in cold weather. Covering your nose and mouth with a face mask definitely helps prevent this.

Cold air also may dry out your skin and since your face is one of the few body parts that is exposed constantly, it's important to use a face mask to protect it. Covering your face when it's severely cold out also helps against windburn which robs your body of natural oils, giving your cheeks and nose red, dry, and irritated.

Finally, your winter face mask is important to prevent frostnip which may make your body parts tingly and numb. As you might have guessed, frostnip is a pre-cursor to frostbite, a situation where your skin and tissues freeze after too much exposure to cold air. This can result in irreversible damage to exposed areas (like your face).

But apart from all of the above scary cold weather talk, the most important reason to wear a face mask designed for winter is to keep yourself comfortable. You've got to look at yourself in the mirror for the rest of your life; it would be a good idea to take care of that face.

Winter weather isn't all darkness and gloom, though. It's also the time for skiing and snowboarding. As you might expect with a pandemic going on, resorts will open with mask mandates not only in the lodge but also on the lift, and while on the slopes.

It's good to be prepared with a mask to go along with those ski goggles. As you pack your gear and supplies for a trip up to the mountain, throw a winter face mask or two into the backpack.

Are Winter Face Masks Effective in Preventing the Coronavirus?

As of this writing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone wears something to cover the mouth and nose while interacting in a public setting. Many municipalities and state governments have enacted mask mandates as well to help bring the coronavirus under control.

The CDC suggests that masks feature two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric. Masks made with more than two layers of woven fabric like cotton are the most effective at blocking out germs and particulates.

This also goes for winter face coverings such as balaclavas and neck gaiters. As long as two layers are present or the material is folded to make two layers, they will be appropriate for protection as long as you don't spend too much time (longer than 15 minutes) in one area. Make sure you're using a heavier surgical face mask for a prolonged visit.

Although research differs on this point, face masks made of synthetic fabrics are generally thought of as less effective than tightly woven natural fabrics for preventing the spread of COVID-19. The key here is the number of layers a face covering has. 

Anything you wear to protect your face against the elements and against the coronavirus should completely cover the nose and mouth. It should also fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps. Be safe and stay warm.

Now, you might ask, what to do about masking up once indoors? There are a variety of face masks available that aren't so staid or institutional looking. Check out this list of holiday face masks that you're sure to love.

See Also:

Best Electric Snow Shovels

Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers

Best Log Splitters

Best Electric Chainsaws