With 80 percent face mask compliance, we could beat the coronavirus in no time flat — but now that mask wearing has become so politicized, it’s probably impossible to reach that number. Still, making masks more comfortable could help encourage more people to wear them and keep them on.
There’s been a lot of innovation in this space recently, and this new entry to the market brings a particularly novel approach. The SEEUS95 Mask has no ear loops, no straps, and no nose wires or folds that pinch, irritate, or leave deep marks on the skin. Frankly, it looks like something out of a sci-fi movie as well, but that could be a pro depending on your fashion sense. It gently sticks to the face without any adhesives and easily peels off when you want to remove it.
Made almost entirely of clear, reusable, medical-grade silicone, this completely transparent protective face mask has another huge benefit that’s immediately obvious. It can help alleviate accessibility problems currently caused by masks, specifically allowing deaf and hard-of-hearing people to read lips without exposing them to viral particles. The air the wearer inhales and exhales enters and exits through two removable N95-rated filters on either side.
Unlike most fabric options, this silicone mask forms a tight seal over the face, offering additional protection. The flexible material adjusts to accommodate a wide range of facial sizes and shapes without losing that seal. In moments when you need a little more air, like when you’re performing strenuous activities, you can pull the silicone off the contact point under the chin area. The “skin therapy layer” that makes the mask stick is made of a skin healing material called chitosan, an organic biopolymer found in the shells of shrimp. It’s naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, and it’s often used for post-surgical wounds, to boot.
The filter itself is made of several layers of natural fibers consisting of bamboo, silk, nano silver, and activated carbon. Each of these materials has its own particular antimicrobial and antibacterial properties while acting as physical filters for air that may contain viral particles. The filters were independently tested for efficacy by the Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, consistently blocking between 95 and 99 percent of various particle sizes.
Cleaning it is simple, too. The designers explain that “We designed the Light Warrior Masks to be easily cleaned and sanitized in many ways. If you are on the go and need a refresher, just wipe with alcohol. If you’re at home, just pop in the microwave for three minutes (but MAKE SURE YOU TAKE OUT THE FILTERS FIRST)! Doing a load of dishes? Take out the filters and put the Light Warrior mask in the dishwasher. With a dishwater, some water spotting may occur, but that’s okay; just wipe off the water spots with a soft, clean cloth, and you’re good to go!”
Fresh off a round of crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the masks are currently in production and set to be sold for $59 each, including four filters. It comes in three sizes: extra small, small, and large.