In total, I have reviewed three face masks and raved about a couple more on my Instagram stories, but now I can totally say that I have found my “face mask boos” and I will never go back to anything else! It took me awhile to find these perfect face masks, but unlike the other masks I have reviewed, these hmnkind Antibacterial Performance Face Masks check every single box. I don’t have to tweak or fiddle with them and even my co-workers have purchased them for themselves and their families! These masks are so unlike the other fabric masks I have been wearing that now that we are alllllmost seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, I feel like I will almost miss wearing these and I am here to tell you all why!
Purchased by me
It was my husband who introduced me to these masks after seeing them on the YouTube channel “withwendy” (Yes, he watches sewing DIYs sometimes!). He saw her with the brown mask below and started looking into California-based hmnkind as it looked like the mask fit well in Wendy’s video. These masks are made of a patented wet polyurethane foam with an antibacterial fabrication to prevent skin irritation and dry out. They are made in Korea with your skin in mind and claim to be the most comfortable mask you will ever own. I am not one to fall for such grandiose claims like this, but after wearing ONLY these masks since April for 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week I can confidently say that this statement is unbelievably true!
The fabric of these masks is 200% more breathable than a cotton mask and equivalent to a triple layer cotton mask which is what made me more comfortable about wearing them at work. They have been tested independently at the Nelson Microbiology Testing Labs and FITI Tested which is a research and testing institute in LA specializing in apparel and textiles. The fabric does not hold odours and does not irritate or chafe my skin. In fact, when I first took out the mask, I could not believe how soft, stretchy and indeed foamy this fabric felt!
You can see that it “flops” so this is not a stiff fabric at all and feels almost like liquid! I could not get over this aspect of the fabric for days! There are 4 way stretch ear loops which have been a lifesaver when having to wear a mask all day as my ears would get super sore.
The fit is where I was really sold on hmnkind (I wear a SMALL). There is no nosebridge of any kind in the mask and yet it sits perfectly and stays that way without ever touching my lips or sliding off my nose. I should add that because the masks are recyclable (through hmnkind and their recycling partner), having a nosebridge piece would render the face mask unrecyclable. The fabric itself seems to have a bit of adhesion and just anchors itself on the nose with a combination of tension and properties of the fabric. You can see the design of the mask gives a seam to the mask which is what makes it not stick to the face or nostrils even when breathing hard (this is a huge pet peeve of mine when it comes to face masks!).
The mask goes under my chin and does not gape on the sides which was a common issue with A LOT of masks I bought and forms a good seal while still feeling breathable. The only caution I would say about fit is that definitely use their measurement tool on the website to find out what size you should be, but if you have a wide face, you might need to size up which is what happened to my colleague. The masks can feel a bit tight around the ears at first though I only notice my ears getting sore after hours of wear, but as the fabric stretches over time, the ear loops loosen up.
These masks are super easy to wash with just a bit of gentle soap and water and then hung to dry. While I don’t wear a lot of face makeup these days, the few times I have, I have noticed that foundation and blush comes out of these masks far more easily than regular cloth.
Where these masks kind of hurt is in…the wallet. As a Canadian, these masks were expensive at $19.50USD plus almost $30 of international shipping. It is flat rate so we bought 4 the first time and then once my co-worker tried them out, we bought in bulk and split the shipping. I ended up having to pay $17 of duty on my second order, but I did purchase when the masks were 30% off during the 4th of July weekend so it sort of evened out. These masks are totally worth it though, but yes they are very pricey if you don’t live in the US.
The other unfortunate thing is that these masks do not last forever like a cloth mask hence the option to mail your used mask back to hmnkind. They have been tested to last up to 100 uses so I am glad I bought a few to rotate around to stretch out the lifespan of the masks I have. If you end up just using them for casual use, I suspect most people will wear their hmnkind masks for longer than 100 uses.
As you can see, out of the 10 available colours, I have four and recently purchased four black ones to wear at work as they look more professional. I also like matching my masks to my outfits!
Final verdict: I don’t know if people are in the face mask buying mood anymore as many of us are onto our second vaccine doses with society slowly getting back to normal, but if you ever need just a solid, comfortable and equivalent to triple ply cotton mask, these ones from hmnkind are the BEST I have tried in the last 18 months! I was blown away and I cannot rave enough about this company from their speedy shipping to obviously their quality and finally to their charitable endeavours having 10% of each mask sale going to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. I will still be masking on transit and indoor spaces so I will be using these masks at least until the end of the year and I hope you get a chance to experience them at some point as well!
You can find the hmnkind Antibacterial Performance Face Masks at www.hmnkind.com
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