Personal Health

My Mom and I Love These Face Masks (and We Don't Agree on Anything)

Let me start by saying, I wouldn't consider myself a connoisseur of face masks by any means. Until recently, when I had to run to the store, I'd just grab a disposable mask from my mom's closet—which, since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, has doubled as a hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes storage unit—and go. I wasn't super picky or nearly as diligent as other Health editors who scoured the Internet to find their perfect face coverings early on in the pandemic.

My mom, however—who I've been quarantining with for, um, too long—actually is mask-savvy. She managed to stock up on surgical masks back in March, and then started experimenting with more fashionable face coverings after she got bored of those. For a while, each time she went to the store, she'd come back with two or three new protective options for her and my dad (also not much of a mask buff).

All that's to say, I recently got a package from Everlane, which happened to include the brand's 100% Human Face Mask 5-Pack ($25; everlane.com), and I wasn't at all surprised when my mom tried to claim the masks as her own. And I probably would've let her have them… if I hadn't liked them so much myself. (Give me a break, she already has enough face coverings!)

I've always been an Everlane fan; the company truly excels at chic basics that are made well (and ethically)—not to mention, its minimalist pieces are pragmatic and relatively affordable. What I like about the brand is that it's less fast fashion, with a mission all about sustainability. When you slip into a pair of Everlane denim, you think "I'm literally going to wear these jeans every day for the rest of my life"—because the pieces are that good. Its masks are, unsurprisingly, no different.

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To buy: Everlane 100% Human Face Mask 5-Pack, $25; everlane.com

The reusable, double-layer face masks—made of breathable linen, cotton, and soft cotton jersey—are one-size-fits-most and have elastic ear loops for comfort and a better fit. What's more, the loops are thick enough to stay put, but thin enough that they don't crush the tops of your ears. (Tbh, it's a game-changer.)

Also nice? Everlane's face coverings are ~a lot~ more stylish than others on the market. The pack I received included five striped masks in shades of yellow, light blue, and even a navy pinstripe that could be rocked in a business setting or as an edgier option for weekends. The brand also has 100% cotton masks ($25 for 5; everlane.com) in tie-dye print, as well as in solid black and grey.

While the masks definitely aren't FDA-approved (nor are they appropriate for medical or clinical settings), if you do want a little more protection, I've found that I can easily fit a surgical mask underneath Everlane's 100% Human mask without it feeling uncomfortable or looking bulky. Everlane also suggests washing the mask prior to wearing it for the first time and then after every wear.

Just in case you need a little more convincing, for every face mask five-pack sold, Everlane will donate 10% of the sales to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)—so you can feel good about your purchase. And fyi, to date, they've donated $600,000 to the program, helping to fight for the most important social issues of our time, including women's reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights, and combating to dismantle systemic racism and other oppressive policies.

As for my mom—and to answer those of you still mad that I didn't hand my masks over to her—I went ahead and bought her her own five-pack to add to her collection. You're welcome, mom.

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