Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Face Masks: 3 Things You Need To Know

One of the most popular questions we receive here at NxTSTOP is whether or not our face masks are safe for people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

The answer is: YES!

According to Newsweek, MCS affects nearly 55 million people in America alone, and is diagnosed as having chronic symptoms attributed to low levels of chemicals such as perfumes, deodorants, washing powders, cigarette smoke, and even high levels of pollution.

Unfortunately, very little is known about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and according to the study, chemical sensitivity cases have risen among Americans by 200% in the past decade, with MCS cases rising by almost 300%. And with COVID-19, now more people than ever are wondering whether or not they have some sort of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and what they can do to best protect themselves.

A few quick things you should know about our signature bamboo face masks:

  • We source high-quality products and pride ourselves on creating health-conscious clothing.
  • We use 95% real bamboo in our masks (not rayon bamboo), the other 5% is spandex. 
  • Bamboo is naturally the fastest growing plant in the world, which means there is no need to use chemical pesticides or fertilizers as part of cultivation.
  • Our bamboo face masks are highly durable and naturally water-resistant, making them perfect for helping protect your face from airborne chemicals, droplets, or particles in the air that could make their way in to your mouth or nose

If you struggle with MCS, or think you might have developed MCS and are now looking for solutions, here are three things you need to know—and how you can find the right face mask for you.

  1. MCS can be triggered by air quality. Wear a mask when you return back to work.

It’s very common for people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity to be triggered by air quality—from carpets and insulation, to lawn chemicals and outdoor products, to other building materials.

At a time when offices have been empty for quite some time, and people are slowly returning back to work, now is the time to be extra careful about stepping back into old environments. For example, many office spaces have turned stale, air conditioners have accumulated dust, and in preparation for employees to return, cleaning products will have been used on nearly every surface possible.

Now, most offices will require employees to wear face masks when returning to work, however we recommend that people with MCS actually wear a face mask regardless during any time of transition. You are going to want to protect your nose and face against any and all cleaning products and chemicals floating around in the air. Dust and pollen shouldn’t be forgotten either, especially as summer kicks into full effect. 

  1. Wash your Multiple Chemical Sensitivity face mask with separate cleaning products.

With MCS, one of the things you want to avoid are certain cleaning products and detergents.

It’s commonly recommended that people with MCS use natural cleaning products such as Free & Clear Shampoo and Conditioner or Free & Clear liquid cleaners when cleaning their clothing. With our bamboo face masks, we recommend the same using cold water. 

Here are our washing recommendations:

  • Wash Temperature: in terms of fabric longevity, we recommend washing with like colors, and lying flat to dry. While it may be the case that hot water is better to clean/neutralize any microorganisms, hot water has adverse impacts on fabric in general. It causes fading or degradation of the fabric, which becomes less soft and looks worn. Cool/cold water is much easier on the fabric in terms of lifespan.
  • Handling: if possible, wash inside of a small garment bag to help maintain shape and prevent tangling with other items.
  • Detergent: preference is up to you, but we recommend unscented and natural if possible, since any strong scents will obviously be right in front of your nose and be irritating.
  • Drying: once again, some recommend high heat, but dryer heat has adverse impacts on the fabric too. Cotton specifically will shrink. Bamboo will be the best to withstand this type of treatment. Lay flat to dry is our recommendation. 
  1. Limit your exposure to substances that trigger MCS symptoms.

Especially as the world begins to open up again after COVID-19, there are going to be cleaning products, air fresheners, sanitizing agents, and dozens of other irritants floating around.

If you are able to pinpoint specific chemicals that trigger MCS, you can take steps to actively avoiding your exposure to them. But for others who are newer to discovering the extent of their Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, you are going to want to use your face mask as a means of navigating the world in the near to long-term.

For this reason, breathability is going to be crucial. We designed our bamboo face masks to be extremely lightweight, adjustable, and breathable specifically so that people who would need to wear their face mask for many hours would not feel uncomfortable or claustrophobic. If you are actively managing MCS, then this is something you’ll want focus on to be as comfortable as possible.

If you have any additional questions about NxTSTOP, or any of our health-conscious clothing products, please don’t hesitate to reach out. But YES! our bamboo face masks are MCS safe.