Staying fit and working out while wearing a face mask is not impossible nor does it lessen the effectiveness of your exercise. Wearing a face covering when outside and around others is a part of our new normal. In this new normal, I’ve embraced my face mask as part of my outfits and as a key accessory in my everyday carry items. As I share my fitness/weight loss journey in quarantine I’ve gotten the question of what are the best masks for working out.
I’ve tried different masks for different reasons, and these are the masks I recommend for those wanting to workout in style and comfort. From finding masks that prevent face mask acne to finding stylish masks worthy of the ‘gram, I believe that like shoes you need a face mask for every occasion. If you choose to workout please be mindful of maintaining social distance, wash your hands between sets, and please, please, please, disinfect and wipe down your weights! (If you choose to workout outside of a gym setting, remember to still be mindful of keeping your mask on when outside.)
Everyone’s skin reacts differently to different mask materials, and if it’s useful for anyone I have combination oily skin. Most of my workouts are also HIIT based with some strength training elements in. With this important PSA out of the way, let’s talk about the best face masks to wear when working out.
How to Find the Best Face Masks for Working Out
Best Face masks fabric for working out - speciality materials
The first type of mask ideal of working out are face coverings specifically made for athletic activity. Whether you’re more of an Under Armour or Athleta type of person, many athletic apparel brands have launched their own face masks with exercise in mind. In my experience, I use multi-layered cotton masks which as you can imagine get very sweaty very fast. But one trick I learned from a Soul Cycle instructor is to change out your mask during workouts. (If you find that to be a hassle, consider shopping the masks linked in this section.)
While I have not tried these masks, the product description for masks like the Under Armour designed UA Sportsmask tout their fabrics made from breathable and sweat wicking materials. I’m the person that when I feel good working out, I feel my performance is better. If you like the feel of an active wear brand’s apparel, you’ll most likely like the face masks they offer for working out.
Finding the best fit face mask for working out - adjustable ear loops and nose
Finding the best face mask for working out, going back to my previous metaphor, is like trying on different shoes. The fit of the mask is key in both your comfort and the effectiveness of the mask. In my high intensity interval training, I do a lot of jumping around and nothing is more irritating then constantly having to adjust my mask. Not only am I taken out of the zone, but I pose a risk to my health and others. Finding a face mask that’s adjustable with more structure is key when working out.
One material that’s moldable and great for different face shapes and styles is nylon. Yes, you read that right, nylon face masks are a thing and they’re great masks for working out. FYI, spandex is also a great and moldable material. The face masks that are on my mind are the Carbon38 The Mask Kit set for those brisk walk and lower intensity type of workouts. These masks have adjustable loops and a structured nose bridge helping your mask remain in place.
antimicrobial face masks when working out for piece of mind & clear skin
Finding a face mask with antimicrobial coating or filters is paramount in protecting your health, preventing maskne, and ensuring an effective workout. Just remember that face masks with these bacteria barriers doesn’t excuse you washing your masks or using clean hands when touching them. As written previously, I try to wash my hands in between sets and especially before adjusting my face mask when working out. I also keep my used face masks in a plastic bag in my gym bag. (Pro tip, you’re welcome.)
If you are in the market for a face mask with an antimicrobial features, I recommend either the Copper Infused Face Mask- 2 Pack or the Buck Mason M1 All-Day Anti-Microbial Face Mask 5 Pack. While these masks, and many others on the market, include antimicrobial features, I want to stress that the World Health Organization reports that these features or masks do not prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you chose to workout at an open gym near you, at a park, or in your home, please do remember to always wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds!
Thanks for reading these Words by Will!
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.