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Nonwoven Disposable Face Mask Is Now Being More Popular

Nonwoven Disposable Face Mask Is Now Being More Popular Not Just Because Of Hygiene, Market In Japan For Example

Like kimono and T-shirts with English writing (sometimes vulgar, sometimes comical, always unintelligible), the number of people you’ll see in Japan wearing surgical disposable face masks is pretty surprising. Sure, Japan is a hard working society, and the spread of productivity-sappng sickness is always a concern at schools and workplaces, but that doesn’t seem like reason enough for the proliferation of facial coverings that sometimes has Tokyo offices looking more like an operating room.

Health concerns are only part of the equation, though, as recent studies have revealed multiple reasons people in Japan wear disposable face masks that have nothing to do with hygiene.
Until recently, disposable face masks were primarily worn by people who had already come down with an illness. If you were feeling under the weather but couldn’t take the day off, common courtesy dictated that you cover your mouth and nose with a face mask, so as not to breathe your germs all over you class or office mates or fellow commuters.
Disposable face masks, though, were made of non-woven material, which was more effective in blocking pollen. They were also completely disposable and could be cheaply bought in bulk. This new type of mask was a game changer, and business research firm Fuji Keizai now says non-woven disposable face masks account for 86 percent of the market today.
Sales figures show that use of disposable face masks has more than tripled over the last decade, with particularly large spikes caused by influenza outbreak fears in 2009 and worries over micro particulate matter following the earthquake and nuclear accident of 2011. Estimates for fiscal year 2015 value Japan’s disposable face mask market at 23.9 billion yen (US$229.8 million).
But as disposable face masks provoke less and less surprise, some people are using them for purposes that have nothing to do with physical health.
One 46-year-old mother, who herself wears a disposable face mask every day in the winter to prevent getting sick, says her high-school-age daughter wears one for a completely different reason. “She puts on a disposable mask and sticks headphones in her ears so that people won’t bother her. It makes it harder for them to start talking to her.”
But the recent surge in disposable face masks’ popularity isn’t entirely the result of a desire to give people the cold shoulder. On the contrary, an increasing number of people are using disposable face masks because of their desire for warmth.
Not only have disposable face masks become so commonplace that wearers aren’t seen as unattractive, some people are finding fashion and beauty uses for them. One professional model interviewed by reporters says she often slips on a disposable face mask after washing off her makeup at the end of a photo shoot, in order to keep her au nature face hidden from the public. Even women whose livelihood doesn’t depend on looking their best at all times are finding disposable face masks to be a handy for those times when they need to dash out to run errands and don’t feel like spending a half-hour putting on blush and lipstick first.

Some people even see disposable face masks as a fashionable accessory. An online search for masubu biiin or “beautiful masked girl” will bring up hundreds of results, and an increasing number of companies are offering disposable face masks with floral, polka dot, and even houdstooth patterns, not to mention jet-black ninja-style masks for guys.

We’re not entirely convinced about the scientific soundness of their promise, and from an armchair psychology viewpoint, it seems like a food-based fragrance is going to do more to ramp up your appetite than your metabolism. Still, like any mask it should help prevent you from passing a cold around, keep your face a little warmer, cut off unwanted social interaction, and preclude the need to wear extensive makeup, none of which is necessarily diminished by its calorie-burning quackery.
(by Casey Baseel)
(from Rocket News 24)