Choosing the Right PPE: Face Masks, Face Shields, or Both?

When it comes to our health, we all want the best for ourselves. And with coronavirus and flu season both in full peak, people are searching for ways to protect themselves from airborne particles that can be infectious. Face masks and face shields are two types of PPE used to protect the wearer from liquid and airborne particles that may come in contact with their nose and mouth; however, there are significant differences between the two.


The Difference Between Face Masks and Face Shields


Face masks and other professional-grade respirators are disposable covers usually worn by medical professionals as personal protective equipment during surgeries or other procedures. These masks are carefully sized to form a seal between the air outside and the face, and they are designed to protect healthcare workers from droplets in the air.


On the other hand, face shields are transparent plastic sheets that hang down from a headband, protecting the face from the top of the head to below the chin. Before the pandemic, they were frequently worn by healthcare workers performing procedures prone to body fluid splatter. For example, dental hygienists often wear face shields.


Both face masks and face shields work fine on preventing the spread of COVID-19, but there are significant differences. Face masks fit securely to the face in order to stop respiratory droplets from the wearer’s mouth, whereas face shields do not. There are large gaps around the face shield’s sides, which allows for more airflow and the possibility of droplets being spread more quickly. However, face shields protect the eyes, which is another entry point for droplets that face masks do not.


People who keep six feet of distance from others and wear a face mask do not need a face shield. Face shields may be worn to provide an extra layer of protection when in sustained proximity with others. However, they do not provide the same protection as a mask because they do not offer a barrier to respiratory droplets, which can come up under them.

At We Shield, we are currently sourcing and distributing face masks and face shields throughout the U.S. at a competitive price and time. We import our safety supplies via private cargo planes multiple times a week. We have the experience, certifications, and connections to expedite the process and make it as affordable as possible to support the immediate safety goals of our clients.