Vogmask Review – Do Masks Really Help?

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I am often asked where I got my respirator mask when I share pictures of myself in it. I have even had people stop me and ask in public places. It’s not always easy to navigate the respirator mask market and I did a lot of asking other people when I first began wearing them, too. There are a lot of things to consider and I felt pretty confused by all of the choices at first. It’s really not as intimidating as it first appears, but it can make a huge difference in one’s health when struggling with a mast cell or autoimmune disorder, so I wanted to share the best mask I’ve found thus far for people like myself who would benefit greatly from their use.

Why Wear a Mask?

Image shows a Vogmask respirator mask with a Cheetah Pattern.
Vogmask VMVC in Cheetah

Some underestimate just how effective these masks can be at protecting a person with an MCAD, but if you get one with the right specification, they can really afford you much more freedom when some of your triggers are airborne. With my Vogmask securely in place, I got to enjoy a wonderful New Years Eve out with my husband for the first time since we got together. It’s been years since I’ve been able to walk into a formal function without going down hill fast; The noxious cloud of cologne at such events is unreal.

It’s much the same anytime I try to walk into a mall, a grocery store, a pharmacy. They all have cleaning products, air fresheners, colognes, body products, candles, essential oils and other scented products that can cause a wide variety of allergic reactions for me. If it’s not the lady wearing way too much Chanel 5, then there are plenty of other things more than happy to take me down in the modern world.

Except for the coldest winter months, I never leave my house without my mask strapped on securely. It only takes a couple of minutes of exposure during a high pollen time before I’m wheezing and begging for my inhaler and some benadryl. If you have a mast cell activation disorder, you know these apparent symptoms are just the beginning. After an exposure, I am severely fatigued, ache all over, often get terrible headaches or migraines, become more sensitive to light, sound and touch and experiencing intense anxiety and sometimes depression as a result. Being a trifecta zebra, it can flare up my other conditions, making my joint dislocations increase exponentially in the days just after exposure.

A head and shoulders shot of a pale woman with pink and purple hair wearing a zebra striped respirator mask sits in a theatre seat.

With a respirator mask, I can avoid all of those triggers without giving up on life beyond my own front door. I can run my own errands, do my own grocery shopping when my symptoms allow. Sure, I’m still sick and need to take tons of allergy meds, but with my mask, I get to enjoy much more stability and trips out of my house no longer cost me days to recover.

It can sometimes be mildly uncomfortable to wear a mask. Some people stare momentarily, but for the most part people are really just too self-involved to give a damn about why I have a mask strapped to my face. What makes me more uncomfortable these days is how hot and sweaty it can sometimes get and the 2 minute ordeal I go through every time I strap it on because it tends to raise the hackles on my claustrophobia. I suspect a mask with dual exhalation vales will mitigate some of this.

How A Respirator Mask Can Protect Your Health: Guard against exposure to germs and toxins.
Protect the wearer from exposure to harmful airborne pollutants and other irritants that can exacerbate symptoms. Safeguard  against airbone allergens and triggers. Sheild our health from the development of respiratory issues due to airborne pollution and exposure to chemicals.

Choosing the Right Mask

Masks are a great way of mitigating exposure for people with MCAS, Mastocytosis, histamine intolerance, severe allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity and other forms of mast cell activation disorder. They’re also good for people with compromised immune systems, as they cut down quite a bit on the spread of airborne germs. For these at risk groups, masks should be capable of blocking the smallest particulates possible. Choosing an N95 NIOSH certified mask is a good way to go, but there are masks that don’t specifically state whether or not they meet this standard that actually go beyond it and Vogmasks are among them. They were designed to be used in cities with air quality problems and they do a great job of protecting you from exposure to many airborne particulates.

They’re also reasonably comfortable, much more so than the disposables I began with (which work just fine if that’s what you prefer). I love that they are washable and last approximately 2 years depending on wear and environmental exposure. In the long run, this makes them a lot more affordable than disposable masks and definitely more ecologically sound.

Vogmasks come clean quite easily, even if you get makeup on them. They simply need to be washed with dish soap and air dried on occasion, but should not be put in the washing machine or dryer. If you aren’t crazy about the earloops, they have a hook you add to make a strap around your entire head, or you can easily modify yours by adding some elastic in place of the loops.

Vogmasks offer superior protection; PM 2.5 particles in air pollution and other microscopic airborne contaminants, regardless of whether you choose a VMVC (single exhalation valve) or the VMV2C (with dual exhalation vales). Vogmasks all come with adjustable nose clips to help ensure proper placement and prevention of leaks that might fog up glasses.

When choosing your mask, you want to make sure you get the right size to avoid gaping and ensure a proper fit so you are exposed to the least amount of airborne particles possible. I have a large, which is recommended for most adults:

SIZE GUIDE ~ Measure from bridge of nose to bottom of chin: SMALL – under 9 cm (3.55 inches) | MEDIUM – up to 10 cm (3.95 inches) | LARGE – over 10.16 cm (4 inches). Most adults wear Large.

So Many Styles…

There are many Vogmask patterns and colors to choose from, but stock varies quite a lot. Here are the listings of currently available masks in both styles:

Image shows 8 VMVC Vogmasksin assorted colors and pattenrs from zebra stripe to stars to pandas and more.

8 VMVC Vogmasks in Sizes S-L– This set includes the very popular zebra print, however it was only available in small when last I checked, but this listing will get you to all 8 of the above styles in all sizes available.

8 VMVC style vogmasks with assorted designs ranging from solid colors to colorful patterns including Cheetah print, space invaders, bees and geometric patterns.

Vogmask VMVC in 8 styles, sizes M-L – These are the exact same masks as above, only in more styles.

5 VMV2C Masks are lined up in assorted colors including turquoise, black, light blue, tan and gray.

5 VMV2C Vogmasks in Sizes S-L – This listing is for the masks with dual exhalation valves in solids colors, as shown above. One of these will likely be my next mask, for those days I want something a little less obvious.

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5 thoughts on “Vogmask Review – Do Masks Really Help?

  1. The last time I looked at these masks, they all were treated with an antibacterial. I have asthma and chemical smells increase my symptoms. Do these have any smell to them?

    1. Hey, Kathy! My mask didn’t have any smell or anything I could detect or tgat brought on a reaction, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. I would check with vogmask directly to see if they have changed this before making a purchase. If you need an alternative, I have a friend with a very rare lung disease who recommends this mask, which has replacement filters and she has to be extremely careful about exposure. If the vogmask doesn’t meet your requirements, perhaps this one would. Good luck and if you think about it, let me know how everything turns out. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SKGE8Z4/ref=nosim?tag=thezebrapit-20

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