Face Shield Safety Guide: What You Should Know Before Choosing Yours

Face Shield Safety Guide: What You Should Know Before Choosing Yours

By Megan Kearney
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Photo Courtesy: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images

With the coronavirus still spreading in many areas, many people are searching for ways to protect themselves as they return to their jobs and other daily activities. That often means buying products to maximize safety for their families and themselves. Face masks have been the chief form of protection since the pandemic started, but some people want to add an extra layer of protection to feel secure.

Unlike a regular face mask that only covers the nose and mouth, a face shield covers the entire face, potentially providing added protection against particles in the air when it’s worn with a mask. Face shields consist of transparent, lightweight, acrylic or plastic material attached to adjustable headbands. What can you expect from a face shield in terms of added protection, and where can you find them? We have the answers for you right here!

Face Shields for Protection in Public

The coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets produced when we breathe, talk and open our mouths for a host of other reasons. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend wearing masks "in public settings around people who don’t live in your household and when you can’t stay 6 feet away from others." At this point, the CDC says the effectiveness of face shields for regular tasks isn’t clear, which means you should wear them in combination with masks and not alone.

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Photo Courtesy: Boy Anupong/Moment/Getty Images

One potential benefit of doing so is that face shields also protect your eyes, an area of the body left vulnerable to the virus when wearing a mask alone. According to James Cherry, M.D., an infectious disease expert at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, it’s not clear if the virus can be transmitted through the eyes, but Joseph Fair, a virologist who contracted the virus, insists that it can.

Additionally, wearing a mask isn’t always comfortable, which means you could end up frequently touching it to readjust it. It’s also easy to unconsciously touch your face to rub an itch or swat a stray strand of hair. Every time you touch your face when you’re out, you risk transferring germs on your hands to your mouth, nose and eyes, increasing your risk of infection. A face shield over your mask serves as a deterrent to touching your face without thinking.

Where to Find Face Shields and How to Wear Them

Face shields are very easy to assemble and wear. Most of the shields made for civilians or non-essential workers come with an elastic band — sometimes attached to foam for comfort — that can be stretched over your head. Thanks to the elastic, no adjustment is usually necessary, which allows quick and easy placement while keeping your hands away from your face. Some retailers and medical equipment providers also offer face shields with stronger plastic headbands.

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Photo Courtesy: EmirMemedovski/E+/Getty Images

The lightweight material that makes up the shield fully covers the face but allows you to see clearly without diminishing your field of vision. As with masks, you can also wear glasses with face shields. Because of the high demand for shields, their availability continues to increase at both online and brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart, The Home Depot, Amazon and Target. Check out some of our favorites below!

The Budget-Friendly Face Shield

If you’re looking for an inexpensive face shield for your ventures outdoors, check out the Hatteras Adjustable Face Shield with Clear Lens at a budget-friendly price point compared to many other brands and styles. It comes with padded head support that is made of polyurethane foam to provide comfort, while the adjustable strap gives you a secure fit.

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Photo Courtesy: ACE Hardware

The flexible attached lens blocks fluids as well as flying debris and wind. It also resists scratching and fogging and comes in one size that fits most adults. The shield is easy to clean and disinfect with soap and water for multiple uses, but it isn’t as durable and long-lasting as more expensive models.


The Shield for the Fashionista on the Go

If you would like a more fashionable face shield, check out the Floral Print Bucket Hat with Face Shield. The stylish hat includes a connected face shield that leaves you with plenty of room to comfortably wear a mask underneath it. (Note that a mask is still recommended, even though the model isn’t wearing one.)

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Photo Courtesy: SHEIN

The hat is 100% polyester to keep you cool, comfortable and safe for all your casual errands or socially distant backyard visits. Rated 4.7 stars by customers, the hat also features colors that are perfect for the fall season.

The Durable Shield for Heavy Duty Work

Need a sturdier construction for some serious wear? The PPE Face Shield from EvoShield offers both protection and durability in one easy to wear shield. Available online, the shield is also lightweight to ensure you don’t feel weighed down as you go about your work.

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Photo Courtesy: EvoShield

The EvoShield is designed to fit over most eyewear, N95 respirators and surgical masks, and it comes with two clear shields made from PET film with every purchase. The shields are easy to clean and can even be placed in the dishwasher and steam sterilized.

The Face Shield with Protection from the Sun

SHEIN delivers again with another stylish yet protective look in the form of the ever-popular Baseball Cap with Face Shield. The black cap comes with a detachable PET film that wraps completely around the front of the face. As a bonus, the cap can also protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun when you wear it outside.

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Photo Courtesy: SHEIN

The Face Shield You Can Buy in Bulk

If you need to buy more than just a few face shields for yourself or for your entire group of family, friends or coworkers, the Sunzel 10-Piece Face Shields Package on Amazon could be the answer. The material in the shields consists of durable acrylic and PET plastic with an anti-fog and anti-static coating treatment.

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Photo Courtesy: Sunzel/Amazon

These shields provide full facial protection from droplets, dust, aerosols, debris and more, particularly when worn with a mask. They easily fit in your backpack or tote to carry with you, or you can keep one in your car for easy access on the go. Multipacks usually consist of three, five or 10 masks. If you decide to add a face shield to your own PPE when you leave the house, these are great choices for adding an extra layer of protection against coronavirus.