A latex mask is an accessory that is not needed every day, but when it is needed it cannot be replaced. It is the ideal complement to a good costume, and the variety on the market is huge. To help you find the right one, here are the things to consider.
Not only should you consider the character you will be wearing, but there are other things to consider. You should look at the comfort of the latex mask you are considering, as well as the quality, material and thickness. We'll tell you more about this later.
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- 3 The Best Latex Mask: Our Picks
- 4 Buying guide: What you need to know about latex masks
- 5 Purchasing criteria
- Although these masks are called latex masks, not all of them are made of latex. This is a generic name, as the most suitable material for latex masks is natural latex. But there are also silicone, vinyl and foam latex masks.
- The variety of options on the market is wide both in terms of characters and quality levels. This is because it is a very popular accessory with many options to take advantage of. In addition, new characters and fashions emerge on a daily basis, so the variety and market is only growing.
- The smell of the materials used to make the masks can be quite pungent. This is very uncomfortable and in extreme cases can cause allergies, so it does not allow the masks to be worn for long periods of time. This is why one of the most important aspects to consider is the smell of the latex mask.
The Best Latex Mask: Our Picks
Buying guide: What you need to know about latex masks
What is a latex mask?
Before the 20th century, masks were made of ceramic, wood or fabric mounted on small metal structures. With the development and manipulation of plastics that began in the last century, the way was opened for the production of latex masks. These new materials have many advantages.
What are the advantages of a latex mask?
Modern masks are made using plaster moulds, on which the material is placed in a liquid state and removed when they dry and harden. It is thanks to these processes that today's masks are so realistic, as moulds can be made from faces. The end result is mind-blowing.
Masks made of natural latex, vinyl or silicone - what should you pay attention to?
The materials commonly used for these are latex, vinyl and silicone, all materials that contain plastic at some level, but are suitable for making masks. The most popular and common is undoubtedly latex, which is even used in the manufacture of intimate wear products.
Natural Latex Masks. Latex is a very versatile and flexible material, which can be easily moulded and is suitable for use if you do not have allergies. These characteristics are what make it a preferred material for masks of this type.
Silicone masks. Silicone, on the other hand, offers a much more realistic appearance and has the same production facilities as latex. But it has the disadvantage that it is a more expensive material than latex.
Latex and vinyl masks. While latex and vinyl masks are made using latex as the base material, vinyl is added to give it some rigidity without losing flexibility and adjustability. They are uncommon, and generally used in the film or theatre industry as part of costumes.
|Natural Latex||Latex and Vinyl||Silicone|
|Particularity||May cause allergies||Not too flexible||Most expensive|
In addition it is necessary to consider other aspects that affect the quality profile of the mask. These include the size of the eye opening, the thickness of the mask and the ventilation. More on these below.
Even if you don't consider it very important, you need to be tactful when choosing the right latex mask. So that you have the necessary tools to make the ideal purchase, we will tell you about the criteria you should follow.
Thickness of the mask
This is one of the criteria you should check before choosing any model or mask. The thickness directly affects the profile of the mask and consequently the comfort it offers to the user and the way it adapts to the face. This second aspect is one of those that defines the level of realism of the mask.
Some characters require thick masks because they have relief, such as non-human or deformed characters. In these cases it is understandable that they have wide thicknesses in some sections. However, if a human is being imitated, a mask that is closer to the features is preferable, so it should be thin.
One of the big drawbacks of masks is that they are often accessories that cut off the field of vision. This is a disadvantage as it creates an uncomfortable feeling for the wearer, as their vision is abruptly cut off and limits their sense of direction. It is therefore necessary to look for a mask with wide eye openings.
Another problem is that the edges of the eye openings can become uncomfortable around the wearer's eyes. Latex masks are usually soft and do not hurt the face, but if they are too tight they can be very uncomfortable. So the size should be appropriate but avoid this inconvenience.
The scent of the latex mask
Although it is called latex mask because the first ones were made exclusively with this material, but nowadays they are made of various materials, such as vinyl and silicone. All of these, especially latex which is still the most common in masks, have a strong and pungent smell that is characteristic of the material.
The problem with this is that the mask is worn for long periods of time and this odour can quickly become bothersome. So it is extremely important that the mask has a faint odour so that it does not bother the wearer or cause inconvenience. Masks with a faint odour tend to be more expensive, but it is a worthwhile investment.
It must be faced that masks are not a particularly comfortable accessory to wear. It is inevitable that in some way or another it will be uncomfortable at some point, as it covers the face, which is a very delicate area of the body. It is therefore necessary to look for a latex mask that offers the best possible conditions.
Take into account the thickness, as the thicker it is, the warmer it feels inside the mask. Also consider the softness of the material and the flexibility, because these aspects define whether the mask fits well without suffocating. The most comfortable masks are usually expensive, but there are many options to choose from.
The realism of a latex mask depends on the model it follows and not on reality. In other words, realism refers to the mask being as close as possible to the person it is intended to imitate. So the model of the Alien masks is not real, realism is defined by how close it is to the original Alien.
Silicone masks generally give a much more realistic finish than masks made of any other material. But they are much more expensive, which is why they are often used in the larger film or theatre industries. There are also many affordable options on the market to suit any taste.
(Featured image source: Fernando Klenquen/ Flickr.com)