Is It OK To Use a Scarf As a Facemask?

It’s NOT recommended. That’s according to Dr. Simon Clarke, a professor of cellular microbiology at Reading University, in the UK. He says when it comes to avoiding viruses in the air, wrapping a scarf around your face is better than nothing… but it won’t offer as much protection as a regular mask.

That’s because most masks have at least two layers, which help trap or repel moisture from both the air AND your own mouth. But scarves tend to have just one layer. And even if you wrap one around your face multiple times, scarves are more loosely woven than masks. That creates a lot of gaps where air and moisture can easily pass through.

So, Dr. Clarke says your best bet may be to wear your normal mask over your nose and mouth, and then wrap your scarf on top of that.