Why Japanese Women wear Surgical Masks ??
Face masks, or surgical masks are originally made for preventing to catch cold or some virus from others. Or try to keep your throat moisture when your caught cold already.
However, in Japan, you can see bunch of women wearing surgical masks. When foreign people come to Japan and see them wearing face masks, they often surprise and ask me why they are wearing those masks.
So are they all trying to prevent catching a cold?
The answer is “No”, people wear surgical masks for various reasons, like 「It make me look cuter」or 「I feel comfortable wearing surgical masks when going out」.
According to one research, conducted by Japanese company, one third of Japanese women have experience wearing surgical masks for reasons beside health issue. Especially, 53.1% of women at 20’s have experience wearing surgical mask in their daily lives.
So here are the main reasons why Japanese women wear surgical masks in their daily life.
Surgical masks make our face looks smaller
You might think who cares about their size of a head.
However, actually, in Japan, we care about the size of our face or head. It might be a bit strange culture since we have never asked about it when we were abroad. But in here, if the face look smaller, we consider that as “cute” or “beautiful”.
By wearing surgical mask, you can minimize the shown area of face, which makes our face look smaller.
Even companies are starting to sell face masks, specific for making your face look small.
No need to make up by using face masks
It depends on woman’s generation, but it takes time for us to have some make up being done.
Some people use more than 1 hour for their make up, but on the other hand some people finishes in 10 ~ 20min.
Even make up takes that much time, if she’s doing her hair make and choosing clothes, it takes more time.
However, if we are going out only for convenience store, which takes merely 5min walk from her house, then surgical mask is the best and fastest way to hide non-make up face.
Or when she woke up late and has to go to work asap, then she can just do some make ups in her upper half of her face, and wear surgical mask to hide lower part of her face.
By wearing surgical masks, we can hide our inferior facial parts
By wearing surgical masks, as it’s already mentioned, you can hide the most part of your face. So, when she’s feeling inferior by having big nose or pimples, or crocked teeth.
Yes, girls might be considering surgical masks as one of their make up tools.
Also, when someone’s feeling inferior for their face characteristics like squared jaw, or diamond face line, they can hide it by wearing surgical masks.
For nasolabial folds, is something that they can hide by wearing face masks, and by hiding those, makes women look younger, at least that’s what they think.
Surgical masks mitigate mental pressure
Some people are afraid to communicate with others, and think “I might be watched by others” or “I cannot resist to people’s eyes”.
Especially in urban places like Tokyo, people uses crowded train every day to go anywhere they want, and people are exposed to other’s eyes. That might be one of the reason why people care about others gaze.
However, some women can actually mitigate mental pressure by wearing those surgical masks.
Surgical masks keep them warm
We have various ways to keep ourselves warm, like coats, gloves, scarfs, but we don’t really have a way to keep our faces warm.
Especially, in winter season, when the cold wind is blowing, surgical masks are the best way to keep your face warm. Also, faces or lips are one of the most delicate places harmed by dry, so it functions as keeping moisture as well.
Against virus or pollen allergy
Above all were the kind of Japanese specific reasons why they wear surgical masks in everyday lives.
However, of course, there is a radical reason why they wear surgical masks.
In spring and fall seasons, people who have pollen allergy literary cannot live without surgical masks. Without those masks, people who have pollen allergies has to suffer for runny nose, and itchy throat. It’s disaster.
Also, in specific flu seasons, we wear masks to prevent getting those viruses as well.
Summary of Japanese women wearing surgical masks
We hope you get some ideas of why Japanese women wear surgical masks in their daily lives.
It could be serious one, like preventing pollen allergy or viruses, or mitigating mental pressure, but it could be beauty related reasons.
Don’t be afraid or worry too much when you see women wearing surgical masks in Japan. Often they have no health problems.
And, understand, we girls wants to be cuter and more beautiful by using any tools available like surgical masks.