The Scoop: ClearMask is the world’s first FDA-cleared, fully transparent surgical mask that is available to hospital workers and consumers alike. A group of Johns Hopkins University graduate students and alums created the first ClearMask in 2017 to help medical professionals communicate with deaf and hard of hearing people. During the coronavirus pandemic, consumer demand for ClearMask’s products went through the roof, and the company has scaled up its production to give daters a safe way to communicate and relate to one another — even while behind a mask.

Dating during a pandemic is complicated, to say the least. Singles have more safety concerns to consider when planning a date in the new normal. But, for many, it’s worth making the effort to break free from their social isolation.

The very act of going on a date looks different in 2020 because many popular date venues now require visitors to wear a face mask.

The face mask has become 2020’s most popular fashion accessory, and online stores have produced a range of color schemes and designs to complement just about any outfit. Still, the face mask imposes a dating challenge. No matter how much you dress it up, it can be difficult to express your emotions or connect with someone while keeping half your face covered.

Fortunately, ClearMask has a clear solution for anyone who feels restrained or stifled by a traditional face covering. This FDA-approved face mask has a transparent covering that fosters clearer communication with others.

Screenshot of the ClearMask website

ClearMask offers clarity, comfort, and connection to modern daters.

ClearMask was founded in 2017 by a group of Johns Hopkins graduate students and alums who recognized that traditional surgical masks created a disconnect between medical professionals and their deaf and hard of hearing patients. The team developed and produced transparent surgical masks that would allow patients to read lips and pick up on visual cues.

For years, ClearMask carved a niche for itself as a tool to help deaf and hard of hearing people better understand what went on in the hospital environment. Then the pandemic hit, and ClearMask became instrumental in helping medical professionals and everyday people navigate their way through interpersonal relations.

“The COVID pandemic has really made conscious what a lot of us feel subconsciously in that how much we rely on seeing people’s faces when we interact with them,” said Aaron Hsu, CEO and co-founder of ClearMask. “Being able to see who we are talking to is fundamental to how we as human beings communicate and connect.”

Bringing Greater Transparency to the Modern Dating Scene

When the coronavirus outbreak started in the U.S., ClearMask sent out bulk orders of 10,000 masks to U.S. hospitals in need of PPE. The company had to ramp up its production schedule to keep hospitals covered, and it has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave ClearMask its seal of approval in April. Soon thereafter, the company began shifting its focus beyond the medical field to meet skyrocketing demand for masks among schools, retailers, and consumers.

By May 2020, ClearMask sales were up 566% compared to the previous year.

Photo of a ClearMask box

Dating involves many subtle visual clues that could get lost behind a traditional non-transparent mask.

ClearMask is now available as a consumer product that is sold by the box and the case. A box contains 24 masks, while a case contains 432 masks. The masks are intended for one-time use only and work best in room-temperature indoor environments.

ClearMask has provided a much-needed mask alternative for people from all walks of life. The transparent mask can offer a high level of protection from airborne disease transmission while providing optimum comfort to the wearer.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear recently gave a shoutout to ClearMask for providing a bridge between citizens, including deaf and hard of hearing people.

Thanks to its dynamic and thoughtful design, the ClearMask can offer a clear win-win for consumers and medical professionals who want to communicate more efficiently and personably during the pandemic.

“With its fully transparent, anti-fog plastic barrier, the ClearMask helps improve visual communication,” the ClearMask team said. “Transparent communication during the customer experience can be critical in establishing rapport and earning trust, while assuring safety as a priority.”

Our dating experts consider ClearMask to be a necessary addition to the modern date outfit because it empowers individuals to smile without restraint and provide more visual cues, particularly when showing their romantic interest in someone special.

Many Happy Customers Show Their Appreciation in Reviews

ClearMask has been a clear winner with many people. It has helped people in the medical field communicate better with their patients. It has helped teachers comfort and instruct their students. And it can help singles connect more authentically and safely in the dating scene.

Now that ClearMask is open to the consumer market, positive reviews have been pouring in from coast to coast. Many people have said that ClearMask has become their preferred mask option because it allows them to show a full range of facial expressions without encumbrance or discomfort.

“As a person living with cystic fibrosis, I need to wear masks often and find that standard surgical masks feel dehumanizing, like a barrier between myself and those around me,” said Melanie Abdelnour, a patient advocate. “The ClearMask would restore that human connection in my interactions with others. A simple smile goes a long way.”

Photos of people wearing ClearMask

ClearMask is on a mission to strengthen human connections with its transparent mask.

Some of ClearMask’s greatest success stories come from emergency rooms, hospitals, and other medical facilities where people depend on clear communication to reassure patients and streamline medical procedures.

Monica Lindsell spent over 100 days in the hospital battling leukemia and discovered just how hard it could be to understand her doctors and nurses when their faces were behind a surgical mask.

“The hospital can be a sterile and lonely place — even when doctors and staff try so hard to express compassion,” Monica said. “There are so many emotions that cannot be expressed through a standard mask. The ClearMask facilitates that vital human connection that’s missing in healthcare.”

ClearMask offers a practical solution for any person who struggles to communicate when half his or her face is covered. It’s great whether you’re delivering a speech, consulting with a patient, teaching a class, or just want to make kissy faces at a significant other.

“Receiving and sharing information is essential to learning, exchanging ideas, expressing feelings, and forming relationships,” said CODA Connections, a nonprofit organization that supports deaf and hard of hearing people. “The ClearMask has worked wonders for our families. ⁣⁣⁣A big thank you to ClearMask.”

ClearMask Removes Barriers Between Two People

ClearMask fosters greater person-to-person connections with its FDA-approved transparent design. Its unique masks have a range of applications for people in a variety of social, professional, and romantic scenarios. And it can greatly ease the tension on a first date by allowing couples to share a smile.

Daters can prepare for a wide range of dating adventures with a box of ClearMasks at their disposal. ClearMask empowers individuals to follow mask requirements at restaurants, hair salons, theme parks, and other public spaces while also letting their personality shine through.

“We are ready to join the fight against the current pandemic,” said Allysa Dittmar, President of ClearMask. “After three years of research, development, and testing, we are thrilled to bring a human-centered mask to everyone who needs it.”