Israel’s famous Sonovia SonoMask has now been found to have another benefit: eliminating more than 99% of acne-causing bacteria.
Sonovia recently received these test results from an FDA-accredited facility in Israel, Hylabs.
“The test showed tremendous activity of the treated fabric against the bacteria Cutibacterium acne in anaerobic conditions," said Prof. Amos Adler, director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center.
He explained that one of the potential problems of masking for extended periods might be the exacerbation of acne.
A report published last year in the Journal of Primary Care and Community Health showed that more than 50% of people who wore masks experienced a face mask-related adverse skin reaction, of which acne was the most prevalent.
It has become such a challenge that people now use the phrase “maskne” to describe it. Maskne includes pimples, redness, bumpiness and other irritations.
“We were hearing complaints from a lot of customers, younger people, but even people over the age of 40 who all of sudden got acne,” said Liat Goldhammer-Steinberg, Sonovia’s chief technology officer.
The Hylabs report specifically showed that the mask was 99.9999999% effective at eliminating acne-causing bacteria, which Adler said means that “the treated fabric might be beneficial in preventing the exacerbation.”
The report came around the same time as a second set of laboratory results that confirmed what Sonovia already knew: the SonoMask is 99% effective at neutralizing COVID-19 particles. The study however also showed that it was equally as effective at neutralizing influenza virus (H1N1) particles.
VisMederi Textyle, part of the family of VisMederi Laboratories in Tuscany, found that SonoMasks are 99.97% effective in protecting against coronavirus.
Although the company has already undergone testing in China and follows all of the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, Goldhammer-Steinberg said this new European accreditation is “very rare and difficult to receive” and the company is immensely proud.
In light of the latest results, Sonovia has started working on a new line of products that will be released in the coming months. These could include bed linens and some therapeutic pillowcases, Goldhammer-Steinberg said.
Sonovia developed an almost-permanent, ultrasonic, fabric-finishing technology for mechanical impregnation of zinc oxide nanoparticles into textiles. The company sped up efforts to manufacture masks using its anti-pathogen fabric at the start of the coronavirus crisis in Israel to help frontline workers stay protected.
The technology is based on a lab-scale sonochemical process that was developed at Bar-Ilan University.
Until the pandemic, it had not produced a single product. Tens of thousands of its first masks were donated to Israeli hospitals and medical professionals.
Since then, the company has sold more than 300,000 masks in over 100 countries.