It’s yellow dust season now and the air is heavy in Korea, so we’re doing a video on Korean air masks. We’re starting to use them now. If you don’t know about Yellow Dust season, it’s one of our least favorite parts of the year. Supposedly, sand from deserts in China annually blow down to South Korea and make the air terrible to breath. Your eyes burn and your throat itches. And the stuff is everywhere. We left our clothes to dry overnight by the window, and our black shirts had lots of yellow dust all over them by the morning. Uggghh. It also supposedly clogs your engines, but we haven’t had that issue with our scooter. We’re just coughing and sneezing a lot more. Gross!

Anyhow, to combat the nastiness of the air, people in Korea often wear air masks. We were quite taken aback when we saw them at first, because we usually just associate them with doctors and surgery. We’re not used to seeing them worn out in public like this. Let’s face it: they’re not really the coolest things you can wear. They look kinda creepy. To combat the weirdness of air masks, you can make them look cute! Oh boy! You can wear the hamster that we displayed here (or what Martina likes to call the Gamster: hamster + gangster), or you can have a Hello Kitty one, or a Thomas the Tank Engine. Why Thomas the Tank Engine? We don’t know. Supposedly he’s quite popular here.

A more pressing question is this: are these things effective or not? Any doctors here? We imagine that surgeons wear these masks so they don’t spit on you by accident when you’re cut open on their table, but for day-to-day use, how effective are these in preventing you from either a) getting sick or b) breathing in pollution. Anyone? We’re quite curious about this. Yeah!

Also, don’t forget that we’re starting our new segment tomorrow: TL;DR Thursdays, where we answer your top rated questions in video format. You’ve got a few more hours to vote until we start recording. We’re surprised at how fun the questions are so far. Hooray!

  1. hello skritty. hhahahaha

  2. Ok, totally random, but I googled “cute face mask” for a christmas gift for a friend who makes metal jewelry (therefore, she inhales metal dust a lot) and this page is 4th on the results page. Nice SEO!

  3. I know this is a pretty old video (since the comments are from 1 year ago) but I just felt the need to comment that I had a long haired Syrian hamster whose name was Gangster Hamster. He was the sweetest thing, so the name didn’t really suit him but since it was funny it stuck :D

  4. i thought the korean word for kisses is kiseu

  5. That mask is absolutely adorable! Whenever someone in my house gets sick, everyone gets sick within days. Hehe, so I really need one of those. Do you know where I can get a cute one like yours online or something? (: 

  6. hello. usually, If air mask become dirty, korean wash the fabric(get off plastic, white fabric)
    안녕하세요! 마스크가 더러워지면, 플라스틱을 떼어내서 하얀천만 씻어 말려서 다시쓰면 돼요! 너무 더러워져서 씻어도 더러우면, 다시 새로 사서써요. 

  7. Geek alert: Just to let you guys know it isn’t “yellow sand”, it is “yellow dust”. Sand sized particles can only reach 1 meter in height, dust sized particles are the ones that can reach the atmosphere and travel the globe :).

    Also, at least the people I have ever met, consider those masks dispossable…particularly the ones used for colds. A one use sort of deal from what I’ve experienced :)

  8.  the piece of plastic is for pinching around your nose

  9. I thought Martina quit her job? You haz new job?

  10. Simon you can’t count! 

  11. its so cute. sad we dont have cute masks over here in india.

  12. I want one! There adorable!  to bad your looked at really weird if you wear one in canada unless your like dieing or there is a major epidemic going on.

  13. I want one! There adorable!  to bad your looked at really weird if you wear one in canada unless your like dieing or there is a major epidemic going on.

  14. Those masks are so cute, but it would be too weird to wear it here. I thought before that people wear them to prevent from getting ill, but I was told by a Japanese that usually people wear them when they are ill themselves, so they don’t spread the bug to other people.

  15. Hahahahhahahah.. ” Simon uses bad metaphor. It’s not very effective..”
    It’s magikarp all over again!

    * :(.. I miss those days I used to play pokemon…*

  16.  Did you realise that you missed both 6 and 16… what a coincidence. 

  17.  I finally broke down and bought another of those face mask thingies and used it this time! I was hacking up so much phlegm from my bout with the flu that it was more to protect other people than myself! Ha!

  18.  Martina- Your eyes were gorgeous in this video, what color of eyeshadow did you use?

    I found this one more informative though lol I never knew about yellow dust season. How long does the season last or is it year long?

  19. This one is funny!  I hate the heat inside those masks though.  LOL

  20. If you want a mask that really works, use a N95 mask.

    Its designed to either contain or prevent contraction of tuberculosis.

    This type of mask is primarily used in hospital settings. I’ve used them while taking care of active TB patients (the ones that spit out blood) all the time.

    You can purchase them in grocery stores or local 24hr pharmacies. I’m not sure if they have these in Korea for purchase by ordinary citizens though. They have them readily available in the US, however. :

  21. Bahahaha I automatically thought of pokemon too when Simon said you could collect them all. Geeks FTW! 

  22. Bahahaha I automatically thought of pokemon too when Simon said you could collect them all. Geeks FTW! 

  23.  how did you guys meet?

  24. Hahaha, what good timing!  I work at the front desk of the international office at a university in the States, and during my shift today I had a coughing fit while helping some students from Korea.  One of them actually pulled one of those masks unopened (unfortunately just a plain white one) out of her purse and offered it to me.  I wore it for a bit to be polite until they left the office, but it would’ve been weird to wear it for the remainder of my shift.  However, for the few minutes I had it on, I felt like a bad ass hypochondriac ninja.

  25. Omg thanks for this video. That mask is so cute!! I wish there was a way to get cute masks like that online because the ones they sell down here are so boring and ugly. : I actually have to wear masks everyday because I have a primary immune deficiency disease (I have CVID) so basically when I leave my home I put it on because if someone is sick around me I am sick in a matter of hours.  I usually wear thick layered ones because I noticed I was still getting really sick wearing thin masks. I think it all depends on the type of material used I did notice a difference with thickness and material used when it comes to recurrent infections. I am not a doctor but a life long patient and masks saved my life! I just wish they had cute ones over here. As far as breathing in pollution it also depends on material type I have severe allergies too so I have a different type of mask to block out allergens when I am sitting outside in my backyard and there are no people around.

  26.  that little critter reminds me of http://doctorcatmd.com/

  27.  the first time I saw these outside of Drs wearing them was last year.  The US went totally crazy about swine flu and masks popped up.  My Dr’s office still makes you wear one if you come in with certain symptoms.

  28.  Something out of topic, just curious about the changes you guys felt after coming to Korea. I mean like in South Korea have a lot of cute stuff – like those mask which is not available in western countries or cartoon jackets.

    Since coming to Korea, have you guys felt like you guys are more daring to tried out cute stuff that would have been regard as weirdo if wear them back in Canada?

  29. The clip at the top is supposed to be bent around your nose; one so that is stays in place and two so that the dust doesn’t come in through the holes there made by the bridge of your nose lifting the mask up.

    I use a boring white one when I sanding walls and such, and they are such a bugger because they leave marks all over your face~!

  30. Omg I was so hoping that this would be a give away. I’ve seen people where it in winter or when they are really sick. 

  31.  simon cant count!!!!!! …5 Mississippi, 7 Mississippi… 15 Mississippi, 17 Mississippi… he doesnt like the number 6?

  32.  Yeah these masks are so popular in Asia, I thought it was so weird when I first moved to Japan but as soon as H1N1 hit you couldn’t get one of those masks to save your life.  I think they prevent the spreading of germs more then keeping things out, like someone else said.

    My mom mailed me the kind you wear for painting when all of Japan ran out and those have a little filter built into the front of it.  It’s pretty much just a like a extra different kind of paper or cloth on the inside that filters fumes & dust from drywall and paint, so it probably would filter out yellow dust too.  Not cute at all though 

  33. I’ve worn this kind of things before.
    It’s kind of irritating after awhile because where it’s humid here in my country so when you breathe out all the water vapour will get caught in the mask and your whole mouth area get sweaty/wet =_=”
    I do not like it :(

  34.  You know you’re Korean when you leave your clothes out to dry by the window and in the morning you check it and your clothes feel stale, for lack of a better word. 

    p.s. when I made this username, I thought it would just be for allkpop… wish I could change it to ieatyourkimchi… 

  35. actually, yellow dust isn’t just sand these days… it’s also pollution from china. (>_<) according to the wiki page on yellow dust, some of the pollutants found in it are: "sulfur (an acid rain component), soot, ash, carbon monoxide, and other toxic pollutants including heavy metals (such as mercury, cadmium, chromium,arsenic, lead, zinc, copper) and other carcinogens, […] as well as viruses, bacteria, fungi, pesticides, antibiotics,asbestos, herbicides, plastic ingredients, combustion products as well as hormone mimicking phthalates."

    i made the mistake of not wearing a mask a couple of weeks ago on a day when it was really, really bad, and ended up having a terrible allergic reaction that made me sick for a week. i was like some kind of endlessly coughing mucus factory. by the end of the week i was coughing so hard i pulled a muscle in one of my ribs, bruised a lung, and ended up spending a perfectly good saturday night in the ER at a korean hospital. i can't say i'm a fan of springtime in korea…

    needless to say, i'm starting my own collection of masks to wear. white is totally too boring!

  36.  Arw! I could totally need some of them. Sooo cute! *squeeel* Suffer from asthma and pollen-allergy and have to wear boring white masks almost the year around, especially in the summer season because of pollen, and the winter because of the cold here in Norway. Is there a place its possible to buy them online, or do I have to purchase some plane-tickets to South Korea? *giggles* 

  37. For some reason I always assumed these were for like a fashion statement or something… Haha. I guess I also understood the cold/epidemic reasons, but I had never heard of Yellow Dust before! I now have this unreasonable desire to collect these like shoes, purses or ties. >D 

  38. :o I would wear the Hello Kitty one everyday! *squeals with delight*

  39. Wow … inside of the first 10 comments.  Staying up late makes on cool ….  or something like that. 

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