Science can be a messy, messy business. It's a slow day in the lab when nothing hatches out of grotesque mucous-covered pods or explodes into a fine toxic mist that eats through steel. If you want to live to be a cranky old scientist someday, you're going to need to keep all that slime and particulate poison out of your various orifices, especially the ones that are routinely closest to incubators and centrifuges: your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
We've already shown you what's out there in the way of eye protection, so now you know your way around the safety goggle aisle. But what about the rest of your face? Sweet scientist-reader, never fret! Below you'll find an exciting round-up of facial protection measures for all degrees of scientific risk you may encounter, from mild to oh God RUUUUN!

Protection for Faintly Hazardous Situations

Are the test monkeys a little frisky with the feces today? Does one of the lab technicians have a bad cough? Is there a slightly disconcerting steam coming off a few of the petrie dishes? Is Mister Scientist scared of all the big bad germs floating around the dark, scary lab? 

Kimberly-Clark Pleat-style Procedure Mask
Protection: nose and mouth
Retail Price: $6:07 for box of 50

The Kimberly-Clark procedure mask comes in a variety of soothing pastel shades (pale yellow, pink, mint, and blue) that'll keep those nasty buggies out while reminding you of your nursery and your binky, which should help a little. A few spatters of blood or bodily fluids are no big deal; the protective three-layer construction of this disposable procedure mask makes it perfect to wear all day, or at least until juicebox and Quiet Time roll around, you delicate peach.

Protection for Looking at Sloshy Science

If you're actually planning to get near enough to the Science that you're worried some might fly up in your eye, that procedure mask above isn't gonna cut it. You could just wear safety goggles, I suppose, but then you'd have to clean the pig blood off them afterward. For some seriously splatter-y lab work, you want something that offers goggle protection in a disposable solution. 

ValuMax Ultra-3-in-1 Ear-Loop Masks with Splash Visors
Protection: eyes, nose, and mouth
Retail Price: $23.95 for box of 25

The splash visor on this little beauty has both an anti-fog and anti-glare treatment, making it suitable for laboratories on the Yorkshire moors or the Sahara desert. The mask on the ValuMax is more robust than the procedure mask, too, featuring a high filtration inner lining made of cellulose for maximum breathability. Wear this mask and feel confident getting up close and personal with the squirtiest specimens.

Protection for the Hirsute Scientist

Being super-hairy can be a real pain in the laboratory. Your hair can ignite over a bunsen burner, fall into a beaker, or get caught in an autoclave. Not to mention the humiliation/mutilation potential in having something creep its way up your luscious locks on its way into any of the openings in your face (or maybe-yikes--create its own way in). You could just shave it all off, but your head's a funny shape and you're basically going to look like a Q-tip.

GenPro® Certified Beard Cover
Protection: mouth and greater mouth region
Retail Price: $47.38 for case of 1,000 

Keep your beard clear of nanobots, larva, viscera, and corrosives with this stylish chin baggy from GenPro. This durable, light-weight beard cover will ensure that your facescape is free of contaminants, and contaminants are free of lil' bits of your facescape. 

Yes, it's just sort of a gauze bandage on an elastic band. Yes, you'll look like a rube. They cost about 22 cents each, so I'm not really sure what  you were expecting.

Maytex Bouffant Cap
Protection: Near your ear area?
Retail Price: $42.99 for 500 21” caps / $48.99 for 500 24” caps 

Or, if the hair you want to protect is topside, check out Maytex's disposable bouffant caps, so poofy and elegant, you're sure to pose for a product thumbnail smiling like a psychotic church lady. Like the beard covers, these caps are essentially tissues held on with cheap elastic, but it's worth it to know that at the end of the day, you won't be brushing bits of dried rat brain out of your 'do.

Protection for X-treme Science

Maybe you've looked over the products above with a growing sense of amusement. I get a speck of Substance 57D on that beard cover, and it'll catch fire and melt my face off, you've thought to yourself. When are they going to get to the good stuff? We knew you'd stick it out, my friend; we put the kiddie stuff up front because those soft, pallid little shits have short attention spans. You're an actual scientist, and you've got guts. Specifically, you've got massive gouts of guts full of bacteria and excrement and various secretions gushing over you in juicy waves. You want facial protection that does more than put a thin layer of reinforced paper between you and a genetically enhanced plague.

Uvex Bionic Faceshield
Protection: eyes, nose, mouth, fronts of ears
Retail Price: $48.50

The Uvex faceshield is bionic, which is how you know it isn't fucking around. Its heavy-duty shell protects your chin and the top of your head from projectiles flying at certain specific angles. The adjustable headgear tilts the visor into 2,784 possible positions. That's right, nearly three thousand positions! Think of how useful those will be!

There's also a locking mechanism for secure fit, and comfy foam padding on the strap at the back. The entire assembly is 100% dialectric (i.e., it has no metal parts), allowing you to work in the middle of electromagnetic fields with that nonchalant confidence that characterizes your usual demeanour in risky situations. You're kind of like a god. You know that, right?

We hope that the aforegoing has given you a flavour of the wild diversity of products that are out there, which really boil down to some flimsy paper products and a few badass items that Iron Man would maybe wear. 

Before making your choice, think carefully about what kind of Science you're going to attempt. If a custard-yellow Kleenex is enough for you, are you sure you're taking this important calling seriously? If your biggest concern is getting a piece of your hair in the acid bath, please step aside and let some actual scientists take over; I hear Banana Republic is hiring. If you're contemplating the bionic faceshield... godspeed, soldier. You'll be in our prayers.