Let’s face it. Unless your first name is “Lone,” and your last name is “Ranger,” nobody is crazy about wearing masks everywhere we go. But we do it. We do it because we are concerned, not just for our health and the health of our family, but also for our neighbors’ wellbeing. And the great news is; masks work! The numbers don’t lie. In industries and communities where wearing masks has been adopted, there’s been a marked decline in the rate of virus transmission.
But anybody would be lying if they said that wearing a mask was like a soft, warm hug for the face. At best masks are unobtrusive, and at worst, uncomfortable. So, are there any ways to make mask wearing more comfortable? The answer is, “yes,” and we’re here to help.
Below are some of the top tips you can adopt to make masks less uncomfortable to wear.
How can I prevent my mask from irritating my ears?
One of the frequent complaints about mask wearing is that they cause chafing and irritation around the backs and tops of the ears. A quick hack that’s been making the rounds in the medical profession for quite a while is to do the following: Take a large paperclip, and attach the elastic straps together in the back of the head. This paper clip now takes on the heavy lifting that your ears were carrying before. If you’re a regular baseball cap wearer, try sewing a button onto the back of your favorite cap. The ear straps can now hook onto this button and not your ears. A little gentle moisturizer twice a day around the ears where the chafing occurred should go a long way to help your ears recover.
Can I make my mask smell better?
Masks force us to smell our own breath on a more regular basis than any of us were planning. Keeping some breath mints or mint flavored gum in our pocket is a smart move here. Whenever your nose is getting that, “not so fresh” vibe, pop a strong mint (maybe something in the menthol family) in your mouth. It will freshen your breath and make your mask feel a lot less stuffy.
Another great solution for smell comes out of San Antonio. There, University Hospital staff workers began using a drop or two of essential oils on the outside edges of their masks. They can now enjoy something more pleasant than the smell of whatever that was they just choked down in the hospital cafeteria. The rule here though is that less is more.
Why is my mask causing acne?
Acne breakouts aren’t just for teenagers. They can happen at any time in our lives. But with the routine wearing of masks people are now complaining of acne from mask wearing, or “maskne.” This can occur around the areas where a mask is in contact with the face. Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Tess Mauricio, told today.com that the oils in many makeup foundations and concealers are to blame for many of these breakouts. She recommends taking a break from some of these makeups for a while, and using a facial cleanser that contains salicylic acid. She also recommends regularly laundering your masks.
If you have long hair, a quick fix is to simply tie your hair back. Apart from keeping you cooler, doing so can help prevent the transferring of bacteria and pathogens to your mask.
How can I stop my glasses from steaming up when I wear my mask?
If you wear glasses, we have one word for you: “fog.” It’s difficult to wear a mask and your glasses without steaming up your specs. A quick solution can be found right next to your kitchen sink. Rub a drop of dishwashing soap onto both sides of each lens with your fingers, and then gently rinse them off. The soap will create an invisible layer that will help them from fogging up from your breath. Rumor has it that this works with shaving cream as well.
What can I do about my mask drying out my lips?
Another frequent complaint heard from “the masked,” is that when having to wear one all day long, one’s lips have a tendency to dry out. It should probably come as no surprise that the simple solution to this is to apply a good quality lip balm. “Ah, but what kind,” we can almost hear you asking. (It’s kind of difficult to hear you through the mask.) The answer comes from Nava Greenfield, a New York doctor with Schweiger Dermatology, who told the Huffington Post that her two favorite ingredients for addressing this problem were petrolatum (aka, petroleum jelly), and beeswax. She goes on to say that the thick nature of these bases do the most to lock in lip moisture, and are the ingredients least likely to give someone an allergic reaction.
In spite of the increased numbers currently getting vaccinated, mask wearing for some people and in some situations looks like it’s here to stay. And for those individuals that have always had to wear masks as part of their work, taking the discomfort out of wearing them will hopefully come as great relief.
At Community Attire, the health and well-being of our customers and neighbors has always been our highest priority. With the above hints and tips, hopefully we’ve been able to fit a bit of “comfort” into the mix as well. For your PPE needs, we hope that we are your first choice.