With cities and businesses around the world reopening up slowly but steadily, life for most of us will become more active once again. Still, life will hardly return to normal in the nearest future, as the COVID-19 pandemic isn't going away any time soon and we need to gain new and sustainable habits to shield ourselves from the Coronavirus. Apart from hand-washing and social distancing, one such habit is wearing face masks every time we go outside, a habit that's important and yet quite uncomfortable, especially when you have to spend a lot of time outside.
Chafing on the nose and behind the ears, foggy glasses and difficulty breathing are just some of the issues that came up when people started wearing face masks on a daily basis. All these issues may be quite inconvenient and discourage you from wearing a mask in public for a long time - a habit that is bound to not end well. Learn to prevent all of these and other problems you may encounter below.
1. Stop Glasses from Fogging Up
Wearing face masks is especially troublesome for glasses wearers because glasses tend to fog up when you're breathing a tad too heavily or your mask doesn't fit tightly over your nose. Luckily, there are few tips you can follow to prevent fogging:
- Wear glasses slightly further away from your face by wearing them lower on your nose to prevent fogging.
- Make sure the face mask has wiring that makes it fit more tightly on the nose to prevent air from escaping and fogging up your glasses.
- Try to breathe steadily, inhaling through the nose, and exhaling through the mouth to avoid fogging up your glasses or sunglasses.
2. Make Breathing Fresher and Easier
Sugar-free mints are a good thing to have in your arsenal these days. Not only will they help prevent smelling your own unpleasant breath if that's an issue, but they will also mask any unpleasant odors your face mask may have. In addition, dentists point out that the menthol flavor will help you breathe easier in a mask if your mask is making you a bit claustrophobic or you notice that breathing is more difficult in a mask.
3. Avoid Extra Contaminants
Most people don't realize this, but long hair is a possible health hazard, as it, too, can catch virus particles from the air and transfer those onto the surface of the mask. To avoid this from happening, pull your hair back into a ponytail or any other updo that would keep your hair away from your face. Not only will this protect you from the virus, but it will also trap less heat in the mask and prevent the skin from sweating underneath the mask, which could render the face-covering ineffective in the summer heat.
4. Prevent Irritation
We have previously explained why wearing a face mask can irritate the skin and cause acne. In that article, we've explained how you can adjust your habits and skincare routine to prevent these issues. To read that article, click here: Face Masks - 10 Tips to Help Skin Irritation and Acne.
However, if you find that wearing a face mask causes chafing on the nose, chin, or lips, there is another method you can use to ease this issue. Simply put a piece of tissue in the areas where the mask rubs against the skin to prevent irritation.
5. Relieve Pain Behind the Ears
Unfortunately, the tissue trick we mentioned above won't help ear chafing - a problem the overwhelming majority of people are experiencing, but there is a solution to this problem, too. You can simply use a paper clip or a bag clip like the one in the picture above to secure the mask on your face.
Do keep in mind, however, that it's very important to make sure the mask still fits you properly after using this trick, or else the mask covering is useless. If the mask becomes too loose on the sides after you've attached the ear elastics to a clip, you'll need to shorten the elastics.
6. Always Have One on Hand
One of the biggest inconveniences with face masks is that you have to remember to take it with you every time you exit your home. To never forget your face mask at home, simply get in the habit of hanging a clean face mask next to your house or car keys. This way, you'll be a lot more likely to wear a mask, and you'll store it safely, too, since the mask won't lay on any potentially contaminated surfaces and won't accumulate germs in a handbag or pocket.