Consumer Reports

How to Fix the Most Annoying Things About Masks

NBCUniversal, Inc.

As mask mandates become more common, millions of people are adapting to a new normal. But sometimes they're finding masks to be a bit annoying and uncomfortable. Consumer Reports says that a few easy adjustments can ensure a safe and comfortable mask-wearing experience for everyone.

Wearing masks is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean wearers have to put up with the annoyances that come from having them on, such as fogged-up glasses, ear irritation, and even acne.

If a person wears glasses or sunglasses that are constantly fogging up, a mask with a wire sewn in at the top is their best bet. Pinch the top of the mask so that it fits the shape of the nose. Next, tighten the sides for a snug fit. Also try to apply an anti-fogging solution to a lens and wear glasses on top of the mask.

Next, what about “mask acne?” When a mask is worn for a long period of time a person sweats, which causes bacteria to build up. That can cause acne. Make sure the face and mask are clean before heading out. If breakouts are still a problem, try a topical over-the-counter acne cream that contains benzoyl peroxide can help.

If your ears feel irritated from wearing a mask, it’s because the elastic ear loops are causing friction. Rub some petroleum jelly behind your ears. You can also switch to a tie-back mask instead of one with elastic ear loops.

You’re not supposed to touch your mask once you put it on. But if it keeps slipping, you should tighten it until it feels a little harder to breathe. You should notice your mask moving in and out as you breathe.

If you’re having trouble being understood while you’re wearing a mask, CR says it’s not really a matter of speaking louder. Just make sure you’re speaking slowly and clearly, and ask other mask wearers to do the same.

Follow these tips so you can keep others safe as well as yourself and stay comfortable at the same time.

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