Wearing a face mask is the number one way to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19. But while you have likely been using these shields for a few months, there are still a handful of tips and tricks you probably don’t know about your mask that could make them even more effective and comfortable. Here, we’ve compiled some quick and simple face masks hacks that will make your life much easier during the pandemic. And for more mask tips from the experts, check out If Your Face Mask Doesn’t Have This, It’s Not Fully Protecting You, Doctor Says.
1Tying the ear loops to fit it for your face
While masks are mostly one-size-fit-all, our faces are not. And if you have a smaller face, you’ll know how difficult it can be to get your mask to fit without sliding off or gaping at the sides. Luckily, there are a few ways to fix this. The easiest method is to twist the straps into a criss-cross pattern before putting them over your ears, so the mask is more snug.
Another solution comes thanks to Olivia Cuid, MD, a dentist in Montreal who went viral on TikTok after she showed this nifty trick. First, fold your mask in half, then tie each ear loop in a knot close to the edge of the mask, then open the mask and fold in the cloth at the sides to close the small space by each ear loop. When you put it on, it should be in a circular shape, similar to an N95 mask. And for more protective gear ideas, check out This New Face Mask Is As Effective As an N95.
2Wearing a headband to make your mask more comfortable
As many healthcare workers can attest, wearing masks 24/7 can really irritate your ears. That’s why they came up with this smart face mask hack. Sew two large buttons onto the side of a cloth headband, and loop your mask around the buttons instead of around your ears. Or, if you’re really in a bind, take a paperclip and fasten the ear loops through it so the straps now sit behind the back of your head. Not only is this more comfortable, but it’ll also reduce the pressure on your cheeks, nose, and chin.