We’ve got creative tips to help prevent chafed ears and the best fabric to use to help stay cool.
Make your face mask more comfortable by following these tips.
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.
Does your face mask feel tight around your ears when you wear it to the store? Do the straps dig into your head or chafe your skin? You’re not the only one. With summer approaching, you may be wondering how you’ll stay comfortable while wearing a mask when the sun is hot and your face is sweating. Fortunately, we have some tips to help keep you comfortable while wearing your covering, especially for longer periods of time.
As businesses reopen around the world, it’s often required that you wear face coverings when you enter businesses and restaurants, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Many states now have face mask mandates, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance encouraging people in mass gatherings, like the public protests swelling across the globe, to wear face masks.
Any mask you buy should fit above your nose and below your chin snugly, but not so tightly that it digs into your face. It also needs to be made from a breathable fabric, especially if it’s multiple layers thick.
Whether you’re wearing a homemade face covering or a premade mask, remember you should always wash your hands before putting on the mask and after you remove it. Here’s how to keep comfortable while wearing your mask in public.
Prevent your ears from becoming raw
Ear chafing from wearing masks has become a common complaint due to the elastic rubbing behind your ears. Some people have gotten creative and started making headbands with buttons to attach the elastic loops around.
If wearing a headband isn’t really your style, you can always try the S-ring hook trick. To attach your face mask, take the loops and place them around each U of the hook. Make sure the S-ring is centered on the back of your head when you’re wearing the mask. The hook should help your mask fit better around your face since the loops will be pulled snug.
If you don’t have an S-ring hook lying around your house, you can find mask hooks on Etsy in different shapes, sizes and designs. Or place a piece of folded tissue between the strap and your ear for cushioning.
Only use 100% cotton face masks and coverings
Many people buy 100% cotton sheets for a reason: to stay cool. And that rule doesn’t just apply to sheets — you should also be on the lookout for face masks made from cotton, as well. The cotton material is considered to have better ventilation and will trap less of the moisture that builds up from breathing and sweating. And since your face mask may have multiple layers, you’ll want a material that doesn’t restrict your breathing.
There are also certain materials you’ll want to avoid, like polyester, which can trap moisture through its water-resistant properties.
Make it snug, not tight
While you want your mask to fit snugly around your face to help prevent respiratory droplets from escaping or coming in, you don’t want it to be so tight that it hurts your face. Also, if it’s too tight, that gives you less room to breathe well.
Wear your mask around the house before you leave to make sure you’ll be comfortable wearing it for a long period of time, or long enough to go to the grocery store, for example. Adjust as needed while you’re at home because the last thing you want to do is take off and readjust your mask while in public.
Change your mask if it feels gross
Now that it’s starting to warm up outside, the longevity of your masks throughout the day may be shorter. That’s because the mask can cause your face to sweat, creating moisture inside the mask. Once a mask becomes wet, it’s no longer useful and should be changed immediately. Therefore, we suggest keeping an extra mask with you when you know you’ll be out for a while.
When you get home, you’ll need to properly remove your mask and place it in the laundry to be cleaned and ready to use again.