This simple trick will make your mask more comfortable

Please remember. You’re wearing your mask because you can’t be sure that you’re not in the early stages of COVID-19 which you don’t show any symptoms. During that period, you can sneeze at me, cough on me, or even breathe heavily on me and infect not only me but everyone I know. It’s not a deprivation of your personal liberty to wear a mask to protect others — it’s a kindness.

Smarter Living

This Simple Trick Will Make Your Face Mask More Comfortable

Consider irritated ears and constant mask adjustments a thing of the past.

Sarah Crow

By Sarah Crow May 22, 2020

young white woman adjusting face mask ear straps
Shutterstock/Golden Hour999

With face masks becoming a requirement in many businesses and public spaces around the country, many people are suddenly realizing what medical professionals have known for years—wearing a mask for a long period of time can be seriously uncomfortable. In fact, many medical professionals have taken to social media to display just how badly their protective equipment can dig into their skin, showing off deep marks in their cheeks, their noses, and irritation behind their ears from wearing PPE. But since it seems that face masks will be necessary for everyone for the foreseeable future, many people are left wondering: How do you make your face mask more comfortable?

Luckily, the answer is simple. Instead of looping your face mask’s straps behind your ears, attach them to a cloth headband with large buttons sewn on either side, near where the headband hits your ears. Doing so can help make your face mask more comfortable by reducing the amount of pressure on your cheeks, nose, and chin, and limiting irritation behind your ears, too.

Just loop the straps of your face mask over the buttons instead of your ears, and voila! The mask will be a lot more comfortable in an instant.

However, there are some precautions you should take if you’re employing this trick. “Masks are supposed to touch your skin to create a barrier and a seal from the outside world,” explains Sharleen St. Surin-Lord, MD, medical director at Visage Dermatology and Aesthetics Center.

St. Surin-Lord notes that if your headband has made it so that your mask lifts off your face and is no longer touching your cheeks, “this would mean that there is space whereby airborne particles could enter the mask,” thus diminishing its effectiveness. And if you want to avoid potentially perilous errors when you’re washing your face covering, check out these 5 Ways You’re Cleaning Your Face Mask Wrong.

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