Friends, I am writing this to you at a time of desperation. I have fallen under a plight which causes me great stress and annoyance. It only happens about twice a day for five minutes at a time, but I’ll be damned if everyone else isn’t feeling the same.
I wear glasses (not the problem), and every single time I have to venture into a shop or any building to do anything, my facemask decides that it wants to reward my safety by fogging up blinding me with every breath. I wish I were one of those deep-sea divers who can hold their breath for minutes at a time because I can’t stand going to get a pint of milk and having to move my head in twenty different directions to catch a glimpse of the date on the bottle.
I would hazard a guess that face masks, for all the good they’re doing us right now, can be a right pain for some people. Whether you’re steaming up every day like me or are perpetually driving someone only to realise you left your mask at home, we all are experiencing new pet peeves from face masks that 2020 wants to surprise us with (and hasn’t this been a year for surprises). That’s why I wanted to highlight some of the simple hacks I’ve found around the web for making masklife as convenient as possible. Here they are.
Hack 1: No more foggy glasses
I never knew that people actively wash their glasses in between wearing them. I felt a little dumb on that revelation, as I’ve been more of a “lift t-shirt, breathe & wipe” type of person. So colour me shocked when I found out that washing your glasses with soapy water is supposed to help stop lenses from fogging up.
Now, mask positioning and type does play a big role (if you wear glasses, get wired masks) but I think the type of soap used does too. I tried it out with hand soap, and it didn’t do much to stop the dreaded mist. On the other hand, I’ve had more positive results with dish soap from the squirty bottle, as I think if you don’t fully wash it off, it forms a film which sticks around for a while. It goes away after a few hours but give it a go anyway before you have to pop out.
Hack 2: No more missing masks
Forgetting to lift a mask before getting in the car and driving somewhere is now a guarantee in life. I can’t be the only one to have parked the car and got into a full rage upon realising I forgot a mask. That’s why I love the idea of never forgetting a mask again by simply not buying one.
Instead, if you’re the kind of person who is constantly having to pull a mask off and on throughout the day and seems to go through a box of the disposable ones like they’re going out of style, you’ll want to get yourself a multi-use sleeve. Unlike those doctor style masks, you wear these sleeves like a snood and pull them up anytime you’re in a compulsory mask area. Check out some of the funky designs at https://bawbags.com/collections/multi-sleeves to see some examples.
They’re really handy for anyone working in retail or customer-facing jobs.
Hack 3: Bye-bye (possibly) bad breath
I am a habitual chewing gum user, typically going through one of those chunky little plastic tubs every week. Wearing a mask, I have realised that the flavour of gum goes away much quicker than I thought, all because I’ve noticed that it feels like it is going stale under the mask quicker.
Now maybe chewing gum was always like that and I just never realised, but there is truth in the belief that masks are making us notice our breath a lot more. If you’ve had a few cups of coffee and then whipped on your mask, you’re not going to enjoy your breath after a few minutes. It’s the musty and almost dank sensation hitting your nose which does it. And god only knows what it must be like for someone who has just had a tuna sandwich!
That’s why I found a solution in something that sounds like an old wives’ tale; a drop of peppermint.
Yes, getting the essential oils out and popping just one drop in the middle of the mask where your nose would be will give off a nice smell for most of the day. Just make sure you go for something you like so you don’t end up with a sudden realisation you don’t like lavender as much as you thought.
Final Hack: Criss-Cross Applesauce
I’m in the fortunate position being able to work from home, so my mask usage is dependent on how often I need to visit someone or somewhere. For people who are working as normal full time, wearing a mask for hours on end can see you with real pain and irritation around the ears, especially if you have “flappy ears” which flop down with any pressure from the mask at all.
If this sounds familiar to you, and your mask doesn’t sit as you want, you’ll want to criss-cross the loops. The loops tend to pull because they aren’t the right size for your face and crossing them over (even a few times) can help keep it better affixed.
Now, if you’ve been given masks which are too big and don’t sit right at all, go and grab a paper clip. Run the loops through and pop your mask on with the paper clip at the back of your head. It’ll pull the straps together and should do so without feeling it is pinching on your ears.
I hope you found these tips helpful and mark wearing just got a lot easier. Make sure you stay safe and remember to wash those hands folks!