Foggy glasses? Mask keeps slipping?
While wearing a mask has become a staple in our daily routine, many of us have started encountering nuances that make them more annoying than they should be. Here are four of the tips to help you fix your annoying mask issues.
1. Glasses Fogging Up
Four-eyed friends, the struggle is real. If you have tried wearing a mask and glasses, then you have dealt with the struggle of fog coating your lenses up the second you start to breathe. When you wear a mask, the hot air that escapes your mouth can seep out from the top of your mask and get inside of your glasses. This is what causes the annoying fog.
If you are required to wear a mask for an extended period of time, whether it be while running errands or while going out to work, foggy glasses are absolutely no fun. And it's certainly not safe either because constant tampering with your mask and glasses to get rid of the fog only increases the likelihood of you introducing unwanted germs to your face.
How to Fix It
Luckily there are ways to deal with foggy glasses. Because the hot air escapes from the top of your mask, it's important that you have a close seal in that area. Wearing a mask with a mesh underwire can be a great way to make sure you have a secure seal between your mask and your skin.
With the explosion of different mask options in recent months, there are also a ton of comfortable and affordable anti-fogging masks that you can purchase. These types of masks have a specific seam that gets sewn into the nose bridge for the purpose of creating a tight seal and redirecting that hot air away from the top of your mask.
You can also use an anti-fogging solution on your lenses.
2. Mask Acne (aka Maskne) Appearing on Your Chin, Cheeks, and Nose
The new phenomenon of mask acne, or "maskne," is another one of the biggest nuances that wearing a face mask has brought to light. Regular acne and blemishes on your face are caused by trapped bacteria that elicit an inflammatory response from your skin. This inflammation will usually appear in the form of blemishes, pimples, or even a rash.
When you wear a mask, you're creating a humid environment for bacteria to linger and grow. If you are using cloth masks that are not washed regularly or are reusing disposable masks, this could be another way that you are introducing bacteria to the surface of your skin.
How to Fix It
One of the easiest ways to fix your mask acne problem is by keeping your mask, hands, and face as clean as possible to prevent bacterial buildup. If you use a disposable mask, then you must dispose of it after every single use, even if it looks clean. Germs can still linger on it, and if you put a used disposable mask on your face a second or even a third time, you're introducing new germs and bacteria that will ultimately seep into your pores and cause irritation.
Now more than ever, it's important to give the skin on your face some much needed TLC. At the end of the day or even once you get home after a day of wearing a mask, it's a good habit to wash your face with some mild soap and water in order to get rid of any germs that have built up on your face throughout the day. When you go to put on your mask, make sure that you are always putting on a clean mask atop of a freshly washed face using clean hands. Assuming that you are keeping your hands out of your mask and face throughout the day, having a clean environment will limit the potential of bacterial growth on your face.
If you are continuing to break out, you can apply an acne cream that contains benzoyl peroxide. This will help kill any lingering germs that lead to acne. If you're dealing with just a mild rash on your face, then applying a moisturizer will help soothe the irritation that your mask might be causing you as well.
3. Mask Slipping Off
The whole point of wearing a mask is that your mouth and nose have the appropriate coverage from germs and bacteria. If your mask keeps slipping off your face, then it's probably not doing you justice. And if you're always touching your mask to adjust it, then you are probably making matters worse.
How to Fix It
A mask that keeps slipping off is your first indication that the mask is probably too big. For men with beards, it can be difficult to get the close seal needed for protection. If you're not ready to part with your facial hair, then it's important to make sure the ear loops around are nice and snug around your ears but not too tight that they create irritation.
Younger kids need to wear appropriately sized masks that are neither too big nor too small as well. And if you're finding that your mask is the right size, but it continues to slip, then it might be that you need to invest in a mask that has ear loops as opposed to a tie that gets knotted at the back of your head.
4. Difficulty Being Heard and Understood by Others
Another unexpected nuance of masks is that sometimes it can be difficult to hear what others are saying. This might seem a little silly because it's your mouth that is covered, not your ears, so why might you have difficulty hearing someone?
Well, communication doesn't happen with just sound. Seeing someone's lips move plays a significant role in understanding what someone is saying, especially if they are standing far away from you as they should be, with six feet of social distancing. You may have noticed that communicating has gotten trickier when you can't read others' lips to help supplement your hearing. Aside from seeing someone's lips moving, a majority of communication happens by reading the facial expressions of others as well. With some masks covering half of the face, it can be incredibly difficult to read facial expressions when you can't see them.
How to Fix It
The easiest way to close this communication gap is by speaking more slowly and more intentionally. You don't necessarily have to speak louder, but by slowing down your speech and using a clear voice free from mumbling, you will better be able to get what you're trying to say across. Using hand gestures can be another way to promote that lost visual aspect of communication.
If your job depends on your needing to communicate clearly, it might be worth investing in a clear mask. Clear masks are helpful because they cover your mouth and nose, but they are see-through and allow others to see your lips moving and your facial expressions. For many teachers, using a see-through mask has been a great way to fix communication issues.
What other nuances with masks have you encountered as we push through this pandemic? Let us know what they are and how you are dealing with them!