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PE-Express
A mask-wearing survival guide

WEARING a mask has become a way of life and is required at all times while out in public, including while at work, school, exercising or doing essential activities.

Many people are forced to wear masks from sunrise to sunset, which means breathing in your own air all day long.

Some practical tips to wearing a mask as comfortably as possible:

Masks should fit snug, not tight

Masks should fit snugly above the nose and below the chin, but not so tight that it becomes restrictive, uncomfortable or painful.

Masks should fit snugly above the nose and below the chin. Photo:SUPPLIED

The snug fit helps prevent any respiratory droplets from entering or escaping.

If it’s too tight, it will restrict breathing and cause general discomfort.

When trying out a new mask, wear it around the house first to make sure it fits well and adjust as needed.

This will prevent needing to fiddle with the mask too much when out in public.

Go for 100% cotton masks

Your mask should be made from breathable fabrics, so try to go for 100% cotton varieties, as cotton materials provide better ventilation and trap less moisture that builds up through breathing and sweating.

Avoid any water-resistant materials as they trap moisture, causing the opposite effect.

Have more than one option

Masks can make you sweat and block sufficient air circulation, which contributes to moisture build-up.

Damp or wet masks are unpleasant and useless and should be changed immediately.

Masks must be washed after every use, so have multiple masks to wear on rotation while you wash and dry the rest.

Also, keep an extra mask with you whenever you’re out and about.

You may have to change your skin routine

If you suffer from dry skin, wearing a good moisturiser before putting on a mask will help prevent skin irritation.

Also, avoid using liquid foundation while wearing a mask as it can clog pores and cause potential skin breakouts.

Foundation can also rub off the mask and prevent proper air filtration, making it harder to breathe.

If you have sensitive skin that’s prone to irritation, make sure to wash your face before and after wearing a mask.

Managing the fog

Another common complaint with wearing masks is how they fog up glasses, which is inconvenient, annoying and even dangerous, especially when driving or operating heavy machinery.

There are things you can do to manage the fog, starting with a mask that fits securely over the nose while being looser at the bottom.

This will help prevent warm air from escaping up to your glasses. Another common hack is to wash your lenses with soapy water or shaving cream before use, allowing them to air dry or gently wiping them with a soft cloth.

Soap leaves behind a thin film that acts as a fog barrier.

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