A year ago, no one would have thought masked faces would be a common sight. And yet, here we are, getting used to seeing half of everyone’s faces everywhere we go.
But familiar as mask-wearing has become, there are still some unresolved problems, or rather, peeves, that come along with having to don it throughout the day. Whether it’s those mask strap-induced headaches or being unable to unlock your iPhone with face recognition, we bring you 10 mask hacks and tips to help you iron out all these issues:
We diligently wash our hands and sanitise our hands, and log our whereabouts via TraceTogether and Safe-Entry check-ins. It’s evident that all of us place hygiene in high regard – that is, until it comes to dining out where even the best of us chuck our masks carelessly aside without a second thought.
Image credit: Lazada
Instead of stuffing it into the recesses of your bag or leaving it on grimy tables, try packing along a mask case the next time you head out. These nifty slim contraptions allow you to fold and store your mask in a hygienic place to protect yourself from any viral nasties that might latch on when you leave it lying around.
Image credit: Kezia Tan
Ladies out there are more than familiar with ever-so-useful bobby pins that hold our carefully arranged “messy buns” in place, and tame flyaway strands. Now, they’ve got yet another trick up their sleeves: relieving headaches caused by mask straps.
If you’ve been experiencing migraines from your mask straps pulling on your ears all day, try pinning the straps up with your hair on either side of your head for a quick and virtually free solution.
Image adapted from: Shopee
No worries if bobby pins aren’t the fix for you – if mask-wearing is cramping your style because you wear a hijab, you can consider a mask extension instead. Priced from just $0.33 on Shopee, these simple devices have hooks to hold both ends of your mask strap in place behind your head.
Image credit: Shopee
It’s no secret that some masks make breathing ever so slightly uncomfortable, which can be annoying during especially long days. And while there have been various mask designs out there made to solve this – such as Airism by Uniqlo or sports masks from brands like Under Armour – an alternative for those not willing to purchase yet another mask is a silicone mask bracket.
Image credit: Kezia Tan
They’re generally made of a flexible plastic material that forms a curved frame for your mask to sit on, so there’s a pocket of air for easy breathing. Find them in knick-knack shops near MRTs such as Accentz at White Sands, or on online shopping platforms like Shopee at around $1 each.
Swimmers might be familiar with the age-old hack of using soap to prevent goggles from fogging up. Bespectacled friends, the same can be done to your glasses to prevent them from clouding up your vision with each masked-up exhalation.
Since soap is a surfactant, it prevents water vapour from condensing into little droplets that fog up your spectacles and leaves you with a clear-as-day vision. To do this trick, simply wash your glasses with a mixture of soap and water, and let it air dry without rinsing out the soap.
Surgical masks typically come fitted for the average adult face shape. For kids and those blessed with that slim “small face” that many of us desire, these may be a little oversized.
Rather than walking around with exposed gaps at the side of your mask, check out the 60-second mask resizing hack that has gone viral on Tiktok. It’s been shared by many, including medical professionals, and all you need to do are the following steps:
Makeup wearers will be familiar with foundation and lipstick transferring over to your mask – leaving behind a poor “photocopy” of your face. To remove these unsightly stains and get your white mask looking pristine again, wash your reusable mask with makeup brush cleaning solutions.
After letting them soak for at least 30 minutes in a pail, gently rub the mask with your fingers as you usually would, and even long-wear foundations should come right off. For those who don’t yet own the solution, you can easily purchase one from as cheap as $2 from Daiso.
Image credit: Spin9
Perhaps the greatest first world problem of 2020 is not being able to speedily unlock your iPhone with face recognition. That’s about to change with this extremely useful Face ID hack that’ll “train” your phone to recognise your face even with a mask on. All you need to do is:
Video credit: Abacus News
It may take a day or so for the system to kick in according to online reviews, but after that, you’ll have quick and easy access to your phone once again. This also works for some Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy.
After a long day out, masks can feel uncomfortably plastered on to your oily face, especially if they’re the thin and floppy sort that lacks structure.
Video credit: MakeupMenaree
Korean 3D masks have been a popular solution that many have turned to but they can be a little pricey, with disposables costing about a dollar each. So, try the cost-effective zip tie hack, recommended by Youtuber MakeupMenaree, at home instead.
All you need to do is grab a zip tie, trim it to the height of your mask and attach it to its inward-facing side for a DIY “3D” mask of your own.
Among many other new additions to our vocabulary like “TraceTogether” and “Singapoliday”, “maskne” is another word we’ve invented this 2020. For those fortunate enough to not have experienced it, maskne = mask acne.
Image credit: SkinInc
Prevent your mask from irritating your face with hypoallergenic mask liners. Particularly great for those with sensitive and easily irritable skin out there, these thin, disposable and soft fabric sheets help to shield your face from your mask – particularly if you’re using reusable ones that can trap dirt and oil over time. You can get a packet of 20 sheets from SkinInc from $28.
Masks are mandatory and more importantly, they keep us safe, but that doesn’t mean that you have to bear with discomfort. Try these mask tips and tricks if you’ve been facing problems, and you might just be undaunted by long, masked-up days out in the future.
Now that you’re armed with these mask tips, head on out to check out some of these things to do:
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