How to avoid acne, fogged glasses and other face mask annoyances

Fogged up glasses, ear irritation and even acne are just some of the annoyances that can sometimes come from wearing a mask.

"Wearing masks is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with the annoyances that come from wearing them. There are some simple solutions," said Lauren Friedman of Consumer Reports.

If you wear glasses or sunglasses and they are constantly fogging up, a mask with a wire sewn in at the top is your best bet. To properly wear that kind of mask, pinch the top so it fits the shape of your nose and tighten the sides for a snug fit.

You can also apply an anti-fogging solution to your lens or try wearing your glasses on top of your mask.

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For anyone who has found increased breakouts after wearing a mask, there is a solution.

"When you wear your mask for a long period of time, you sweat, which causes bacteria to build up. That can cause acne," said Friedman.

She recommends making sure your face and your mask are both clean before heading out. If you're still breaking out, a topical over-the-counter acne cream that contains benzoyl peroxide can help.

If your ears feel irritated from wearing your mask, it's because the elastic ear loops cause friction that can irritate the backs of your ears.

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Friedman advises to rub some petroleum jelly behind your ears. You can also switch to a tie-back mask instead of an elastic ear loop one.

"If your mask keeps slipping off, tighten it until it feels a little harder to breathe. You should also notice your mask moving in and out as you breathe," she said.

Having trouble being understood while you're wearing a mask? Friedman says you don't have to speak louder but instead, slower and more clearly, and ask other mask wearers to do the same.

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