How to Properly Wear a Face Mask

The year 2020 found everyone wearing a face mask for one reason or another. Along with these unprecedented levels of mask-wearing has come the physical discomforts that are a natural result of wearing protective equipment. If your profession requires you to wear a mask for a full shift, you work with the public, or your mask is otherwise “glued” to your face, you’ve likely experienced some minor pain when wearing it. Below, we detail five insights regarding how to properly wear a face mask.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides information about different types of masks, and how to use masks, that may be useful to you.  Visit Here for more information.

Use a Paper Clip to Reduce Ear Chafing

When your mask straps are pressing against the back of your ears for hours on end, the skin can grow irritated. This is especially true if you wear a mask at your job. Instead of being forced to deal with your mask as is, a paperclip can ease the tension.

Take a large paper clip and loop it through one ear strap. Then take the other ear strap and loop it in again. This relieves the pressure your ears are carrying while ensuring your mask stays in place.

Secure Foam Lining on Ear Straps

Another way you can prevent dry, irritated skin at the back of your ears is by using soft craft foam. Get a few small pieces of soft craft foam and duct tape or masking tape. Then, place the craft foam on the same (inner) side of the ear straps that would normally rest against the back of your ears.

Tape the outer side of the ear straps to keep the foam in place and test it out. Adjust the foam or re-tape until a comfortable fit is achieved. It can take some time to achieve the right fit, but you’ll feel the difference after a few hours.

Use the Right Size

If the mask you bought still doesn’t seem to fit properly, it may not be the right size or shape for your face. Don’t worry—while many masks fit most people, they are not one-size-fits-all. You can cut the elastic straps and attach a string to the ends, allowing you to make your own ear strap size. Simply tie the backside where it feels comfortable and voila—you’re back in business! Remember: your mask should be covering your nose and mouth at all times. If its repeatedly slipping out of place or falling off your ears, it’s wise to look for a replacement.

Pop a Breath Freshener Before Wearing

If you’re wearing a face mask longer than a few minutes, it can be hard to escape the smell of your own breath. Instead of trying to avoid an unpleasant odor for hours on end, carry a breath freshener with you, such as a dissolvable tablet or strip. Pop one into your mouth before putting your mask on; you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes!

Now that you know how to properly wear a face mask, it’s time to get equipped. Check out our comfortable face masks here.