Masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Whilst most people understand the reasons why wearing masks is beneficial, it doesn’t make them any easier to wear in the hot weather and within minutes you feel hot and stifled. It’s even worse in humid conditions as the mask prevents sweat from evaporating and cooling you down.
Here are some tips to help you stay cool when you’re masked up.
Choose the right mask
Picking a comfortable mask is half the battle. Your mask’s material and fit could be partially to blame for overheating.
Cotton masks are the most breathable and comfortable. Choose a lighter colour as dark colours absorb more light, converting it into heat. Avoid synthetic materials.
A light surgical mask probably does the job with the least amount of discomfort.
Once you have a comfortable mask, make sure you’re wearing it correctly. Your mask should fit securely but comfortably against your face and cover your nose and mouth.
Mask up with a clean face
Heat and perspiration mixed with makeup or oily skin care products sits there and collects under your mask. This clogs pores and contributes to lower-face skin eruptions that have been called “maskne”.
Skip the make up and mask up with a clean face apart from a water-based moisturiser and sunscreen, as you can still be susceptible to UV rays under a mask.
Pick your time
Try to plan your day around doing activities when it is cooler, avoiding the midday sun.
When you do have to be out, stay well-hydrated and seek the shade. Wear a hat that shades your face.
An ice pack or damp cloth applied to the head or neck can help you cool off — just take care not to get your mask wet or touch your face.
Swap it regularly
Damp masks aren’t just uncomfortable—they’re actually less effective at screening out the novel coronavirus. If sweat is an issue, be prepared to change your mask.
Take extra masks with you such occasions. Make sure your spares are clean, stored in a StoBag or container, and accessible while you’re on the go.
Make sure you move away from people and wash or sanitize your hands before you swap your mask for a clean one.
Get out of the heat
Johns Hopkins University also advises anyone who feels lightheaded, dizzy or is finding it harder to breathe to get out of the heat.
Masks are needed to stem the spread of COVID-19. Evidence shows us that masks can reduce the spread of COVID-19—if everyone wears one.
Sources: John Hopkins/BBC/Penn Medicine