Like it or not, face masks are a part of our lives now. The best face masks will fit snugly around your chin and nose, ensuring no exhaled air escapes through the gaps around the side of your face. However, if you've got a smaller face shape, you might find standard masks a little breezy... which it not only annoying, but it also means it's working less effectively.
One Montreal-based dentist has come to the rescue with a 60-second hack that'll have your mask fitting better in no time. Olivia Cuid MD's trick has gone viral on Instagram, which suggests there are a lot of people with flappy masks on right now. It's super simple, and designed for use with surgical masks – although we think it'd work on some reusable pleated mask designs too.
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Wearing a face mask is a key step in slowing the spread of COVID-19, and especially in preventing unwitting carriers of the virus from accidentally infecting other people (the highest amount of viral transmission happens early on in the course of the disease, so infected people may be contagious before they start showing symptoms). But for your mask to work as it's supposed to, it needs to fit well around your face – and that's where this trick comes in.
The steps are as follows:
1. Wash your hands!
An all-important step with any coronavirus-prevention measures. Not sure how to do it properly? These are the correct hand washing steps.
2. Fold your mask in half
Fold the mask over width-ways, so you have a shorter, wider rectangle.
3. Tie a knot in the ear loops
Take hold of the ear loop on one side of the mask, and tie a knot as close to the corner of the mask as possible. Repeat on the other side.
4. Tuck in the openings
When you open your mask out again you'll see a gap near each of the knots you've just tied. Tuck this in so the excess fabric is on the inside of your mask.
5. You're done!
Enjoy your new, snug fitting face mask.
Watch the full demo below, or head to TikTok to check out the original (opens in new tab).
@oliviacuidmd (opens in new tab)
Highly requested 60s version of my viral mask hack ##fyp ##doctorsoftiktok ##masktutorial ##covid19 ##viral ##maskhack ##learnontiktok♬ original sound - oliviacuidmd (opens in new tab)
While the official rules vary from country to country, masks are required or encouraged in enclosed spaces and situations where it's difficult to social distance effectively, such as while on public transport and in shops. For a long-term solution, you'll want to purchase a reusable face mask that fits well – not only is this simpler to fit into your daily routine, it's also kinder for the environment. We think the best option comes from Vistaprint.
Face mask | £17 from Vistaprint (opens in new tab) / $18 at Vistaprint (opens in new tab)
Vistaprint masks are cut to fit around the face snugly, with soft elastic ear loops and a sewn-in nose wire you can adjust. They're also available in a range of adults' and kids' sizes, so you can find the perfect one for your face. For more options, head to our guide to where to buy the best face masks.