These tips apply to all face mask regardless if they are purchased or homemade.
1. The mask should comfortably cover your nose and mouth and stay in place while wearing.
It is important to try out your mask at home to ensure proper fit before you attempt to wear it in public to decrease the risk of you touching your face to readjust the mask.
2. Consider external factors that could affect how your mask fits.
Before you ever put your mask on, think about: your hair, are you wearing makeup, are you wearing jewelry, do you wear glasses. All these factors can affect how your mask fits.
(a.) If you have long hair, keep it pulled back in a bun or pony tail so it doesn’t interfere with the fit of the mask or get tangled in the mask.
(b.)If you tend to wear makeup or moisturizer that makes your skin oily, then some fabrics might not stay in place as well. Consider not wearing any makeup.
(c.) Take off any jewelry. Lip, nose and ear. Remove it so there is no chance of the mask getting caught.
(d.) Glasses are the big one here. If you wear glasses to see, it is important you choose a mask that is going to allow your glasses to sit properly on your face, and not fog them up.
3. Make sure the mask stays to place no matter your head movement and stays in place without causing pain or slipping.
Once you have taken care of all the external factors, move your head in all directions. Look all the way up, put your chin to your chest, turn your head as much as possible left and right. Now tilt your chin up, left to right. How does the mask stay to place? If it is ear loops, make sure they aren’t pulling too hard. If it is tied to the back, then make sure it doesn’t slip.
4. Make sure you can see all around you. Again, if you have glasses, make sure they fit properly and not fogging up.
Can you see well? Does it block any of your vision?
5. Make sure you can breathe properly and receive enough oxygen.
Count backwards from 100, out loud. How is your breathing? Do you feel short of breath, are you trying to mouth breathe to compensate, light headed, are you sweating? Can people understand you when you talk?
6. Wear the mask for at least 30 minutes at home before wearing in public.
After you achieve a fit that allows you to breathe, see, and stays in place with movement, then wear it for at least 30 minutes while you do task around the house. Pay attention to when you want to touch your face. If it is because of one of the items we covered, figure out how to correct it before wearing it in public. If you find yourself wanting to touch your mask because it is there and feels weird, notice this too and make a conscious decision not to touch. Train yourself to leave the mask alone once it is on your face.