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    A Guide To The CDC's New Face Mask Recommendations — Plus How To Make Them Easier

    Including pro-tips on how to get a more comfortable, tightened face mask fit, how to properly double mask, and — more importantly — how *not* to double mask.

    Hey there! By now you've seen the CDC's guidelines recommending people wear nonmedical face coverings in public (and know whether or not they're mandatory in your area).

    Two cartoon people wearing masks

    On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the CDC released new mask guidelines for how you can make your mask-wearing game even stronger, and better protect both yourself and the people around you.

    Cartoon model wearing a face mask showing how air can escape through the side and the top of the mask

    BuzzFeed's face mask guideline explainer delves more into the science behind the recommendations, but here's a break down of what exactly the CDC is advising, and some easy how-tos and fixes you can easily take care of to meet those standards.

    First up is making sure your mask is snug on your face — there are several adjustments the CDC advises you can make to get yourself the best fit.

    The fastest, most efficient way they recommend is to knot the ends of your elastic-strapped face masks.

    A before image of a face mask with elastic straps unknotted and the after image of the face mask with knotted straps

    Here's some context for what how much of a difference this makes, sponsored by my human face.

    BuzzFeed editor in a mask before it is knotted at the ends, then in the tighter version once it has been knotted

    For another knotted elastic option that helps not only tighten the fit but pop some of the mask fabric off of your mouth, the CDC recommends tying it at the base of the elastic.

    BuzzFeed editor in a mask before it is knotted at the base, then in the tighter version once it has been knotted

    For convenience's sake, you can also get ear toggles to quickly adjust the ear loops for you — especially handy when you're using reusable face masks.

    Two mask straps with the toggles on them making them smaller

    Another way the CDC recommends getting a tighter fit is by getting masks with a nose clip on the inside, like these well-reviewed three-layered face masks with a nose bridge on Amazon.

    Reviewer image wearing a black face mask with around the ear loops and glasses that are not fogged

    Alternatively, if you have face masks that don't have a nose wire, you can purchase nose clips for your mask.

    Another way the CDC recommends getting a tighter fit is through mask fitters that sit on top of your face mask to hold it in place. While these are difficult to find online, modified versions like this silicone face mask extender strap will also help tighten the fit and keep it locked in place.

    A model wearing a mask that is pulled together around the back of their head by the silicone ear saver, which has three different toggles on the back for sizing

    As will this extendable, adjustable Velcro mask strap that sits comfortably around the back of your neck.

    Lastly, the CDC has extended its recommendation on layering — before they advised on two or three-layer masks, but are now advising that it's *also* beneficial to double mask, specifically with disposable mask under a reusable one.

    BuzzFeed editor with a reusable cloth face mask layered on top of a disposable face mask

    Some caveats: you should never combine a KN95 face mask with any other face mask, and you shouldn't combine two disposable masks.

    Also, pro-tip if you're worried about double masking and having all that fabric against your nose and mouth: you can get 3D mouth brackets that clip to the inside of your face mask without sacrificing the fit.

    You can read more about the CDC's most recent face mask recommendations for more details, as well as BuzzFeed's face mask explainer on the reasoning behind the new recommendations.

    But psst — a few little mask tips before you go!

    BuzzFeed recently published a list of products to make wearing glasses with a face mask easier, including this anti-fog spray you can quickly apply to eyeglasses, sunglasses, and face shields to prevent them from fogging up while you're wearing a mask.

    Plus if you're looking for even *more* mask recommendations, I've also assembled a MASSIVE list of the best places to buy face masks online, including faves like Aerie, Old Navy, and Target, as well as a ton of cute Etsy shops ❤️.

    Just remember — masks are not a substitute for social distancing! You should still maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between you and other people when possible, and continue washing your hands and avoiding touching your face. Stay safe!

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