Dr. Olivia Cui has the best tip for keeping us happy and healthy during the global coronavirus pandemic.

By Travel + Leisure
Updated July 13, 2020
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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could not be more clear about the importance of wearing a mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As it states plainly on its website, "Your cloth face covering may protect them. Their cloth face covering may protect you." But, what people should also know is the importance of wearing a mask correctly as it could save their life. Luckily, dentist Olivia Cui, DMD is sharing a super simple tip to making common medical masks fit just a bit better, and in return, potentially a bit more effective in the fight against COVID-19.

Gabriel Vergani / EyeEm / Getty Images

As the CDC notes, COVID-19 spreads "mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice (e.g., while shouting, chanting, or singing)." Even those who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic can transmit the virus to others. That's why it suggests people wear a cloth face-covering whenever they are in public settings, along with frequent handwashing and social distancing, to stem the spread of the virus and potentially save lives.

However, not all masks are created equal. Some may be too big to properly cover a person's face. But, as Cui recently shared on TikTok there is a quick hack people can use to ensure their mask fits snugly to better ensure their safety.

In the 60-second video, Cui shows that a surgical-style mask can often pucker on "the sides of your face" and leave your face "very exposed to the outside." To combat this, she offered a quick tutorial on making any surgical-style mask fit better.

First, wash your hands then take off the mask. Next, fold your mask in half. Then, tie a knot with the ear loops on each side as close as possible to the body of the mask. Then, with the mask still folded in half, open it up to form an oval. There will be small openings on either side of the mask next to the ear loop. Tuck those underneath the ear loops. Finally, pop on your mask for a tighter, safer fit.

"In absence of N95s, this might be a good alternative," Cui says. And apparently TikTok audiences agree as the video has racked up more than 3.4 million views with commenters raving about the results. Still on the hunt for a well-fitted mask like these? Check out a few designer options to keep you both safe and stylish in the months to come.

Comments (1)

Anonymous
August 5, 2020
It took practicing on a couple of masks to get it just right, but this method works beautifully! It's the first time I've been able to get a perfect fit, and thus seal, with a surgical mask.