Rooms: I like them super clean, or at the very least, tidy. People: I like them just fine most times, but I’m also an introvert, so I find a greater sense of comfort in solitude than most. When COVID-19 hit New York back in early March, these two things that were so intrinsic to my personality suddenly became amplified—everything had to be super clean and in-person interactions were strictly verboten. One month, two months, four months passed, and while my Clorox supply was as airtight as ever, I surprised myself when I found my mind wandering over to the idea of gasp, taking a walk with someone I didn’t live with. And so I did, and at the same time I happened upon a pretty useful hack.
Let me set the scene. The sun was blazing without a cloud in sight. The temperature was nearly 100 degrees. The humidity was offensive. It was so hot, that my linen mask was soaked with sweat when I returned home. A problem on one hand in that all of that sweat would surely (surely!) lead to a round of maskne, and a problem on the other hand in that I was still really hot. So hot I didn’t want to step-one-more-foot-outside hot. So hot that I called the outdoors “overrated.” So hot that I opened the refrigerator to cool down! And that’s when I remembered the bra trick.
An old-timey piece of advice you might have found in a ladies mag way back when would read as follows: store your bra in the refrigerator. The idea being that the blast of cool air would keep you comfortable for at least a short period of time. Now there are bras with cooling technology, and even some where you can attach a cooled insert. Protective face masks are another story. They’ve evolved for function, sure, but comfort? It’s there that they’ve got room to grow. For one, they’re not the most pleasant thing to wear when the weather is stupid hot! And so, with my head in the refrigerator, I decided my masks would have a new resting place, in between the Fage and carton of eggs.
Now you’ve got to be smart about storing your mask in the refrigerator. For one, don’t store a used, dirty mask in there. If it’s a reusable one, wash and dry it first, and then plop it in the fridge. If you’re working with disposable ones, just keep your clean, unused masks in there. Don’t try to be clever and place your mask in the freezer—the super cold air might make your mask stiff, and hinder its ability to adequately protect you and others. There are other benefits, too. A cool mask might be able to help with heat rash, or at the very least curb sweating for a while. Eventually the mask will rise to temperature, and you’ll return home warm, but hopefully not hot. And if you’re really set on cooling off fast when that happens, you can always reach into your fridge for a skincare mask. Better yet, make it one with lots of aloe or refreshing rose water. Ahh...remember when that was the only kind of mask we talked about on here? The times they are a changin.
Photo via ITG