10 Easy Hacks to Keep Your Face Mask From Hurting Your Ears

Your ears will thank you.

PHOTO BY Maison Metisse ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) So you’ve got your face mask and you wear it at all times when outdoors. But sometimes, doing the right thing can hurt—and in this case, quite literally, because wearing a face mask for prolonged periods of time can really do a number on your ears. The straps of your face mask can irritate the skin and cause ear chafing, which is a common problem for health workers who have to wear surgical masks all day long to stay protected—and since face masks are now part of the norm, it might become a common dilemma even among regular folk. But don’t worry—you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for protection, because there are several nifty ways to keep your face mask from hurting your ears. 


Also read:
A Step-by-Step Guide for How to Make Your Own Face Masks at Home
A Running List of Online Shops in Manila That Sell Reusable Face Masks

Try these easy tricks so your ears stay comfortable even when wearing a face mask: 

3D-Printed Ear Guards


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In early April, a story about a 13-year-old boy scout went viral after he used his 3D-printing skills to create ear guards for health workers. The ear guards he designed feature several hooks so the wearer can adjust where to secure the ear loops of their face mask for the perfect fit. If you’ve got a 3D printer, you can download the exact file the boy scout created and print your own ear guards. We also found several other cool designs for 3D-printed ear guards.


Ear Savers (P80/three pieces)

These fun and colorful ear savers act as some sort of extension of your ears. They may be tiny but they really make all the difference. Instead of hooking the mask straps onto the backs of your ears, you hook them on the buttons of these ear savers! Make sure to wash them after every use—or maybe get one for each day of the week for good measure!


Available online. 

Makeshift ear savers using paper clips

If you’re feeling resourceful, all you need is about one to two paper clips (depending on size) to create a makeshift ear saver. Just connect the paper clips to make a chain, then attach the ear loops of your face mask to both ends to help alleviate ear stress instantly. 


Space buns as ear extenders

Got nothing but long hair and a bunch of hair ties? No problem! Just take two hair ties and put your hair up in space buns—one on either side of your head. Then, take the ear loops of your face mask and fasten them on to your space buns instead of your ears. Ta-daaa! 

Single bun as ear extender-slash-hair tie


Don’t have hair ties? If your hair is long enough, you can probably tie it up in a bun sans the hair tie by tucking the end of your hair into the bun itself! You can use this bun to secure both ear loops of your face mask.

Go for tie-on face masks

Face Mask 3-Ply with Tie-On (P169/50 pieces) from Indoplas
PHOTO BY shopee

In case you didn’t know, tie-on face masks exist. Instead of ear loops, tie-on face masks have long straps that you tie behind your head, giving you a comfortable fit without torturing the backs of your ears. Indoplas, a brand that creates medical devices, sells tie-on face masks which you can shop on their official Shopee page.

Sew buttons on a cap


Love wearing caps? You can use them to relieve your ears from face masks by sewing two buttons on either side of the cap so you can hook the ear loops of your face mask on it instead of your ears. Don’t feel like ruining your favorite cap? You can also try using binder clips to secure the ear loops instead! 

Headbands as ear guards



Turn your bandanas, hankies, or scarves into headbands that double as ear savers sans the sewing. Just fold your bandana into a headband and before securing it, get your face mask and put the ends of the bandana through each ear loop. Tie in place, and you’re all set! Alternatively, you can check out local brand Maison Matisse’s The Essential Set, which includes a reusable face mask, an ear guard, and two washable filters. 

Available online.

Hair clamps as hooks

Fashion Gold Plated Large Metal Hair Claw Clip (P49) from Twinkle
PHOTO BY lazada

You can also use hair clamps or hair clips to wear your face mask without hurting your ears. Just attach the ear loops to the clip and secure it into your hair, and make adjustments as needed. Not only will this easy hack give your ears a break, it’s a stylin' way to wear face masks, too! 

Bio-Oil Skincare Oil (P520)

PHOTO BY amazon

If this article came a little too late and your ears have already started chafing, just apply this soothing oil to help relieve the skin. Known for its healing properties, Bio-Oil is also popular for minimizing the appearance of scars and even stretch marks, thanks to its rich blend of oils from calendula, lavender, rosemary, and chamomile which all work to restore skin to health.

Available at Watsons.

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