None of us counted on having to wear masks for this long, and we’re all wishing we didn’t have to. Folks with respiratory conditions have it the worst; it can interfere with breathing, which is uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst. And then there are people like me, who wear glasses. Having to wipe the condensation off my glasses all the time isn’t dangerous, but it is inconvenient, and makes wearing a mask unpleasant. (For the record, I keep it on anyway. A little discomfort is worth it.) Is there a way to keep glasses from fogging up while wearing a mask? And areCabeau Tape Mask Securing Strips the answer?
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Cabeau Tape is made by the same company that manufactures deluxe travel neck pillows. The tape comes in a compact, pocket- or bag-friendly box containing a roll of 200 pre-cut strips. The strips are made of a non-latex, FDA- and dermatologist-approved medical-grade material, though the website doesn’t state exactly what that material is.
The theory here is pretty simple: your glasses get fogged up when warm air (your breath) hits a cool surface (your lenses), and forms condensation. Cabeau Tape functions by sealing the gaps between the top part of a mask and your glasses, to reduce the amount of condensation that’s formed. The tape can also be used to seal the sides of a mask against your face, which is especially helpful for narrow-faced people like me, whose masks bag out on the sides like sails, creating little virus particle–collecting pockets. (According to Cabeau’s website, more than 80 percent of virus particles that penetrate face masks come through gaps in the seal.)
I first tried the tape with just one strip on each side of my nose and on either side of my cheeks, as you see here. Then I took it out for a spin: a brisk walk around my neighborhood, including some big inclines. While it did reduce the amount of condensation, when my respiration quickened, I still had a fair amount of fogging. I later tried a similar experiment with two pieces of tape along the top edge, which worked better, but was slightly less comfortable on my skin.
Cabeau Tape is nicely flexible, so it moves with your facial muscles. I tried it with two masks—the surgical type in the photo, and a cotton/poly blend. The tape adhered well, both to the masks and my skin. This wasn’t a problem on my cheeks; my skin tends toward the oily side, so extra adhesion is a good thing. But under my eyes, where the skin is more delicate, the tape was a little uncomfortable to peel off. Not such a big deal if it’s a once-in-a-while thing, but not something I’d want to repeat several times a day—when I’m running a bunch of errands, for example, and taking my mask off in the car between stops.
Because of this—and the fact that I have to remember to take the tape with me on the go—I probably wouldn’t use it for quicker trips or frequent stops. But I would use it if I knew I’d be doing something where I’d need the mask for an extended period—for example, taking a flight or any form of public transit, a trip to the hairdresser’s, or visiting immunocompromised family and friends. At $14.99, Cabea Tape Mask Securing Strips are a little pricey, but could be worth the peace of mind that comes with extra protection.