VANCOUVER -- As mask mandates become more common, millions of people are adapting to a new normal. And sometimes they're finding masks to be a bit uncomfortable.

Lauren Friedman with Consumer Reports says that a few easy adjustments can ensure a safe and comfortable mask-wearing experience for everyone.

"Wearing masks is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19," she says. "But that doesn’t mean you have to put up with the annoyances that come from wearing them. There are some simple solutions." 

If you wear glasses or sunglasses that are constantly fogging up, a mask with a wire sewn in at the top is your best bet. Pinch the top of your mask so that it fits the shape of your nose. Next, tighten the sides for a snug fit. You can also apply an anti-fogging solution to your lens, or try wearing your glasses on top of your mask.

Are you suffering from “mask acne?” 

"When you wear a mask for a long period of time you sweat, which causes bacteria to build up," Friedman says. "That can cause acne. Make sure your face and your mask are both clean before heading out. If you’re still breaking out, a topical over-the-counter acne cream that contains benzoyl peroxide can help."

If your ears feel irritated from wearing a mask, it’s because the elastic ear loops are causing friction. Rub some petroleum jelly behind your ears, and you can also switch to a tie-back mask instead of one with elastic ear loops.

And while you know you're not supposed to touch your mask, sometimes it just keeps falling down. 

"If your mask keeps slipping, tighten it until it feels a little harder to breathe," Friedman recommends. "You should also notice your mask moving in and out as you breathe."

If you’re having trouble being understood while wearing a mask, it’s not really a matter of speaking louder. Just make sure you’re speaking slowly and clearly, and ask other mask wearers to do the same.

Follow these tips so you can keep others safe as well as yourself and stay comfortable at the same time.

With files from Consumer Reports