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A close up of a woman wearing a black face mask; a tram and Flinders Street Station are in the background
Photograph: Pixabay

37 super cool side effects of wearing face masks all the time

There are some unexpected benefits to wearing a mask when going out
Written by
Nicola Dowse

This story was originally published August 14, 2020.

From 6pm, May 25 until at least June 4, masks are mandatory in indoor settings across greater Melbourne. 

When masks first became mandatory in winter 2020, we started noticing there were a few added benefits to wearing a face mask (as if stopping the 'rona was not enough reason).

While we'd all rather live in a world where masks aren't required, the reality is that sometimes we need to don masks in certain environments to keep the community safe.  That doesn't mean we can't find the silver linings to our collective situation. 

The unintended upsides to wearing face masks all the time

1. If you forget to brush your teeth, it’s no big deal (for other people anyway).

2. If you've got food in your teeth, it’s no big deal.

3. If you have a rogue booger in your nose, it’s no big deal.

4. You can wear pimple cream on your face when going out and no one will know.

5. If you wear makeup, you only have to do half your face. Money saving!

6. Masks keep your face snuggly warm in winter.

7. It’s an additional way for Melburnians to wear even more black clothing.

8. It’s an additional way to support small businesses and local creatives (take a look at those making masks here).

9. You can eat with your mouth open and no one will know.

10. Masks have allowed you to upcycle your old T-shirts and tea towels (here’s how).

11. No one can tell you to "smile, you’ll look prettier" (well they can, but it’d be moot).

12. You can actively grimace at people and they won't know.

13. You can let your 'stache grow out without being judged by society's rigid beauty standards.

14. You can eat out of it like a mini horse feedbag (advisable at home only).

15. Masks look great with a killer winged eyeliner.

16. Masks are a great way to show off your pets.  

17. You get to feel somewhat mysterious while just going about your ordinary business.

18. Masks are another great way to accessorise your look.

19. You don’t need as much sunscreen.

20. You don’t need as much fake tan.

21. If you have a bad pimple, the mask will keep it secret (unless it’s on your forehead ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

22. A face mask and sunglasses combo = cheap and easy Invisible Man cosplay.

23. You don’t need to do the awkward half-smile at people who are passing you; this goes double if you recognise them. Big win for the socially awkward.

24. You can now express everything from utter disgust to ecstatic joy with only your eyes and your brows.

25. You can try out zany facial hair without fear or judgement.

26. You can (quietly) sing, talk, smile or laugh to yourself while out walking and it’s not weird (everybody does it).

If you're a celebrity you can now walk around with relative anonymity.

28. Wearing a mask when outside can help reduce hayfever symptoms.

29. Public life is now a masked ball 24/7 which really makes the lockdown much sexier.

30. Masks are the new socks of gift giving. Can't think of a gift for someone? MASKS!

31. Running while wearing a mask is basically altitude training. No, you don't have to wear a mask while exercising, but you can if you wish (and now I have lungs of steel).

We've also had quite a few mask-positive suggestions from readers, which we've paraphrased below:

32. You're protected from swallowing insects (particularly helpful when cycling or walking near the Yarra). – G.W. 

33. Those who work in service industries can serve their exes/people they don't like without them recognising you. – R.B.

34. You don't smell people's farts as much. – T.A.

35. When yawning, you're protected from the dreaded "finger shock". If you don't know the anguish of having someone (usually a sibling or partner) interrupt your yawn by sticking a finger in your mouth, you truly have lived a blessed life. – C.B.

36. Those who wear face coverings to help with pain from trigeminal neuralgia can now blend in with everyone else. – A.M. 

And finally, reason 37: you’re helping to protect yourself and your community. Good work.

It's 'Pran' not 'Pra-rahn'

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