Anyone who wears eyeglasses has experienced the somewhat debilitating, vastly irritating phenomenon of seeing their lens turn opaque with fog, especially when wearing a mask. It’s just an extra hassle some people have to bear during this pandemic — or so we thought. It turns out there’s been a secret solution laying directly under our noses, literally. Yes, shaving cream is the answer to all your fogged-up glasses woes.
If it seems counterintuitive that slathering white, foamy lather all over your lenses would somehow make it easier for you to see, don’t worry about it. This is just step one in a simple procedure; besides, you’re not going to be piling it on your glasses like you do on your face. Just take a dab large enough for you to rub it over both sides of both lenses with your finger. “Make sure it’s evenly distributed,” says Dr. Steven Thom, of Fargo’s Thom Eye & Laser Clinic. “Put it on, wipe it off, and you’re set.”
By wiping the cream off instead of washing it off completely off, you’re leaving a thin, protective residue on your lens. “The film prevents moisture from adhering,” says Thom, which includes the moisture coming from the breath that escapes from behind your mask when you exhale. Since shaving cream tends to be highly aerated, it keeps the film thin enough to be seen through instead of leaving opaque smudges, a fate even more obnoxious than fog.
Just be careful with what you wipe it off with, warns Thom. “Use something that’s not abrasive, like a cotton towel — and make sure it’s lint-free,” he says, adding that it needs to be soft and dry so that you don’t accidentally remove the residue completely. (And don’t use paper towels, which might accidentally scratch the surface of the lenses).
Shave lather is not the only solution here — there are specialized “anti-fog” sprays you can use, for example. But they’re not going to provide anything different or better than your shaving foam will. Plus, many eye care providers believe shaving cream has a longer-lasting effect, and some anti-fog sprays might also contain chemicals that can irritate your eyes. Of course, that also means you can use shaving cream in lieu of other places you don’t want fog, like your bathroom mirrors or car windows on a cold, humid morning. You might get some funny looks from the neighbors when you slather your front windshield and “shave” it with a window wiper, but now you’ll be able to see those funny looks in perfect clarity as you drive away.