Face masks have become the unlikely must-have accessory of 2020, even more so now it’s become compulsory to wear them on public transport and inside shops in the UK, as well as in cinemas, museums and art galleries. And while leading fashion designers and artists have turned to creating their own stylish versions of the face coverings, and matching your mask to your outfit was this summer’s hottest trend, many have noticed an unwanted new side effect of permanently covering the lower half of your face: irritated, breakout-prone skin, otherwise known as ‘maskne’.
Maskne can strike for a number of reasons. Firstly, having a mask fitted that closely to your face means moisture from your breath gets trapped on the skin, which increases humidity – a prime environment for harbouring bacteria. Add to that the fact that you’re more likely to touch your face while wearing a mask, transferring oil and dirt, and it’s a sure-fire recipe for blocked pores and unsightly blemishes.
There is one way to minimise the effects of maskne, however, and that’s by investing in a silk face mask, and hand washing it often. The ultra soft, breathable material is the least likely to irritate skin, making it ideally suited for those with sensitive and acne-prone complexions. And while these are not medical-grade face coverings, they will provide some protection from the virus for both yourself and those around you. Here we’ve rounded up the best silk face masks to buy now.
This London-based face mask company launched in the midst of the pandemic after realising that, with a background in producing fashion for the high street, they had high quality fabrics and prime manufacturing contacts at their fingertips.
Their limited edition, hand cut silk mask collection is made from vintage archive printed silks, making them one of the most sustainable options around, with new prints released every week. Each one comes with adjustable ear loops and a pocket for filters, and for every mask purchased they donate a medical mask to the frontline.
Best known for their silk eye masks and pillowcases that are designed to protect your hair and skin as you sleep, this luxury brand has now turned its hand to chic silk face masks.
Made from the finest mulberry silk, the double-sided face coverings come in four colourways – pale pink, black, leopard print and one featuring a glittery red lip outline – and feature adjustable elastic earloops and mouldable nose wires to ensure a secure fit.
This London-based womenswear brand, founded by Norwegian model-turned-designer Silje Vallevik, sought to redefine relaxed Scandinavian glamour when it launched in 2017, with a focus on pared back silhouettes, folk-art inspired prints and vivid hues for their all-silk pieces.
Their beautiful two layered silk face masks come in teal, black or an elegant leaf pattern, and feature matching silk drawstring bags and an internal pocket that you can add your own filter to. For every mask sold, the brand will donate a percentage of proceeds to selected NHS charities.
Independent shoe brand Coco Rose has launched a double layer silk face mask designed with as much ingenuity as their innovative foldable pumps. Made from 100% premium silk, each mask is cut on an angle to follow the natural contours of the face, which gives a better fit and also happens to stop your glasses steaming up.
What’s more, the brand is donating all the profits from every mask purchased to children’s mental health charity Honeypot, which provides support to young carers aged from five to 12, as well as helping with the effect the pandemic has had on young people’s lives.
London-based silk specialists Gingerlily usually make bedding and nightwear, but their new unisex silk face masks are proving just as popular. Crafted using three layers of pure mulberry silk, they come in three neutral tones: blush, charcoal and sand.
Filled with a high-density raw habotai silk and secured using elastic straps, the masks have been designed to sit snugly on the face to provide maximum protection and comfort. And as a way of giving back, the brand made a donation of medical-grade face masks to charities supporting those affected by Covid-19 when they first launched the range.
Wolf & Badger is known for championing sustainably sourced international independent fashion brands you won’t find anywhere else – our latest discovery is One Imaginary Girl, a ready to wear label by US fashion designer Sarah Donofrio. This ruffled silk face mask which comes in a variety of colours is made from soft charmeuse scraps of fabric left over from the mainline collection.