Silk face masks: Are there any skin benefits to the bougie COVID-19 trend?

We investigate

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / October 21 2020

Who would have thought that when COVID-19 started it would catapult an entire industry of face mask distributors? More specifically, face mask distributors who have somehow managed to construct face coverings that appeal to every possible aesthetic. Whether you’re into medical-grade, traditional cotton or recycled fabric options, maximalist or minimalist designs, there’s now something to cater to everyone. 

One trend that we’ve seen rise in popularity with mask wearers over the last few months is making the switch to silk, which has left us intrigued. In terms of beauty, silk has always been lauded for pillow cases and eye masks, as the luxe fabric is gentle on skin and hair, helping to minimise premature aging in skin and breakage in hair.

But we wanted to know, are there any actual benefits to switching to silk when it comes to wearing a face mask – like for example, preventing dreaded maskne? So, we hit up dermatologist Dr. Michele Squire to give us the lowdown...

Turns out that although silk may be a lighter and more breathable alternative to other face mask materials, there isn’t all that much difference in terms of skin health. According to Dr. Squire, “maskne is triggered either by a microenvironment of warmth and humidity under the mask OR friction of the mask on the skin (or both, sadly).” 

“It’s probable that silk masks would ameliorate the friction part of things (if the strings aren’t too tight) simply because they are softer,” she explains, however there are exceptions: “a silk mask is worth a try if someone is suffering from acne in the areas that the mask actually touches or rubs the face.”

The takeaway? Switch to silk if you’re already acne-prone, but otherwise, there’s no need to get precious about mask material. Phew.

Face masks are the hottest accessory of 2020, and matching your mani to your mask is the most 2020 trend ever.

Main image credit: @billieeilish

Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.