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What kind of non-surgical face mask best protects against coronavirus?

We now face a "new normal". The UK government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have both advised wearing face coverings in a bid to reduce the infection transmission of Covid-19. 

So with a Biomedical Science background, I was well into researching and focusing our attention to see how we can create a luxurious, reusable, eco-friendly, and protective face mask. Here, I like to share some of the research findings and common questions we had around silk face masks and where you can shop for them.

Why a silk face mask? 

WHO recommendations on choosing the outermost layer for a face fabric should be a hydrophobic material, this means that the fabric should repel droplets and moistures, since this is an important route of transmission for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. We found researchers from the University of Cincinnati had examined the hydrophobicity of fabrics, including silk, cotton, polyester. They discovered silk to be the most effective at preventing the penetration of aerosolised water droplets, and the least absorptive of water. It's intensely hydrophobic character makes silk an ideal fabric of choice for face coverings.

Is silk face mask effective?

Silk is a protein material not only hydrophobic and resistant to the entry of water; it inherently has antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the American Chemical Journal, tightly woven materials such as natural silk are particularly useful (considering their sheerness) at excluding particles in the nanoscale regime (<∼100 nm). These characteristic, coupled with its breathability, thinness of material when used as multiple layers, and the fact that it does not trap water, makes it an effective material for home-made face coverings.

Is silk face mask good for sensitive and acne-prone skin?

I have written much about the beauty benefits of silk in my previous journals. Silk is luxuriously soft against the skin, because of its smoothness it doesn't rub it or irritate the face. Aside from its hypoallergenic properties, it helps maintain the moisture in your skin, keeping it soft and hydrated. As a natural fibre, silk is a breathable fabric that reduces the humidity underneath the mask area. According to Dr Adil Sheraz, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson says this can cause breakouts: "The act of continually adjusting and touching the mask and thus touching your face will transfer oil, dirt and irritants to the skin. "He goes on to say: "A silk mask with multiple layers would be ideal for sensitive acne-prone skin."

For a period of prolonged wear; it is important to choose something gentle and comfortable across the face. Silk face masks are great for combating irritation and suitable for sensitive or acne-prone skin. I also feel it is vital to minimise the accidental stimulation of face touching to prevent you from unknowingly spreading the virus as well. 

How to wash silk face masks?

WHO encourages those using reusable face masks to wash them after every use. Silk is a high-quality fabric to be cleaned with care. We recommend washing the face mask by hand in lukewarm water in a bathroom or kitchen sink. Use gentle liquid detergent and gently rub it in the front and back of the face mask. Once you have finished washing the mask, squeeze out excess water between your fingers and thumbs. To dry the face mask, lay it flat and leave it to dry in the open air.

Where can you buy an ethical silk face mask?

We've created a limited edition of adjustable, double-layered organic peace silk face masks with filter pockets from premium cruelty-free, organic peace silk fabric. It's lightweight, breathability, and hypoallergenic nature of silk helps the skin stay healthy and protects you and others at the same time. It is the perfect combination of luxury, comfort and style. With a choice of black and ivory, these cruelty-free, ethical silk masks are available to shop now at www.ethicalkind.com/shop.

Click here to buy yours today!

Please note:  While face mask act as a source barrier to protect yourself and others, it is essential to continue to practice social distancing and washing your hands (also before and after handling your mask). It's still the best way to keep yourself and your beloved ones as safe as possible!

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us at hello@ethicalkind.com