22.01.2022

31 best stylish masks to buy as research reveals *not* wearing a face covering makes catching COVID

Despite normality having (largely) resumed, our search for stylish face masks continues. Of course, it has been on-going since the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis, since the best face masks catch the aerosol droplets you emit when you breathe and talk, making it less likely you’ll spread the virus to anyone else.

But now? New research has been revealed which proves just how paramount it is to still have a strong selection of stylish face masks on rotation. So we’re stocking up.

A report issued by the Office for National Statistics – which looked at the characteristics of those testing positive in the fortnight ending September 11 – has shown that people who never wear face coverings in enclosed spaces are one and a half times more likely to test positive for Coronavirus than those who use a mask. Yep: though public information has long concentrated on the benefits of stopping the spread of Coronavirus from a mask wearer, a number of recent studies are suggesting that they also protect the wearer themselves.

Professor Trisha Greenhalgh of the University of Oxford said: “It would also be expected to protect the wearer to some extent (for example by reducing the amount of virus that you breathe in, thereby producing an asymptomatic or mild illness rather than a severe one). If you do wear a mask, make sure it doesn’t have any gaps round the side, otherwise it is much less effective.”

And that’s not all: further research published in the Physics of Fluids at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and California Baptist University found that wearing a used face mask could actually be just as harmful as not wearing one at all. So yeah, we’re adding a few more safe and stylish face masks to our rotation – along with some face masks for glasses wearers, one or two of these chic AF silk face masks and a wedding face mask for special occasions.

Here’s everything you need to know about wearing face masks, plus our edit of stylish face masks from brands like Rixo, GANNI and Emily Carter.

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Is it still mandatory to wear face masks?

Despite the lifting of COVID rules and regulations, it’s expected that masks should be worn indoors – in restaurants, shops, bars, salons and offices – to protect those around you. Government official Nadhim Zahawi insisted that despite moving from language such as “you must” to “you are expected” to wear a mask in indoor spaces, there would be “both a personal responsibility and a corporate responsibility”.

Rules differ on London transport. Transport for London said: “You must wear a face covering on the Transport for London network, in stations, and for the whole of your journey. If you do not, and you are not exempt, you could be refused entry, denied travel or told to leave our stations and services.”

Who is exempt from wearing a mask?

Contrary to popular belief, the official advice states that face masks should not be worn by everyone. There are two main groups who are advised to abstain from wearing face coverings. They are: children under the age of two and anyone who might find it difficult to breathe wearing one – i.e.: those with respiratory conditions or those with cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering.

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What to look for in a face mask
  • Make sure your face mask fits properly. A good reusable face mask should cover the nose and mouth, and not have any gaping around the sides of the face. Look out for face masks with wire across the nose to help with this.
  • Buy a face mask that can withstand machine washing, since we need to wash our face masks after every use for them to be effective.
  • Consider a silk face mask if you want to reduce the risk of maskne.
  • Pattern! We’ve had a tough 18 months, so you’ve gotta find joy in the smallest of things – even if that is the mood-boosting print on your face covering.

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Where can I buy a stylish face mask online?

One of the best places to buy stylish face masks online is Pacamask. In fact, GLAMOUR readers have bought more face masks from Pacamask than they have any other face mask retailer since lockdown began. They offer a tonne of colours and prints in their collection, from black (their bestseller) to baby pink and ditsy floral, and the masks are not only soft and comfy but made from a fabric which kills 99% of bacteria for up to 50 washes. Impressive, right? If you fancy trying one, you can enter the code GLAMOUR10 at checkout for 10% off your order.

Elsewhere, Scandi-brand GANNI has dropped a whole host of face masks in packs of three – which each come with a storage pouch – while ASOS stocks stylish face masks from brands like Topshop, Selfridges stocks Eugenia Kim pleated silk face coverings and Roop’s upcycled face masks are finished with ribbon ties and crafted from organic cotton.

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