The real reason why silk is better - plus the skincare to wear underneath your face mask. Standard-issue blue face masks are the popular choice, but skin friendly? Not so much. 

One of the popular questions that is being asked these days, is 'How can I protect my skin underneath my cloth face mask?' If you've been wearing one for more than an hour or so, you'll be familiar with the stifling, airless environment your skin is exposed to. Clearly this is preferable to catching Covid-19, but with face coverings here to stay, there's more to choosing the right mask than we first thought. 

For it to be counted as a credible face covering, your face mask needs to have two layers of fabric and cover both your nose and mouth. Then there's the fashion element; should you go plain black, printed, designer, or standard blue? But what's becoming increasingly more important is the fabric your face covering is made from.

After trying out various types, we found that silk face masks are most breathable and skin-friendly - especially if you suffer from congested, sensitive or blemish prone skin. 

Deborah Fiddy says, 'it’s easy to forget how much we put our skin through on a daily basis with course cottons, rough wool's and synthetic fabrics – these fabrics sap the skin's essential natural moisture and can exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and general sensitivity. Silk has always been recommended by leading dermatologists as an anti-aging tool, but it is also better for comfort.'

She adds, 'its high protein content makes silk much kinder to the skin with little to no friction due. Naturally hypoallergenic, silk is also ideal for anyone with allergies or sensitive skin as it will alleviate irritation. Unlike cotton, nylon and synthetic fabrics, silk adjusts to your body temperature and does not absorb moisture from  your skin, keeping it soft, crease-free and hydrated.'

Having tried it myself for over a week now, I can testify to silk face mask's comfort-factor in comparison to the standard-issue blue disposable face covering I was wearing previously. Less hot, softer to touch (i.e. less abrasive) and a darn sight better looking, my skin has turned a corner since switching to silk. But regardless of which face covering you wear, there a few skincare tips that will help to keep your skin from deteriorating underneath your mask. Follow our guide to adjusting your routine, below. 

5 skincare tips to protecting your skin underneath any mask:

1. Double cleanse: the environment beneath your face mask has its own micro-climate; it's hot, sticky and airless, meaning you'll need to clean your pores more than usual. I recommend beginning with a nourishing and soothing milky or oil-based cleanser to begin with, especially when wearing make-up, making sure to massage in well to boost circulation and release build up fluid. Then do a second cleanse with a PH-balanced gel or foaming cleanser in the shower to ensure skin is super clean. 

2. Apply as hydrating serum: Serums sink beneath the surface, so this will help to keep skin hydrated from within. Use product contains vitamin B5 to help strengthen the skin barrier. Ice your face with a muslin cloth and ice cube to close pores. 

3. Wear a barrier cream: This is your most important step as a barrier cream will seal in moisture and prevent it from escaping, also protecting skin from your mask the steamy, unfriendly environment. Steer clear of petroleum based products.

4. Sheet mask it: The luxury way to protect your skin, try applying the bottom half of a sheet mask underneath your face covering.

5. Decongest: Steam you skin at night after cleansing and apply a gentle clarifying mask to clean out pores, which gently removes dirt from pores while leaving skin baby soft.