There have been very few silver linings during the covid pandemic, but British academics may have discovered one: people look more attractive wearing protective masks.

Researchers at Cardiff University were surprised to find that both men and women looked better in a mask that obscured the lower half of their faces.

In what may be a blow to the producers of fashion cover-ups, and to the environment, they also found that a face covered in a disposable-type surgical mask would likely be considered the most attractive.

Dr. Michael Lewis, a reader at Cardiff University’s school of psychology and an expert on faces, said research done before the pandemic had found that medical masks reduced attractiveness because they were associated with illness or disease.

The first part of the research was carried out in February 2021, during which time the British population had become accustomed to wearing masks in some circumstances. Forty-three women were asked to rate on a scale of one to ten the attractiveness of images of male faces without a mask, wearing a plain cloth mask, a blue medical mask, and holding a plain black book that covered the area with a mask. face mask. would hide.

The participants said that those who wore a cloth mask were significantly more attractive than those who did not have masks or whose faces were partially obscured by the book. But the surgical mask, which was just the regular, disposable kind, made the wearer look even better.

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