Two years into the pandemic, one of our main pet peeves is wearing a face masks whenever we are out and about.

This research, however, may just make you change your mind about covering your face in public.

A study by researchers Oliver Hies and Michael B. Lewis of Cardiff University in the journal "Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications" has found that people are seen as more attractive when they are wearing a face mask.

While previously, wearing face masks were associated witn disease, the pandemic has changed the outlook, Lewis pointed out.

"We wanted to test whether this has changed since face coverings became ubiquitous and understand whether the type of mask had any effect.

"Our study suggests faces are considered most attractive when covered by medical face masks. This may be because we're used to healthcare workers wearing blue masks and now we associate these people in caring of medical professions," Lewis said, reported Mashable SEA.

"At a time when we feel vulnerable, we may find the wearing of face masks reassuring and so feel more positive towards the wearer."

To arrive at the results of the study, the researchers showed female participants four pictures of the same man with different face coverings - A medical mask, a cloth mask, a book covering half his face, and finally, without any covering.

The picture with the medical mask garnered the highest mark for attractiveness, while the picture with the cloth mask was rated higher than the one without any mask.

Another theory that Lewis presented was that face masks make people more attractive because it directs the attention to the wearer's eyes, and cover any negative feature on the face.

According to him, another study conducted among male participants rating pictures of a woman in masks has returned similar results - that the mask wearing person was rated as more attractive than the one without any facial covering.

There you go, finally some added motivation to stock up on the masks, other than the fact that they help in stemming the spread of germs.

You are welcome.

Source: Mashable SEA
Photo source: Getty Images