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Science And Nature

In 1500s Europe, masks were fashionableand scandalous

Published August 11, 2022

10 min read

Masks have already been used by lots of the worlds cultures, from Asia to Africa, for most purposes, from the holy to the medical to the mundane. Sometimes, mask wearing has been embraced as fashionable, similar to in 16th-century Europe when wealthy women covered their faces and shielded their complexions from prying eyes and the hot sun.

(These modern artists are reimagining the facial skin mask. Heres how.)

At the moment ever sold, pale skin was an indicator of high status; sun-kissed skin suggested not health insurance and vitality since it does now, but instead the need and drudgery of working outside. To experience the lightest complexion, untouched by freckles and sunburn, upper-class women started wearing facial coverings to shield their faces from sun, wind, and dust. The looks of smooth, pale skin was often further exaggerated with heavy white makeup.

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