The Color of Your Mask Impacts How Attractive You Appear

Research Press Release | September 28, 2015

Results of the study
Results of the study
Press Release
Key Points ・ We empirically demonstrated the change in the impression given when a person wears a mask* and when they do not.

・ We found that there is a change in the impression given due to the color of the mask—either pink or white.

・ Results showed that a pink mask increases the attractiveness of a woman’s appearance.

* In Japan, wearing a surgical-type mask when you have a cold/hay fever is considered etiquette.

Overview This research is the first experimental study in the world related to the effect of wearing a disposable sanitary mask. Recently, the number of persons wearing masks has increased as a measure against colds and hay fever in Japan. Wearing this type of mask may impair interpersonal relationships and possibly reduce interpersonal attraction because it hides bottom half of the face. To investigate the relationship between wearing a mask and its effect on attractiveness, Associate Professor Jun Kawahara of the Graduate School of Letters, jointly with Unicharm Corporation, and Assistant Professor Yuki Miyazaki of Chukyo University, performed a study on the attractiveness of a woman’s face based on whether color had an effect. They found that a pink mask increases the attractiveness of a woman’s appearance relative to an ordinary white mask, regardless of her original attractiveness.

Utilizing the results of this research, a mask for women named the “super-comfortable mask for women” was marketed throughout Japan on September 1, 2015 by Unicharm Corporation, the site of the joint research.




As the number of mask wearers has increased in Japan, attention has shifted beyond the original concern of the comfort to secondary concerns such as design and appearance. Does wearing a mask change the attractiveness of a face? What type of mask, if any, increases attractiveness? In order to find scientific and quantitative answers to such questions, this research empirically demonstrated how the attractiveness of a face is determined.


One facial image of twenty women aged 20-30 alternatively wearing pink and white masks was displayed on a computer screen. A total of 33 voluntary evaluators, men and women sampled from college-student population, rated the level of attraction they felt for each of the facial images on a scale of 1 to 100.


We found that regardless of the original attractiveness of the face, the facial images in which a pink mask, relative to an ordinary white mask, was worn were rated more highly attractive. From this result, we learned that a pink mask has the effect of attractively presenting a woman.


Jun  KAWAHARA, Specially Appointed Associate Professor, Department of Psychology,Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University

TEL: +81-11-706-4154




マスクの色が顔の魅力に及ぼす効果を検証 (2015.9.11)
Additional Information [Unicharm News Release] (in Japanese)

A new improvement in a soft baby pink color! The “super-comfortable ® mask for women”, a mask that presents a woman more attractively, is now the standard.


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