The Sheetmask Basics – From Why to Top Picks and Reviews
I love sheetmasks. Sheetmasking is my mini nightly treat to myself that makes me feel pampered and refreshed.
Why do I love them?
It’s the variety. I can pick and choose which key ingredient I want to try that night. Is my skin feeling sore? Out comes the Aloe. Breakout on its way, better stock up on the green tea.
And it’s not just in key ingredients, but brands and styles.
Sheetmasks are the speed dating of the Asian Beauty world.
You can test out a brand without making a commitment!
Now before I dive in I just want to throw out a word of caution. It’s super easy to haul and hoard sheetmasks. They’re appealing to the inner collector inside all of us. While I sheetmask once a day, you don’t have to. Buy to suit your needs! If you sheetmask once a week then you don’t need 100 masks in your collection. They will expire.
I’ve written up a post on hauling responsibly (Hauling Responsibly)
So, What Are Sheetmasks?
It’s a mini facial in a packet. You can even mask with friends and family!
To simply explain in lay mans terms (as I am no scientist), it’s applying a hydrating serum with occlusion to increase penetration.
Essentially locking in the essence with a physical cover, letting it do its work.
They can come in many forms. Hydrogels, silk, cotton based and paper. There are specialised ones for eyes, hands, feet and even breasts!
A sheetmask is a great bonus accessory to any routine.
While routines tend to stay the same, products are expensive to buy and last a long time, our skin can have its off days. Some days it looks more dull than usual, or you break out in spots. Sheetmasks are a great accessory item to target those particular short lived problems.
Because they’re relatively cheap, I have a whole box of different masks for different purposes.
Not just for your face
As mentioned in the intro sheetmasks don’t just have to be for your face, in fact they don’t even have to be sheetmasks!
Hydrogels are a more luxe player in town. There was a recent reddit thread (Science behind hydrogels) which talked about the science behind 3D polymers such as Hydrogels, and how they can boost healing!
There’s masks with extracts of gold and Fanserviced even mentioned a new foil mask which is creating waves in Asia (Trend report.) (Though I’m more sceptical of the extra benefits of this one).
Double masking! You may have seen me do this in my multi-mask review earlier this month (Multi Masking Review)! It’s a great extra boost of hydration, and fun to do. Sometimes, when my circles are particularly dark, I’ll have on some eye hydrogels and a normal mask on top.
There’s also special edition character masks! Now there was a huge wave in popularity of these last year, but they’re still around and cresting the popularity wave.
They don’t tend to be as effective as the normal mask, but they’re a lot of fun to wear.
Berrisom and SNP both have fun animal collections. And there’s special character masks too.
So What Should You Buy?
Most masks will indicate what their speciality is in their tagline. Below is just a rough guide.
I’ve not included firming as I find this is a very temporary effect, and I’m dubious of any claims a 20 minute sheetmask can do for smoothing wrinkles.Most of this will be from added hydration.
Keeping the skin hydrated is a key must for good skin. Most masks boost hydration, but if you’re looking for that special kick Hyaluronic Acid or “Nourishing” masks are your answer.
- Tosowoong Pure Deep Sea Water Mask (any from this page actually) – $8.17 for ten Buy Here
- My Beauty Diary Black Pearl Mask – $1.49 Buy Here
- My Beauty Diary Hyaluronic Acid Mask – $1.49 Buy Here
Even the carefree person in the world can be susceptible to stress, which can result in dull looking skin. To get back that glow look for Fruits, Roses or Rice/Sake. Have to throw in Propolis and Pearl too as choices. There are a lot of choices for the glowtastic look.
- My Scheming Apple Brightening & Hydrating Mask – $1.99 Buy Here
- Etude House I Need You Ginseng – $1.75 Buy Here (affiliate link)
- My Scheming Mandelic Acid Brightening Mask – $1.99 Buy Here
I am sadly one who suffers from hormonal acne. So once a month it’s a battle to keep the spots at bay. Key ingredients in masks to look out for are Tea Tree and all things Bee.
- Benton Snail Bee – $1.04 Buy Here
- My Scheming Herbal Essence Anti Acne Mask – $1.75 Buy Here
- LJH Tea Tree Mask – $0.91 Buy Here
Sometimes your skin just needs that extra bit of pampering. Masks with Donkey Milk, Aloe or Snail are the ones to go to to heal that skin.
- Elizavecca Milky Piggy Silky Creamy Donkey Steam Cream – $14.43 for ten Buy Here
- LoveMore Loofah and Aloe Vera Hydrating – $2.75 Buy Here
- Tosowoong Pure Snail (any from this page actually) – $8.17 for ten Buy Here
- My Beauty Diary
- My Scheming
- L’Herbaflore (when I can get it!)
Most brands also have a collection of masks and sell them in boxes.
Some of my favourites are:
- My Beauty Diary
Glamorous Gift Set – £20.81 for 19 Buy Here
Wonderland Miracle – $33 for 15 Buy Here
Variety Mask Set It’s Real Squeeze – £10.36 for 10 Buy Here
There are also a number of subscription boxes specifically for sheetmasks! These are great if you’re looking to discover new brands or have a set curated for you!
Click on the names to get to the website.
As you can see there’s a lot of choice when it comes to sheetmasking. And at the pricepoint it’s an easy entry way in for almost anyone to at least try.
I’ve also introduced my friends to sheetmasks and had a spa party!
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows there are some negatives.
- Temporary Effects – Unless you sheetmask regularly some of the effects you see will be short lived
- Environmental Impact – They’re in a packet and you throw both the mask and packet away after use. There are brands, such as LuLuLun, which have more than one mask in a pack. I’ve found these multipacks less hydrating though
- Hard to Wear – Sheetmasks can be slippery, or essence drip down your face into your chest. I tend to semi-lie down while wearing but after a couple of minutes it’s dried enough for me to walk round the house
- Non AB Freak Outs – You will resemble a ghost, unless you have a character print, while wearing these so warn those around you. Or don’t and do what I do and send fun snapchats/jump scare my flatmate. For me this isn’t a con. But it is a hurdle for those new to the world of sheetmasking.
But I still love my sheetmasks <3
And don’t just take my word for it.
Below is a quick review of one of my favourite masks and my fellow Asian Beauty Partiers!
Amy from Peeping Pomeranian
As a person who hates spending more an a dollar on a sheetmask, I found it funny that I prefer hydrogels #expensivetastes. For myself, its mostly a time and texture issue. I don’t like spending more than 30mins masking. I always have stuff to do and having to lay down with a mask is almost never something I do. Which means I need a mask that will stick to my face well. I find more often than not hydrogels, due to the way they conform to the face, will stay put allowing me to continue on with my business. I suspect that my dry skin is probably better suited to sticking to the gels as well.
Additionally, I also don’t really like sheetmasks that are sopping wet with essence. These are usually fiber masks, cotton, silk etc. Some do conform better than others, but I don’t like spending so much down time and I find that my skin doesn’t absorb all the extra essence. This leaves my skin tacky, even when I apply the essence elsewhere. This is probably why I tend to be quite picky about which non-gel masks I use since I like a thinner less gel like essence.
Julie from PDXBeautiful
The Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask in Shea Butter. This mask hydrates my skin like nobody’s business. The thick, milky essence not only hydrates but plumps and soothes. This does leave a slightly oily finish behind but that is one thing I love about this mask because it helps eliminate dehydration. I find I don’t need to apply a ton of moisturizer after using this mask. No matter what stress I put my skin through (yes, actives I’m looking at you) this always puts my skin back into proper balance. It also has a light but yummy creamy, nutty and buttery scent that I just adore. This mask is inexpensive and widely available as Innisfree is a very popular Korean cosmetic brand. The fit is great, lasts for about 30 minutes and as a bit of left over essence for extra hydration. I have not had any reaction, no sensitivity or irritation and no breakouts from this mask. Main ingredients include shea butter, hyaluronate and green tea.
Michele from BeautyFindsForMe
Benton Snail ? Bee ? High Content Mask Pack (Korea) This is one of my favorite masks for when my face feels really oily or has blemishes. I find it to be very soothing and helps reduce redness, while controlling oil and hydrating my skin. This mask is on the drier side as far as essence goes, but I find that the mask benefits outweigh that this is a bit drier. My face feels refreshed and if I have blemishes, they are less red and sore after I use this. Snail mucin will help moisturize and heal your skin and bee venom helps prevent blemishes. This mask is also good for sensitive skin as well. I really love this mask and I try to keep 5 to 10 on hand, as I am known just to slap this on in the morning as a quick pick-my-skin-up!
Laven from Berries in the Snow
I chose a Missha Pure Source cell sheet mask with Aloe mainly because of the key ingredient Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera is one of my favourite ingredients for not only moisturizing but also calming and soothing the skin. In summer my favorite is a cooled aloe sheet mask which I placed in the fridge before using it.
My review pick is the Herbal Essence Anti Acne mask from My Scheming brand! This brand was a new discover for me this year and I’m loving what I’ve learnt so far. They’re not overly expensive and can be bought in boxes which makes daily masking less guilt inducing. I also love the packaging. In the herbal anti acne mask which I’m wearing the girl is hitting the acne with a mallet. Which is something I wish I could do!
They come with a plastic backing which makes using them easier and are absolutely dripping in essence. There’s enough for me to slather my face, neck and décolletage in it. This particular type is moisturising and does help with my redness. It contains green tea, witch hazel, chamomile, aloe and Orris among other ingredients
Hope you’ve inspired to get masking and join in the fun!
This was also the last in the Asian Beauty Blog Party Series. Hope you’ve enjoyed the blogging collaboration!
Keep your eyes peeled for the next one coming soon.